Great Interview


I just read an interview with Kurt Vonnegut. He was such a dude. And so very very smart.

There’s a short ‘edited highlights’ version on Tim Ferriss’ blog (he’s the author of The 4-Hour Work Week), where I came across it.

If you want the full shebang (recommended) you can get it here.

2 of my favourite bits:

I asked my son Mark what he thought life was all about, and he said, “We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.” I think that says it best. You can do that as a comedian, a writer, a painter, a musician. He’s a pediatrician. There are all kinds of ways we can help each other get through today. There are some things that help. Musicians really do it for me. I wish I were one, because they help a lot. They help us get through a couple hours.

And when asked about the power of words in an increasingly visual world he says:

I was at a symposium some years back with my friends Joseph Heller and William Styron, both dead now, and we were talking about the death of the novel and the death of poetry, and Styron pointed out that the novel has always been an elitist art form. It’s an art form for very few people, because only a few can read very well. I’ve said that to open a novel is to arrive in a music hall and be handed a viola. You have to perform. [Laughs.] To stare at horizontal lines of phonetic symbols and Arabic numbers and to be able to put a show on in your head, it requires the reader to perform. If you can do it, you can go whaling in the South Pacific with Herman Melville, or you can watch Madame Bovary make a mess of her life in Paris. With pictures and movies, all you have to do is sit there and look at them and it happens to you.

I shall be re-reading some of his work on my upcoming holiday.

Amazing Video – Rendezvous

I was leafing through a copy of American GQ and I spotted a short article on a video that’s become an online phenomenon. A French art film of someone driving through Paris at breakneck speed. Made with no post production or additional sound effects this is one of the greatest driving films I’ve ever seen.

There’s lots of debates about the top speed of the car (experts say max 140km/h, the director reckons 200km/h), and the make of the car (a Mercedes or the director’s Ferrari). Wikipedia has lots on the topic.

Regardless, it’s a stunning 10 minutes of footage.