Deixar aqui, para ler mais tarde, esta entrevista a... (bolas, nunca sei como se escreve corretamente) Ian McEwan. Por Zadie Smith. Com esta maravilhosa introdução:






Aspects of the “English Novel” to avoid:
Polite, character-revealing dialogue
Lightly ironic ethical investigation
Excessive amounts of furniture
I have often thought Ian McEwan a writer as unlike me as it is possible to be. His prose is controlled, careful, and powerfully concise; he is eloquent on the subjects of sex and sexuality; he has a strong head for the narrative possibilities of science; his novels are no longer than is necessary; he would never write a sentence featuring this many semicolons. When I read him I am struck by metaphors I would never think to use, plots that don’t occur to me, ideas I have never had. I love to read him for these reasons and also because, like his millions of readers, I feel myself to be in safe hands. Picking up a book by McEwan is to know, at the very least, that what you read therein will be beautifully written, well-crafted, and not an embarrassment, either for you or for him. This is a really big deal. Bad books happen less frequently to McEwan than they do to the rest of us. Since leaving the tutelage of Malcolm Bradbury and Angus Wilson on the now famous (because of McEwan) University of East Anglia creative writing course, McEwan has had one of the most consistently celebrated careers in English literature. We haven’t got space for it all here, but among the prizes is the Somerset Maugham Award in 1976 for his first collection of short stories, First Love, Last Rites; the Whitbread Novel Award (1987) and Prix Fémina Etranger (1993) for The Child in Time; he has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times, winning the award for Amsterdam in 1998. His novel Atonementreceived the WH Smith Literary Award (2002), the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award (2002), the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction (2003), and the Santiago Prize for the European Novel (2004). He’s written a lot of good books.
Because of the posh university I attended, I first met McEwan many years ago, before I was published myself. I was nineteen, down from Cambridge for the holidays, and a girl I knew from college was going to Ian McEwan’s wedding party. This was a fairly normal occurrence for her, coming from the family she did, but I had never clapped eyes on a writer in my life. She invited me along, knowing what it would mean to me. That was an unforgettable evening. I was so delighted to be there and yet so rigid with fear I could barely enjoy it. It was a party full of people from my bookshelves come to life. I can recall being introduced to Martin Amis (whom I was busy plagiarizing at the time) and being shown his new baby. Meeting Martin Amis for me, at nineteen, was like meeting God. I said: “Nice baby.” This line, like all conversation, could not be rewritten. I remember feeling, like Joseph K., that the shame of it would outlive me.
I didn’t get to speak with McEwan that night—I spent most of the party hiding from him. I assumed he was a little annoyed to find a random undergraduate he did not know at his own wedding party. But I had just read Black Dogs (1992)—that brilliant, flinty little novel, bursting with big ideas—and I was fascinated by the idea of an English novelist writing such serious, metaphysical, almost European prose as this. He was not like Amis and he was not like Rushdie or Barnes or Ishiguro or Kureishi or any of the other English and quasi-English men I was reading at the time. He was the odd man out. “Apparently,” said my friend knowledgeably, as we watched McEwan swing his new wife around the dance floor, “he only writes fifteen words a day.” This was an unfortunate piece of information to give an aspiring writer. I was terribly susceptible to the power of example. If I heard Borges ran three miles every morning and did a headstand in a bucket of water before sitting down to write, I felt I must try this myself. The specter of the fifteen-word limit stayed with me a long time. Three years later I remember writing White Teeth and thinking that all my problems stemmed from the excess of words I felt compelled to write each day. Fifteen words a day! Why can’t you write just fifteen words a day?
Ten years later, less gullible and a writer myself, it occurs to me that my friend may have fictionalized the situation a little herself. An interview with McEwan himself, like the one you are about to read, was of course the perfect opportunity to settle the matter, but it’s only now, writing the introduction after the fact, that I remember the question. I do not know if Ian McEwan writes fifteen words a day. However, he was forthcoming on many other interesting matters. McEwan is one of those rare novelists who can speak with honest perspicacity about the experience of being a writer; it is a life he openly loves, and talking to him about it felt, to me, like talking with an author at the beginning of their career, not at its pinnacle. The fifteen-word thing may indeed be a red herring, but my friend had intuited a truth about McEwan: he is not a dilettante or even a natural, neither a fabulist nor a show-off. He is rather an artisan, always hard at work; refining, improving, engaged by and interested in every step in the process, like a scientist setting up a lab experiment.
We did this interview in McEwan’s house, which is Dr. Henry Perowne’s house in the novel Saturday (2005). It is a lovely Georgian townhouse that sits in the shadow of London’s BT Tower. From the balcony of this house Perowne sees a plane on a crash trajectory, its tail on fire. It is a perfect McEwanesque incident.
—Zadie Smit

A entrevista, propriamente dita, pode ser lida aqui, na The Believer.

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