Today, I was driving in my car and had the occasion to listen to Michael Silverblatt interview Geoff Dyer on Bookworm. It was, as usual, an interesting bit of radio and Dyer had some very compelling things to say about writing and his new book Otherwise Known As The Human Condition.
So, that's out of the way.
It was also a perfect imitation of me doing an imitation of Michael Silverblatt. Except that it was Silverblatt himself doing an imitation of himself so well that Geoff Dyer finally said what so few authors ever say...which is, essentially: I have no fucking idea what you just said, so I'm going to just say "yes." This is an actual transcript of that moment (it happens about 8 minutes into the show if you wanna give it a listen):
Silverblatt: I am speaking with Geoff Dyer, who I consider to be possibly the best writer of...I won't say of novels and I won't say of essays, but of the strange inter-ground between them and because he, in a sense, unbuttons and allows the informality of the dissatisfied self to take the place of that vastly seniorial literary critic type who could only recite his dissatisfaction because this or that strayed from the tradition. With you it's very different.
Dyer:...yeah...I think this is one of those classic Silverblatt questions in that I'm not sure I have a response to it, other than to say thank you and yes, I agree. That is...there is...that is...there is...that's what's going on.
So, if I can, uhm, unbutton this, I believe Silverblatt at first attempted to give Dyer a compliment, that then devolved into, uh, let's see here, uhm, the strange inter-ground (and I have no idea what inter-ground means) between fiction and essays, which, uh, turned into some kind of psycho-sexual evaluation of Dyer as a man, as a literary critic, as...well, fuck. I have no idea what the fuck he's talking about. And when he says, "With you it's very different," I have no conception of what those words mean in the context of the other nonsensical string of words.
If anyone can actually tell me what the fuck Silverblatt was saying, I'll send you some kind of prize.