Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Proust Interview

Every month Vanity Fair asks a celebrity a series of questions known as the Proust Interview.  The questions are general and can be answered (perhaps differently) at various stages of life.  Here is a link:  to the web site

Imagine my surprise during Bouchercon, the mega-mystery writing and fan convention recently in San Francisco, when best-seller Lee Child was asked questions from the Proust Questionnaire during an interview.  His answers were flip and irreverent and it is galling that I can't find anything relating to the SUBSTANCE of the interview on the web.  There are a gazillion posts about Bouchercon and Lee Child, who threw a Reacher Creature Party on Friday.  But zilch, nada, nothing about the interview.  Rats!  

I was too jet-lagged and wine-soaked to go to the party.  In fact the entire convention passed in a kind of blur.  But San Francisco is a lovely town and we strafed through the City Lights Bookstore, a clean, well-lighted place that Proust would have loved.  We also attended a San Francisco noir event, at which I was even more jet-lagged.  I need to think seriously about arriving en site one day earlier than planned to catch up on sleep.  Eschew wine.  Take brisk walks.  Whatever. 

The most fruitful day was the first where Elizabeth Lyons gave a writing/editing session, and I learned so much.  I was also taking an online class on writing The First Five Pages of the novel.  And we had company and had to do a major house cleaning and other stuff and now I wonder how I stayed awake at all.  

We arrived during the week of San Francisco's "summer," of  beautiful sunny weather.  Stayed not at the convention hotel but at Land's End, on the other side of town, a long but cheap bus ride down Geary Street.  The Seal Rock Inn is situated at a scenic point and has the fame of Hunter Thompson having written one of his book's there.  We like it because of the location, the fact that you get a large suite with a fridge, and free Wi-Fi.  And the bus.  And the restaurant that serves big breakfasts reasonably.  And the funk.  The Grand Hotel at Balbec, it ain't. 

I am reading Proust again, and the Verdurin's party is almost as long as the Guermantes, but more interesting with Cottard, Charlus, the Verdurins, the couple you love to hate, and a cast of many.  Proust is a big change from Janet Evanovich and Jacqueline Winspear, two writers I read on my Kindle during the long flights.  A Kindle is wonderful to load up a bunch of books to go.  No heavy piles of paper, just the little device with it's recharging cord, of course.  

If I ever find out more about Lee Child's answers to the Proust questionnaire, I'll  post.  In the meantime, I'm still catching up on my sleep.

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