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The Madness of Art
Interviews with Poets and Writers

Robert Phillips

Cloth $29.95    |    0-8156-0783-0    |   2003

Insightful interviews with eight masters of contemporary fiction and poetry featuring previously uncollected interviews with William Goyen, Philip Larkin, Joyce Carol Oates, Karl Shapiro, William Jay Smith, Elizabeth Spencer, William Styron, and Marya Zaturenska.

"Robert Phillips has done a superb job. . . I am filled with admiration for his knowledge, and for his ability to manage the moment."
dashFrederick Busch

Robert Phillips's conversational yet penetrating approach yields self-assessments that read like new essays by the writers themselves. Conducted over the course of twenty years, many of these pieces were first published in the Paris Review. Taken from a passage by Henry James, the title speaks to the "madness" that drives our greatest works of creativity. Phillips's interviews bring out this "madness" in its most important sense: the writers are seers and visionaries, whose works inspire us beyond the limits of reason. The conversations recorded in The Madness of Art attain that same level of inspiration and power.

Phillips questions his interviewees about their work methods, daily lives, influences, sources of inspiration, relationship to other literary figures, response to critics, choice of genre, audience, and reasons for writing.

6 x 9, 395 240 pages, 8 photographs, bibliography, index

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