The other day I was watching an interview with Peter Carey on BBC News following the Australian apology to Aborigines. I suspect BBC anticipated an in-depth interview about Australian identity and a smart post-colonial take on Australian history. Instead they got themselves a cagey author who was possibly the worst interviewee I have seen in a long time. Carey didn't answer his questions, he rejected the interviewer's research, he contradicted himself constantly and, let's be frank, he came across as insufferable and self-indulgent. An absolute train-wreck of an interview.
In the wake of Peter Carey being interviewed, I sat wondering about writers and language. I always thought that if you were the Peter Carey sort of writer - i.e. acclaimed, award-winning, Booker darling, taught in universities - you would have a natural affinity for language whether spoken or written. You would effortlessly construct arguments using precise, yet beautiful language. Or am I sorely mistaken? Are writers like Peter Carey (and Martin Amis and Graham Swift and Alan Hollinghurst etc) like me? When speaking, I am still an able communicator but I feel most at ease with language when I am typing away.
Gosh, maybe writers are really just like you and me! But with an agent and a publishing deal and a NYC penthouse, of course.
In unrelated news: I do not miss living in a country which expels people without a trial. I have been asked to highlight a Facebook group for Danes protesting the lack of trial. Go join. Or write indignant letters to your local MP.