Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Elmore Leonard speaks, 1984.

This interview with Elmore Leonard was part of the First Edition TV series on PBS station WNET cohosted by noted critic John Leonard (no relation) and Nancy Evans. In it, Elmore Leonard cites such diverse influences as Erich Maria Remarque, Ernest Hemingway, James M. Cain, and Mark Harris (Bang the Drum Slowly) and addresses his cross-genre works, his approach to dialogue, and the National Lampoon parody of his style.


Todd Mason said...

Good stuff from EL, and the hosts don't do so badly either, even if she is still trying to shake off the Genre Bug. Pity that the uploader seems to have lost a few minutes or perhaps only a minute or so, of EL's interview, and I wouldn't've minded hearing the rest of the show after the brief post-interview Part 3 the uploader also provides us.

But, then, so many of these programs, great through indifferent to pretty bad but possibly still valuable, are all so thoroughly lost, or kept in scraps. TV Ontario recycles a fair amount of what they have at hand, but given how things go, even people in other provinces often can barely catch any of those (given the privatization and cabling of the other provinces educational channels, TVO should just be a default national channel by now). I certainly miss BOOKMARK, Lewis Lapham's discussion series...and only wish BookTV had a wider remit.

Thanks, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

One thing John Leonard mentioned throughout his career (which you can hear via a panel on book reviewing with him, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Tanenhaus, and others that is in C-Span's Video Library) is his loathing of genre labels (I found a laudatory review by him of Sara Paretsky's _Writing in an Age of Silence_, which indicates that he was a big fan of V. I. Warshawski). He also seemed to enjoy quoting Theodore Sturgeon.

Todd Mason said...

I did like John Leonard consistently after I started reading and seeing his work...less the labels, I think, than the desire to pretend that the kind of fiction necessitates the quality of the fiction (versus some of its qualities).