- E.B. White interviewed in the Fall 1969 issue of The Paris Review.
The interview is great — great in the wish-I-could-just-copy-and-paste-the-full-transcript-on-my-blog-without-violating-copyright sense of the word. Somehow, since the world is apparently a vastly less stingy place than we ever imagined it to be, the whole interview and every other Paris Review interview ever is free and legal on TPR’s site.
The White quote above is not the interview’s best. But for some of us, it’s a kind of secret handshake. What I mean is that I didn’t read this interview. I found the interview on TPR’s site, saved the interview with Instapaper, moved it to my Kindle, plugged in some headphones, turned on the Kindle’s text-to-speech feature, wiggled the Kindle into a pocket better suited to an iPod, and jogged down to the beach with my dog while the Kindle’s robot voice read me White’s wisdom and really just made me smile and soar as I ran toward the setting sun.
I doubt I would have sat still to ever read the interview. That’s my huge loss. Rather, it would have been.
For the “restless” White, who “would rather sail a boat than crack a book,” I wonder if it would have changed anything to live in our age when it’s no longer true that “to read, one must sit down, usually indoors.”