woolf joyce

Image via Wikimedia Commons

For decades, the BBC has interviewed legendary British novelists, asking them how they create their memorable characters, paint their evocative settings with words, and develop plots that keep us turning pages. Now, these audio interviews appear online in a collection called In Their  Own Words. The archive takes you back to 1937, to a conversation with Virginia Woolf, then moves you forward to interviews with Aldous Huxley, JRR Tolkien, Doris Lessing, Martin Amis, VS Naipaul, and Salman Rushdie, to name just a few. These recordings sit nicely alongside a giant archive of literary interviews recently published online by The Paris Review. (More on that here.) So, if you want to get into the “how” of literature, you can now tap instantly into the collective wisdom of the literary greats.

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  • Ben says:

    This is great! Unfortunately the Woolf video was removed for copyright reasons. The Huxley interview is interesting – among other things, he recommends that artists (and professors!) use drugs to expand their minds.

  • Dan Colman says:

    That’s weird. I could swear that I listened to the Woolf audio just yesterday.


  • These videos are not available in “my area” (I live in Chile, South America). In my understanding, this is not “Open (free) Culture”. It’s a pity.

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