Talking Literature with Great British Novelists

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.

  • 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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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.