Chuck Klosterman on Interviewing

Chuck Klosterman is a divisive writer, one whose opaque references to Mork and Mindy and Xavier McDaniel thrill some and confound others. I fall somewhere in the middle (like most, I suspect), thrilled 40% of the time, confounded another 40%, and generally appeased for the remaining 20%. Chuck’s got a new book, and here he talks about interviewing with the Washington Post:

I had 45 minutes with [Britney Spears]. The assumption is that you can’t do a good piece with that limited access…[but if] you want to ask questions that change or amplify or improve the way someone would experience [her] art, forty-five minutes is more than enough time. [Journalists assume that], if you spend a week with someone, you’ll pick up on details of their life. But no one is ever going to act like themselves around a journalist. If somebody spent a month with me and wanted to write a story about me, I wouldn’t be myself.*

More (surprisingly) good stuff, if you click through. It’s brief, I promise.

*That involved a lot of bracketing.

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