Sunday, 15 July 2012


Not about the novels of C P Snow, which I have yet to read; but about an interview with him I found in an old issue of Review of English Literature (July 1962).  There's none of your Paxmanian preremptory rudenesses here!  It opens:
Sir Charles is a large man, of great presence, and a wholly natural and unforced dignity. The decisive nods of his massive head reinforce the habitual authority of his talk, which has an almost Johnsonian weight, as if everything he says has been long and deeply pondered.  Yet, though undeniably formidable, Sir Charles is not in the least forbidding. His manner is one of immense kindness and humanity; he is warm in his encouragement, generous in his praise; in conversation, though never unserious, he is always lively and often humorous.
The questions follow this same toadying manner ('Interviewer: Your work seems to me not only a very distinctive achievement but a very deliberate one...')  That's old school literary interviewing.

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