NYRB: PL User’s Manual (Interview)

NYRB: PL User’s Manual (Interview)

NYRB: Hi, I’m the New York Review of Books, and I’m joined today by Bartleby Willard and Amble Whistletown, author and editor of Pure Love & User’s Manual. Gentlemen.

Bartleby: Hello!

Amble: Yes!

Amble: Is this really the New York Review of Books?

Bartleby: No! No one reads us. Why would the New York Review of Books get involved.

Amble: To be nice? Do they take charity cases. Do you (to the NYRB) take charity cases?

NYRB: No. This is just pretend. It’s you guys talking to you guys.

Amble: Oh!

Bartleby: Like always.

Amble: Yeah, but I got my hopes up.

Bartleby: Well, leave them on the ground for the moment. (to the NYRB) Ask us some questions!

Amble: Yes, please! Ask us something hard-hitting — so that we squirm in our seats.

NYRB: Very well. How’s the book coming along?

Bartleby: Ow!

Amble: Wow! I wanted a tough question; not a slaughter!

Bartleby: The book is, um.

Amble: Yeah, definitely! It’s, um.

Bartleby: Well, we’ve finished several versions.

Amble: Yeah, and we just finished a read-through with many edits of the first section.

Bartleby: That’s the main section. The rest is replays.

Amble: I don’t know why we didn’t past that most recent read-through.

Bartleby: We were going to go over it once more, but then we didn’t.

Amble: Tomorrow!

Bartleby: Yes, let’s!

NYRB: Great. And then when you publish that most recent version, would you advise people to read it?

Bartleby: Mmmm.

Amble: I dunno.

Bartleby: There’s been disappointments with some of the previous version.

Amble: Yeah, we’ll think we’ve done a pretty good job, and then we read it, and it’s boring.

Bartleby: Yeah.

NYRB: It’s for that reason that most authors don’t publish a book until they are certain it is ready to be read by other people.

Amble: Well, I mean, you’re talking about authors with audiences.

Bartleby: Exactly! Authors with a public. We don’t have that.

Amble: Nope.

NYRB: Pure Love & User’s Manual is unique because it claims to be both Pure Love and a user’s manual for using Pure Love. Tell me, how can a book be Pure Love?

Amble: That’s part of our dilemma.

Bartleby: Our system is we have a notion and then we just go for it.

Amble: We thunder after it.

Bartleby: Right. We chase it while tumbling and flailing about!

Amble: Grrr!

Bartleby: We’re still chasing this one. How can a book be Pure Love? How can a user’s manual for Pure Love also be Pure Love?

Amble: The riddle haunts us.

Bartleby: It beckons!

NYRB: Tell me what you have so far.

[Amble: let’s finish this later]

[Bartleby: Listen: We’ll re-finish the book tomorrow and then do the interview; when it’s fresh in our heads.]


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