New Humanist Q&A →
New Humanist (“Ideas for Godless People”) has some questions for Robinson. She might have guaranteed herself a more receptive audience by speaking as harshly of bad religion here as she did when she spoke to Christianity Today. Robinson would seem to have nothing in common with Noam Chomsky, but they both have a habit of telling interviewers only what she thinks that audience needs,...
Marilynne Robinson Takes on Bad Science Writers →
This interview between Robinson and Christianity Today rocks. It’s so good I kept trying to pick one long quote and ended up with three. It’s worse than a bag of Twizzlers. I think it is true without question that the churches and religious culture in general have been deformed by a fear of science, and especially by deference toward bad science. They have more or less accepted the...
La cle des langues →
An interview between Robinson and a French literary journalist. (It was in France that she wrote at least some of Housekeeping, if memory serves.) The interview is translated, of course.
White Horse Inn Interview →
Marilynne Robinson talks to an evangelical Christian podcast, they ask good questions, she gives good answers, and everyone behaves nicely. If conservative Protestant radio always estimated so highly its audience’s intelligence, this would be a very different country.
Book Nook Interview →
Very brief chat between Robinson and a Dayton Daily News book blogger, Vick Mickunas. I am the son of a Daytonian and am glad to see they employ (or, at least, employed as of 2008) a book blogger.
World's Best Writer of Prose →
A wonderful 2008 (thus Home-era) interview from The Sunday Times. She gets excited about Obama, Willie Nelson, and her grandkid. She introduces the guy from the Times to her pastor, then, later, drinks beer with him while making fun of scientism. The only time I have ever been more envious of an interviewer was the time Tom Waits invited a music journalist to visit the junkyard with him.
The Epistolary Marilynne Robinson →
Really nice interview with Robinson by an employee from the famous indie bookstore Powells.
The Freedom of a Christian →
A whole hour of Robinsonian awesomeness, courtesy of something called the Lumen Christi Institute. She seems to be winging it, and is slightly halting in a few places, but the talk is still deeply worthwhile. Robinson shares with Toni Morrison the ability to create fully-formed paragraphs while speaking extemporaneously. At one point she makes a really wonderful comparison between the uses of the...
Good Book, Great Film →
Good piece by Jonathan Coe on the handful of good books that happened to also make good films. In the course of his argument, he gives quite a bit of detail about the Housekeeping film directed by highly-regarded Scottish filmmaker Bill Forsyth in 1987. Since Housekeeping has never been released on DVD, it’s a de facto rare film for those of us whose VHS players quit years ago, so I enjoyed...
A World of Beautiful Souls →
A nice interview with Perspectives Magazine from 2005, conducted by the very Rev. Scott Hoezee, and published by the good offices of the Reformed Church of America. (DIE, HERETICS!) It is striking to me that, from the point of view of theoretical physics, eternity is highly manageable as a concept, while time is a complete anomaly. I read articles about string theory, and the idea is that most...
Hysterical Scientism →
Should have gotten to this a long time ago: Robinson’s controversial review of Richard Dawkins’s intelligence-insulting The God Delusion. Some Dawkins fans have complained that the review doesn’t much deal with Dawkins’s central argument about the physiology of religious belief. This is true, but since that argument is so stunningly bad, and since its logical foundations...
‘Bookworm’ Interview →
Another Home-era interview, this time with KCRW’s Michael Silverblatt. (Note: there is a part two, which is also linked-to from the link found above.)
On Poe's 200th Birthday →
We told you she was a fan: Robinson celebrates Edgar Allan Poe’s bicentennial. (Obligatory “little-known” Poe factoids that every literary blogger must mention: Didja know he probably ate dinner with Thomas Jefferson? Didja know his biggest lifetime bestseller was a book about clams? Didja know he was really, really funny?)
The Bat Segundo Show #240: MR →
A fun podcast interview with Robinson by a fellow who calls himself Bat Segundo. This cat (I mean bat) researches his questions much more thoroughly than your average local-newspaper cub reporter just assigned to the Arts beat. Also, his name makes me think of a certain musical concrete poem.
How the greatest writer of the twentieth century liberated young Marilynne Robinson: Proust asserts and proves the primacy of aesthetics. The mysteries of apprehension and comprehension, destiny and will are all negotiated by him in aesthetic terms. By this he means to restore us to a kind of experiential innocence, as if we could be recalled to a time when language and memory, when our mind and...
Interview with Reform Magazine →
I’d never heard of this British publication before, but it seems very good, and Robinson is her usual fascinating self. Conscience, for example, is a major factor in societies of all kinds because of its relation to guilt and shame, pride, honour, duty and so on. It makes most people act well enough in most circumstances, in the terms of their particular culture. Science would be...
2005 Interview with Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly →
Here’s an earlier interview with “R&LNW.” I have a feeling that there has been a pressure away from seriousness in much modern thought, as if we could sort of scale reality down to a size that we are more comfortable dealing with. That might be a prejudice, but I feel that we have not come up to the standards of seriousness that others have reached at earlier moments. The...
2009 Interview with Bob Abernathy →
I like what she says here, talking to PBS’s “Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly,” about the relationship between belief and nonbelief: Atheism is such a longstanding tradition in Christian culture that I think it’s a necessary part of the conversation, and I have every kind of respect for somebody like Bertrand Russell or any considered atheist. I really think that to explore the...