This is the 23rd episode of the Kelly Writers House podcast series, produced by me, hosted and introduced by Amaris Cuchanski, edited down to 23 minutes from the original hour-plus-long recording by Nick DeFina. The podcast features excerpts from a discussion with the writer of experimental metafiction, Robert Coover. I moderated the interview/discussion at the Writers House on February 24, 2009. Coover was visiting as part of a three-day stint sponsored by Kelly Writers House Fellows. He had given a reading the night before.
Back in 2009 I had the honor of interviewing experimental novelist Robert Coover before an audience of some 70 people and another 30 or so who were watching via webcast. I had read Coover's novels and tales over the years but this occasion culminated six weeks of intensive reading and discussion of most of his works, one after the other. What a writer! The hour-long interview has been edited down to twenty minutes and here then is that abridgment: MP3.
From Robert Coover’s "The End of Books" (June 21, 1992, NYT):
As Carolyn Guyer and Martha Petry put it in the opening “directions” to their hypertext fiction "Izme Pass," which was published (if "published" is the word) on a disk included in the spring 1991 issue of the magazine Writing on the Edge: “This is a new kind of fiction, and a new kind of reading. The form of the text is rhythmic, looping on itself in patterns and layers that gradually accrete meaning, just as the passage of time and events does in one's lifetime. Trying the textlinks embedded within the work will bring the narrative together in new configurations, fluid constellations formed by the path of your interest. The difference between reading hyperfiction and reading traditional printed fiction may be the difference between sailing the islands and standing on the dock watching the sea. One is not necessarily better than the other.”