on becoming a character

In 2002, during his visit to the Writers House, I interviewed novelist Michael Cunningham. Just today Jenny Lesser segmented the audio recording of that discussion into topics. You can listen to any of these segments, or all of them, by going here, and here is the list:

* introduction by Al Filreis (6:32)
* on the gap between the ideal and the actual creation (4:35)
* on youth, conventionality, creation and The Hours (3:43)
* on changing circumstances and Cunningham's Clarissa (4:38)
* on pacing ideas in writing (2:53)
* on first reading Virginia Woolf (7:18)
* on being defined as a gay writer (4:00)
* on writing from Virginia Woolf's point of view (3:55)
* on faith, doctors, and Virginia Woolf (6:34)
* on gay boyhoods and the numbness and separateness experienced by outsiders (7:10)
* on personal politics and becoming a character (5:15)
* on Golden States (5:50)
* who Cunningham thanks for The Hours (1:24)
* reading from At Home at the End of the World (3:26)

At some point during our conversation we talked about the making of the film version of The Hours. By the time of Cunningham's visit, the film was in process, or it had been made but not yet released. He spoke admiringly of the film's Clarissa--Meryl Streep--and talked about the thrill of having his own tiny role in the film (a friend Clarissa meets along a Greenwich Village street). Well, our favorite literary photographer, Lawrence Schwartzwald, was there at the moment, yes, and took the photo below of Cunningham and Streep. It was February 1, 2001, and the precise location was Bleecker and Charles.