Monday, 5 April 2010

interview with crispin best, carried out in gchat

here is an 'interview' of crispin best. at times he asked me questions and i answered them. is it interesting?

me: i am about to start the interview


hi crispin

Crispin: hi there
8:43 PM
hi socrates

me: so what's your philosophy on life?

Crispin: my philosophy on life is 'everyone is a person and in some way they are trying their hardest'
8:44 PM
my philosophy changes every single day, this morning i went to the shop for milk and i said 'this is amazing'

yesterday i sat on a swivel chair and tried to make myself as small as possible and felt disappointed with myself
8:45 PM
isn't that great?

me: how do you cope with feelings of inadequacy and despair? (a lot of people suffer from these feelings)
8:46 PM
Crispin: i don't suppose i cope with them. generally i think 'it would be nice to have something to look forward to' and i envisage something i might be able to look forward to. for this reason i am glad i like sports, even though i know it is a waste of my life to watch sports
8:47 PM
me: what's better, football or cricket? and why?
8:48 PM
Crispin: i think football is better. the reason for this is that football is mroe of a 'soap opera' and a soap opera is a good thing because of something to do with narrative tropes and early experience of time passing, urgency, and death (also: pets). also the acrobatic and physical feats of football seem, on the face of it at least, more impressive than those of cricket. although i do enjoy cricket
8:49 PM
me: did you know that the shuttlecock is the fastest hit projectile of any racquet sport?
8:50 PM
Crispin: i had no idea. that is very interesting. what is 'jal-alai'? i think that is home to the fastest projectile in all sports.

"Unfortunately for Jai-Alai, Badminton has taken over the title, a shuttlecock has been recently clocked at 332 KM/H or 206 MPH."

that's a quote from an internet source

that i just found, after i tried to 'prove you wrong'
8:51 PM
me: tell me a bit about wewillallgosimultaneous. e.g - why you started it? why you keep it going? what you have on it etc
8:52 PM
Crispin: it's a blog. i started it because i got my first ever story accepted by an online publication, eyeshot, and i thought i should have a link to which people could be directed from that. i only realised much later on that eyeshot was actually quite a prestigious place to be published, and it's still one of the main places from which traffic comes to my site
8:53 PM
i started out putting writing and things on there, but i don't do that much any more, for no apparent reason. i feel bewildered answering this question. i don't know why i have a blog

me: sorry - i am trying to ask 'difficult questions'
8:54 PM
it's difficult

i don't know why i have my blog

maybe i do know, but i am embarrassed, scared to admit it


what sort of music do you like, crisp?
8:55 PM
Crispin: oh - what would be embarrassing?
8:56 PM
me: oh dear - looks like this is being turned back on me, the 'anonymous interviewer'

Crispin: i don't want to do that, i am sorry

me: well - i just want everyone to tell me how good everything i write is and that i am a great guy

that's mainly why i have the blog

Crispin: oh right, i see. it would be a good idea for you to get that great novel of yours published, though

me: and that seems embarrassing for me
8:57 PM
Crispin: that's not embarrassing, at all. everyone puts pictures of themself on the internet and wants to be called 'very handsome' etc

it's ~better than that, for sure

me: i feel that maybe it's something that shouldn't be admitted though?

don't know why
8:58 PM
it's not ok to admit that you want people to love you in a straightforward way?

Crispin: i think everyone admits that

me: oh

Crispin: i mean i am surprised you think it's embarrassing

me: maybe i am behind the times or something

Crispin: i thought you woere going to say something about teenage girls
8:59 PM
me: i am maybe a little oddly sensitive or austere

Crispin: you are austere

me: i am easily embarrassed i think

so what sort of writing do you like to read?

Crispin: you are not austere
9:00 PM
there isn't a sort

me: oh

Crispin: i am thinking very hard

me: what's your favourite book of all time


Crispin: sorry - i was thinking, that seemed dismissive

i am thinking very hard about what i like
9:01 PM
me: ok

i'll stop asking silly questions

i will qait


Crispin: i don't have a favourite book
9:02 PM
everything i want to say sounds utterly ridiculous: "i like things that seem themselves"

just as an example: your writing is good because i can't compare it to something else

and also it seems 'in line' with what i imagine to be important in writing

which is to do with newness and not being a scaredycat
9:03 PM
me: ha

i think that seems like a good answer

Crispin: also it's to do with engaging with what is happening somewhere recognisably 'irl'

well that's good - i am glad. i am reading lydia davis' collected stories currently and she seems really excellent

'incredibly strong writing' or whatever
9:04 PM
what are you reading recently?

me: oh man

i just read the easter parade

Crispin: i haven't read that
9:05 PM
me: by richard yates and then i read dazed and aroused by gavin james bower

the easter parade is among the best books i think i have written

Crispin: oh he is your pal

me: i mean



Crispin: yes

me: i didn't write it

did i?

Crispin: i was trying to figure out how to mention that

me: haha

Crispin: i think you didn't write the easter parade
9:06 PM
me: i think i know which books i have/haven't written crispin

Crispin: i am glad you have written a book

i am looking forward to the 'great british novel'

me: oh dear

it's not going so well

Crispin: 'great britain'


i am sure it will go fine
9:07 PM
me: let's get this interview back on track

Crispin: ok sorry

i am worried that i am in a dour mood

me: oh

do you want to stop

Crispin: so my answers are not fit for publication

me: i am really enjoying it

Crispin: haha

me: it seems excellent

Crispin: i am very happy, i just feel like a sourpuss

me: we are having an odd, 'academic discussion' of sorts

instead of saying
9:08 PM
great guy, babes, etc

Crispin: hah


i like it

when did books stop looking like that?

me: seems like a nice break every now and then

Crispin: bloody photography

ruined bookcovers

me: i know

Crispin: 'the bird room' i kept thinking "WHICH ONE IS THIS GIRL ON THE COVER MEANT TO BE?!?!?"

me: i totally agree
9:09 PM
Crispin: wouldn't have happened to yatesy

me: the edition i have has a picture of two girls on it

i mean


Crispin: cover designers are imagination perverts
9:10 PM
me: how do you feel rejection digest (your great new collection of incredible fiction) is going?
9:11 PM
Crispin: ahhh. close to our hearts. at first it seemed like a really brilliant idea, and i was so happy that we decided to do it.

'almost immediately' there were some comments on htmlgiant which seemed to totally dismiss the idea as being unoriginal, although there were some supportive comments too
9:12 PM
after that, i felt unsure of 'ourself' for a while

then we got into a good rhythm. it seems ok at the moment. i wish we had more submissions.
9:13 PM
me: i have felt oddly 'unstoppably positive' about the whole thing

Crispin: feel like i didn't need to say anything before the last line

i have noticed your unstoppable positivity

it's really good to see
9:14 PM
i think i am feeling a bit 'down' with writing in general. i feel unable to achieve anything i am proud of currently.

me: that's a real shame

Crispin: it's ok - it's my fault
9:15 PM
me: it's odd, it feels like your website is an incredibly exuberant celebration of culture and oddness, and it makes me feel as though the sensibilities you have indicate that you are a creative force that is 'inextinguishable'?
9:16 PM
Crispin: that's nice of you to say. i think ... actually what i was about to say starts to become hamfisted pop psychology very quickly...
9:17 PM
the important thing is i really do think everything is great, and that's why i can't write at the moment

i don't have any idea of what language can convey the thing i am trying to say

me: do you want to go away somewhere on a writing retreat where we discover a new way of writing?

Crispin: i like exuberance and effort and hope but i don't feel like 'hyperexuberant' language is right
9:18 PM
haha - but i think you are able to write well with the style you have

do you think you are 'ripping anyone off' ever?

is that a dangerous question/


me: no it's not dangerous

but the answer is going to be a bit 'poncy'
9:21 PM
when i write, i do it very quickly and it comes very naturally (if it's any good). i don't think about ripping anyone off. i don't think i am ripping anyone off. it feels like it is the only way i can write - it feels like it is just me and no-one else. i often feel like i am completely lost in a trance when i write the things that i am happiest with.

that is a terrible, garbled answer
9:22 PM
Crispin: that doesn't seem garbled at all

i wonder why you think that... that seems like a very true and enviable answer
9:23 PM
me: i just worry about everything

Crispin: haha - you shouldn't worry about that

like i said before, i think your writing seems to come from a recognisable but not obvious place, and that is one of the reasons i like it
9:24 PM
that answer is 'in line' with how i feel about it

so that's important.

when you said poncey i thought you were going to talk about ALL WRITING IS A TISSUE OF QUOTATIONS

or someshit

i'm glad you didn't say that

me: oh god
9:25 PM
i don't know enough to quote fro anything


Crispin: fro comb

me: way to 'ruin the interview' crisp

9:26 PM
Crispin: sorrry

me: it's quite hard work, thinking hard about yourself
9:27 PM
Crispin: yes. i wonder if i should do it more. or less. or if i do it the correct amount

it is 'not answerable'


me: i think that's right

Crispin: i ruined the interview again

me: nah

i think it's going 'exquisitely well'

Crispin: are you going to buy an 'ipad'?
9:28 PM
me: i think maybe i wish i was obsessed with wanting to do something that doesn't require any introspection. like winning masterchef or something

no - i am not going to buy an ipad

i don't have any money

Crispin: ok
9:29 PM
me: do you want to get one?

i wish i had one

Crispin: not at all

one of my main failings is that i basically 'hate' that sort of thing

everything that makes me think i am being encouraged to spend money

me: p.s this interview is going to cost you $300-$400
9:30 PM
Crispin: that's ok - i am charging it rejection digest's company card

me: on a serious note, shall we get a credit card for rejection digest?

i think we need one

Crispin: we do need an ipad actually

for 'market credibility'
9:31 PM
no-one will submit to us unless we have an ipad

me: if we had an ipad i think steve jobs might probably promote the website to everyone who wears black polo-necks and skinny jeans.
9:32 PM
Crispin: 'target audience'

me: haha

whenever i select a story i think about black polo-necks and skinny jeans

Crispin: have you ever worn a poloneck?
9:33 PM
me: yes

my dad bought me one when i was young

it looked ridiculous

it was a black polo neck

they are the "worst item of clothing anyone can wear"
9:34 PM
Crispin: i think certain kinds of 'puffy waistcoat' might be worse

i have a vivid image of someone in a poloneck and puffy wasitcoat now


9:35 PM
Crispin: intense douche

9:36 PM
he looks a lot like you, crisp

Crispin: oh wow - and the photographer definitely doesn't want anyone using any part of that picture without permission

me: i know

it's worth a huge amount of money, that photo
9:37 PM
Crispin: i have a pricey face

me: do you think that that is enough interview now?
9:38 PM
be back in 2 - 3 - 5 mins

Crispin: 4 hours!



Stephen O'Toole said...

i also think your writing is 'ace' and 'you' and 'new', socrates.

i have already used shuttlecock fact in conversation.

wish we knew what crispin best's best book was

chris killen said...

had to skim-read some of this as i am in a library with 'important' things to do. missed shuttlecock fact. take it you were referring to the shuttlecock being the 'all time slowest projectile in any racket sport and therefore the subject of innumerable jokes a/b slowness'?

all in all, great work.

i wish i had the internet at home.

Ben Brooks said...

very comprehensive interview

Giles Ruffer said...

Everything you write is good and you are both great guys.

rollerfink said...

in part two can you please ask crispin who has the best moustache out of England Dan and John Ford Coley? tell crispin he can click here if he doesn't remember what their moustaches look like

Anonymous said...

Hullo socomate

Its your pal annonymate again, i did like this chat! any news on the book?

PS: Who is stephen o'toole? his useage of 'single quotes' is possibly the most exciting and new thing i have read on the internet (of all places!) in 'quite some time'.



Socrates Adams-Florou said...

hi anonimo!
no news yet on the book! if you are so impressed by stephen , why not direct your queries to him instead of to me! almost seems like you are being deliberately mean or something!

from soco, the greatest guy of all time