CBSE Class 12 English - The Interview 

About the Poet: He has written for several newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian, the Observer, GQ and Vanity Fair. He is also the editor of the Penguin Book of Interviews: An Anthology from 1859 to the present day.

The theme of the poem:

  • The chapter talks about the new invention in journalism that is the Interview. It broadly discusses how different people/celebrities have multiple views about the interview and what it does to their personality and being.


Interview, according to Christopher had different functions and advantages. Some people find it a source of truth and a medium through which the questions of the general public are answered whereas some people claim it as an unwarranted intrusion into their lives. The author has enlisted the writers who despise interviews like S. Naipaul who feels that ‘some people are wounded by interviews and lose a part of themselves.’ For Lewis Carroll, it is ‘a just horror of the interviewer’ and therefore refrained from it. Rudyard Kipling says that it's immoral, a crime, an assault that merits punishment’. H.G. Wells claimed to interview to be an ‘ordeal’. Saul Bellow describes it ‘like thumbprints on his windpipe.

‘He says that as an interviewer people are comfortable but being an interviewee is disturbing and diminishing. However, an interview ‘is a serviceable medium communication’. In the second part, he mentions the extract from the interview taken by Mukund Padmanabhan from ‘The Hindu’ of Umberto Eco who is an author of the very popular novel  ‘Name of Rose’,  during which he asks him about his versatility in writing.

However, Umberto replies that though people might think that he creates a different literary piece every time but in reality, he simply does the same thing again and again which is simply that he pursues his philosophical interests through his writings.

He tells that he tries to fill the empty spaces which he calls Interstices to his advantage and make use of them. He also writes that it is difficult to trace the success of a novel because it may have different responses in different times and era, as he himself admits, had the novel come 10 years later or earlier, the novel would not have got such success.