Think As You Read
Question 1: What are some of the positive views on interviews?
Answer: Despite its drawbacks, interview is an extremely serviceable medium. We get to know the most vivid expressions of our contemporaries through interview. More often that not, and interview veers towards informality and reveal various unknown sides of the personality of the interviewee which may remain hidden from the public through other channels.
Question 2: Why do most celebrity writers despise being interviewed?
Answer: Most celebrity writers view interview as an attempt of encroachment in their inner shelf. They feel that the interviewer analyses them through a microscope which can be quite uncomfortable for most of the celebrities.
Question 3: What is the belief in some primitive cultures about being photographed?
Answer: Some primitive cultures hold the belief that if someone is being photographed then a part of his sole is being stolen.
Question 4: What do you understand by the expression ‘thumbprints on his windpipe’ ?
Answer: Thumbprints on windpipe are inconsequential and ephemeral in nature because it has no significance and it is generally wiped off from the windpipe. According to Saul Bellow, interviews are inconsequential and ephemeral in nature. It has no lasting value yet it is an irritant the way thumbprints on windpipe, or on any other thing, can be.
Question 5: Who, in today’s world, is our chief source of information about personalities?
Understanding the Text
Question 1: Do you think Umberto Eco likes being interviewed? Give reasons for your opinion.
Answer: The way Umberto Eco is talking tells that he liked being interviewed.
Question 2: How does Eco find the time to write so much?
Answer: Eco appears to be a prolific writer who is primarily an academician and writes novels on Sundays. He enjoys being talkative through his writings. Even his academic writings are full of narration. That is why he does not need to find spare time for writing rather it has become a second nature for him. People think that Eco is doing several things but he thinks that he doing the same thing in his each writing. According to Eco, he is mainly into philosophy while writing anything.
Question 3: What was distinctive about Eco’s academic writing style?
Answer: Eco’s academic writing was all about semiotics (the study of signs), literary interpretation and medieval aesthetics. He loves to tell stories and believes that even academic writing should contain the story about process of research.
Question 4: Did Umberto Eco consider himself a novelist first or an academic scholar?
Answer: Umberto Eco considered himseld an academic scholar first.
Question 5: What is the reason for the huge success of the novel, The Name of the Rose?
Answer: Journalists and publishers believe that people want to read trash. But Eco believes that there is a section of readers which is interested in serious stuff. Although percentage of such people is minuscule in overall population yet the number can be huge in real terms. So, Eco’s novel became a huge success by just catering to the test of a minuscule portion of the total audience.