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Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Scandal of the Season

A friend called Sophie Gee's new novel, The Scandal of the Season, a "bodice-ripper." "Actually, it's a bodice-unlacer," I joked, as there's a funny seduction scene in the middle of the book. Maybe I didn't get that sexiness across in my introduction to the interview I did with Sophie Gee for the National Poetry Foundation website, which is now up online, because I was so focused on talking about mock-epics, but maybe that's also a way of saying that there's a lot going on in the book. It's a fun book, even if you aren't interested in eighteenth-century poetry.

I had such a great time talking with Sophie about her novel and about Alexander Pope. There's a funny part that I didn't get on the tape recorder about screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's apparent obsession with Alexander Pope--I've always wondered if there's any rhyme or reason as to why Pope's translation of Eloisa to Abelard shows up in multiple Kaufman scripts (the puppets in Being John Malkovich and the title of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the title of which is an excellent example of the genitive case that we discuss in the interview). There's no real answer to the question, but it's still interesting! I also had a nice time cutting the interview into something readable--though it's still quite long--it's funny to see what becomes important after multiple edits.

Also, I saw a musical theater production of The Rape of the Lock a couple of years ago--very Gilbert & Sullivan, in its own odd way.

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Blogger Xopo on Sun Dec 02, 09:06:00 PM:
I really enjoyed reading this, Alice! I enjoyed finding out about Gee and the story behind her novel as much as I enjoyed finding the traces of your own interests in your questions and the passages you shared with us--great interview!