Marvin Cohen talks about his book The Inconvenience of Living.
Walter James Milller opens by saying the distinctive brevity of the parable and fable “make criticism look ridiculous” since any analysis becomes longer and less focused than the original. As an alternative, he invites Cohen to read three selections from the book.
Cohen reads “The Inconvenience of Living,” “Quiet, Confusion at Work,” and “An Amicable Solution.”
Cohen says his fables originate with a paradoxical thought, “some half-baked concept which is not complete and which writing would complete.” He tries out many ideas which simply don’t work. There is “craziness” in his stories, too, like when political principles are taken out of all proportion. Miller notes that Cohen’s newest title is from Urizen Books, an employee-owned firm that shares its profits with its authors. Cohen describes the firm’s founders.
Cohen says his newest works include “novellas of varying length,” adding, “I’m learning, somehow, the joy of sustaining a plot.” The two joke about Miller’s newest work, The Annotated Jules Verne, with Cohen making a plug for the book.
Miller ends by reading from several reviews of Cohen’s work.
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