Marvin Cohen

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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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