Radio France for North America Interview with James T. Farrell

Tuesday, May 27, 1952

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Interview with James T. Farrell, author of the the famous Depression era trilogy featuring Studs Lonigan.

Farrell explains he is in France as an American delegate to the festival of arts called, "Masterpieces of the 20th Century." He discusses his speech to the festival. Emphasized ideals of reason and enlightenment. Notes the creative capacity in all people and the writer is not separate from people. He gives expression to people. The writer works out what comes and goes in the minds of people. Quotes Rimbaud. The rebel artist and rebel poet. Sometimes people too feel alienated. Rebel artist gives expression to common feelings too. Refers to Sherwood Anderson's book about growing up in a country town in Ohio. If the feelings of a boy in a small Ohio town are important then perhaps my own emotions are important and I used this to emphasize that culture makes life meaningful. This is why we write. "The best conditions for writing are conditions of freedom. And thinking of this we must think not only of the writer, we must think of the audience. I mention in passing that with that we have in America a commercial culture in which we have many moving pictures, many television programs and so on, which are false, which are banal, which present false images of human beings. And that we must recognize and criticize it, but we must not be afraid of it. We must not be afraid of new means of communication. We must not be afraid of the new arts. We must master it.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 8441


James T. Farrell


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