Dyer interviewed on The Marketplace of Ideas.
“My parents’ view of the world was just too simple: it was suited to the Depression but not to the 1970s,” Geoff Dyer writes in “On Being an Only Child”, one of Otherwise Known as the Human Condition’s personal pieces. “I, on the other hand, had the contemporary idea that the world owed me a living.” As an only child myself, I suppose I can relate to that. I’ve long wanted to speak with him on this show, not just because he speaks for us only children — so I assume — but because he speaks for us fans of Tarkovsky, us dedicated listeners of ECM records, and us real-job-avoiders — again, so I assume. I met up with him on the weekend of the 2011 Los Angeles TImes Festival of books; we discussed these matters and others. (Other matters include achieving writerly independence of subjects, whether Susan Sontag knew everything or nothing, the perks of apoliticality, and how to defeat Pico Iyer at ping-pong.)