The article is titled, “Meet your neighbor, Thomas Pynchon.” He’s not exactly my neighbor, since he lives in New York City, but the article from the November 11, 1996 issue of New York Magazine is interesting nonetheless:
While scholars speculated that he had lost his mind, or taken to the road, the world’s most successful media fugitive, author of Gravity’s Rainbow, and The Crying of Lot 49, has been living quietly among us. A literary investigation.
From Irish Times, Colum McCann comments on his wonderful book, Let The Great World Spin, and other life matters. A brief exceprt:
Let The Great World Spin is an international, full-hearted and openly emotional novel that takes place largely in New York, and McCann agrees that the city is one of its major characters. He also agrees that, although he has lived there for so long (18 years), he still looks at it through the eyes of an emigrant. “I watch everything. An outsider always has an advantage.”
There are no answers in his novel. “I didn’t want to offer any, I think everything is open-ended. The events of 9/11 were shocking but you know, the New Yorkers are surprising. There was no anger, everyone was very calm. The most noticeable thing was in the stores, all the shelves where the eye wash stuff was usually kept were empty.. The real reaction came later, in Iraq. That’s when we saw the anger.”
Examples of my understanding of the definition of an elevator speech:
You’re a bright young businesswoman with credentials waiting for an elevator on the first floor and you’re on your way to the eleventh floor for an important meeting at a high class firm. The door opens, and as you step in, Warren Buffett appears behind you, enters the elevator, and pushes the button for the tenth floor. You’re the only two people in the elevator. He notices you and not only asks you what you do for a living but is interested in your career goals. The elevator starts to move. What you say is your elevator speech–and you’ve got a very short time to impress him.
Or…you’re an unpublished novelist and a similar situation occurs but this time it’s your favorite writer, one that you know has influence and helps new writers get in the door with major publishers. You introduce yourself and tell him you’ve written your first novel. He is gracious and then says, “What’s it about?” You’ve got maybe thirty seconds to knock his socks off.