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Comment: Condition: Excellent condition., Binding: Trade Paperback. / Publisher: University Press of Mississippi / Pub. Date: 1993; c1993 Attributes: 254pp / Stock#: 2022472 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
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Conversations with Paul Bowles (Literary Conversations) Paperback – November 1, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0878056507 ISBN-10: 0878056505

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Product Details

  • Series: Literary Conversations
  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (November 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878056505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878056507
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,302,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Interest in the work of Paul Bowles and in the man himself does not appear to be appreciably declining. Caponi undertakes one further attempt to satiate readers' appetite with a collection of interviews dating from the early 1950s to as recently as 1990. The redundant aspect of repeated interviews with the same subject is tempered by Bowles' capacity over the years to give distinctively different responses to similar questions. His great regard for language crops up again and again, along with fascinating insights into such facets of Moroccan culture as dance cults and magic spirits. Perhaps Bowles' mesmerizing conversational dexterity is the one constant here. Set to follow this book is Caponi's next, titled Paul Bowles: Romantic Savage. Scheduled for publication in 1994, it certainly sounds provocative enough for any Bowles fan. Alice Joyce --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By p.j.murray@open.ac.uk on February 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
Caponi's collection of interviews, spanning several decades up to the early 1990's is a must for all real fans of Paul Bowles work, and an intriguing introduction to his life, work and influences for those who know little about him. As with any such collection of interviews, there is bound to be much repetition - different interviewers ask often essentially the same questions, while Bowles gives (more or less) the same answers. However, even for someone like myself, who thinks they know quite a bit about the man and his work (and maintains one of the Paul Bowles pages on the Web -
Many of the interviews touch on many of the other literary figures Bowles has known - Tennessee Williams is a frequent topic of conversation, as are William Burroughs and the other beat writers, and their time spent in Tangiers. It becomes very evident from the few interviews that dwell on the subject that Bowles is not going to talk much about his late wife, Jane. His hatred for the biography 'An invisible spectator' comes through clearly in several places, but I found it intriguing that his preferred biographer (if he had to make a reluctant choice) would be Millicent Dillon, author of the biography of Jane Bowles.
Altogether a very worthwhile read for anyone with any interest in Paul Bowles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gustave O. Frey on June 3, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Though some of the topics in these interviews are repeated, overall they provide entertaining reading about Bowles, Tangier and his world. If you are not familiar with Bowles, I'd read Michelle Green's "The Dream at the End of the World" first, as it gives a fascinating and very well-written account of the expatriote community in Tangier, of which Bowles seems to have been the unelected president, or should we say sultan.

I don't regard Bowles as much of a fiction writer. (Apparently, he never got de-kiffed enough to see how sophomoric much of it is.) However, he is a very good conversationalist, as well as travel, or adventure, writer. (See "Without Stopping" and "Their Heads are Green and Their Hands are Blue.")

Edith Wharton's "In Morocco" is a great primer for the cultural backdrop in which Bowles lived and thrived and, like Bowles, she documents people, places and things very well. (If you like Bowles, you'll love her.)

Especially considering the current crisis between Islam and the West, it is important to read about the other guys without having to demonize them all the time. Bowles has an affinity for "the other guys" that is very refreshing. Yes, the North Africans are somewhat unreasonable, but then who isn't? And, is there a connection between Spain having the lowest confidence in President Bush's abilities (7%) and its proximity to, and long, troubled relations with, North Africa? Did you know that 90% of Morocco's Moslems were, at the time of Bowles' writing, not really Arabs, but Berbers, with a very different (and, from other Islamic pov's, unacceptable) approach to the religion? No?! Then read the book. (I had no idea.) If you want schisms, you got schisms.
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Format: Paperback
Paul Bowles' long and almost unbelievable life was bookended by recognition. Early on his best selling novels, including "The Sheltering Sky," not to mention his reputation as a composer of stage and screen scores, set him nearly in the middle of the cultural elité of his day. This book of interviews spanning more than 40 years parallels Bowles' own variegated experiences. Sandwiched between its covers sits countless tales of intrigue, loss and a subtheme of resigned acquiescence. As each conversation flutters by, a life philosophy of "it is what it is" gradually emerges. Bowles apparently believed, at least by the end of his life, that he followed the path that he had to. All along the way he claims he never planned or thought too much of consequences. This allowed him to run away from home (his family apparently searched for his body in the east river), visit eminent cultural figures (he would sometimes just show up at their doors), shaft Prokofiev, and more or less wander and do what he pleased. His life does seem like a series of evolving accidents that happened to occur in distant lands. But once the 1960s come around, and they do early in this book, Bowles' resting place and consistent interview locale is Morocco. By the end of the book readers will have heard 1,001 times that Gertrude Stein recommended Morocco to a young Bowles and that he arrived there with Aaron Copland in the 1930s. He never really left.

Another facet that emerges from the interviews are the attitudes of the interviewers themselves. Though Bowles is nearly always lucid and interesting, the very best interviews feature a dynamic and poignant questioner. The 1975 interview with Daniel Halpern stands out in this respect.
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