Flamingo The Interview - Revision Notes

CBSE Class 12 English Core
Revision Notes
Flamingo Chapter-7

The interview


  • The Interview has become a commonplace of journalism. Opinions on the functions, methods and merits of Interview vary considerably.
  • Some claim it to be the highest form, a source of truth and in its practice an art.
  • Some despise the interview as an unwarranted intrusion into lives, which diminishes their personality.
    • V.S. Naipaul feels that ‘some people are wounded by interviews and lose a part of them selves’.
    • Lewis Carroll never consented to be interviewed for he believed it to be ‘a just horror of the interviewer’.
    • Rudyard Kipling considered it ‘immoral, a crime, an assault that merits punishment’.
    • H.G. Wells referred interviewing to be an ‘ordeal’.
    • Saul Bellow describes it ‘like thumbprints on his windpipe’.
  • Despite the drawbacks interview is a supremely serviceable medium of communication. Interviews are the most vivid impression of our contemporaries and the interviewer holds a position of unprecedented power and influence.


  • An extract from an interview of Umberto Eco interviewed by Mukund Padmanabhan.
  • Umberto Eco was a professor with a formidable reputation as a scholar for his ideas on Semiotics, literary interpretation and medieval aesthetics before he turned into writing literary fiction. He attained intellectual superstardom with his publication “The Name of the Rose”.
  • In the interview Eco shares his idea of empty spaces in our lives just as they exist in an atom, which he calls Interstices. He says that he makes use of these empty spaces to work.
  • Eco’s essays were scholarly and narrative. He likes to be identified more as a university professor who writes novels.
  • Eco’s ‘The Name of the Rose”, a serious novel, which delves into metaphysics, theology and medieval history, enjoyed a mass audience. It dealt with medieval past. He feels that the novel wouldn’t have been so well received had it been written ten years earlier or later.