Geoff Dyer visited The New School yesterday to speak more about his works of fiction and nonfiction. "Nothing else cheers me or moves me more the way Geoff's writing does," said moderator Brenda Wineapple by way of introduction.
"All the best essays are a form of travel," said Dyer. "This could be a form of intellectual travel. It can be a journey of curiosity and ignorance and into a form of knowledge. To me, essays that start with a tone of the writer already knowing it all aren't as interesting as essays where the writer starts off not knowing, but by the end of the essay, learns so much."
Dyer related that this was his experience for his nonfiction work on jazz. He did not initially know much about the subject, and was often questioned as to his journalistic authority. "I had no credentials, except that I liked listening to it. If you want to learn about a subject, there's nothing like writing a book on it to get you up to speed."
Dyer is the author of four novels: Paris Trance, The Search, The Colour of Memory, and, most recently, Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi; two collections of essays, Anglo-English Attitudes and Working the Room; and five genre-defying titles: But Beautiful,The Missing of the Somme, Out of Sheer Rage, Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It and The Ongoing Moment.
A collection of essays from the last twenty years entitled Otherwise Known as the Human Condition was published in the US in April 2011 and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism.
His most recent book is Zona, about Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Stalker(published in the UK and the US in Spring 2012).
Moderated by Brenda Wineapple.