Interview: Woody Allen

I love the classic narrative form in a play. I love it in the novel. I don’t enjoy novels that aren’t basically clear stories. To sit down with Balzac or Tolstoy is, in addition to all else, great entertainment. With a play, when the curtain goes up and people are in garbage cans, I know I may admire the idea cerebrally, but it won’t mean as much to me. I’ve seen Beckett, along with many lesser avant-gardists, and many contemporary plays, and I can say yes, that’s clever and deep but I don’t really care. But when I watch Chekhov or O’Neill—where it’s men and women in human, classic crises—that I like. I know that it’s very unfashionable to say at this time, but things based, for example, on “language”—the clever rhythms of speech—I really don’t care for. I want to hear people speaking plainly if at times poetically. When you see Death of a Salesman or A Streetcar Named Desire you’re interested in the people and you want to see what happens next.

From: The Paris Review

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