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The Interview Summary, Questions, Answers 12th English

Flamingo - Chapter 7 The Interview - Christopher Silvester Summary, Glossary, Questions and Answers Summary -  The lesson," The Intervi...

Flamingo - Chapter 7

The Interview - Christopher Silvester

Summary, Glossary, Questions and Answers

Summary - 

The lesson," The Interview" is written by Christopher Silvester, a student of history at Peterhouse, Cambridge. He was a reporter for Private Eye for ten years and has written features for Vanity Fair. This lesson is an excerpt taken from his introduction to the " Penguin Book Of Interviews". The writer, being a reporter has interviewed many celebrities and despite its  Pros and Cons, believes that the interview is the highest form or source of truth and has become commonplace in journalism. This lesson is about interviews and what exactly celebrities feel about the interview, some feel pleasure and delighted to give the interview and some feel it is a horror experience and think that being interviewed is a kind of stealing act of their privacy. 

In the second part of the lesson, he reveals the interview of Umberto Eco by the interviewer, Mukund Padmanabhan from, " The Hindu". Eco gave a very friendly and logical interview where he opens his secret of writing, how wisely, he uses his free time to write, his identity, and tries to unfold the secret of the huge success of his novel, "The Name of the Rose'.

Glossary -

1. extravagant - spending much more time than necessary

2. intrusion - unwanted involvement

3. lionized - treated as a celebrity

4. acquaintances - contact

5. persistent - course of action despite difficulty

6. condemnatory - expressing strong disapproval

7. assault - make a physical attack on

8. vivid - producing clear images in the mind

9. unprecedented - never done or known before, unknown

10. semiotics- the study of signs

11. interstice - small space or gap

12. hypothesis - theory

13. dissertation - a long essay on a particular essay

14. delves - to search

15. theology - theory

16. cathedral - a very large building for Christian worship

Think as you read - 

1. What are some of the positive views on interviews?

Ans - The interviews are an important part of journalism and through interviews, people come to know about the struggles and achievements of the celebrities, it is believed a prime source of the truth but in practice, it is an art.

2. Why do most celebrity writers despise being interviewed?

Ans - Most celebrity writers despise being interviewed because they believe that it is an unwanted interruption into their personal lives, it shadowes their personality and it is as good as stealing the person's soul in connection V.S.Naipaul said," feels that some people are wounded by interviews and lose part themselves".

3. What is the belief in some primitive cultures about being photographed?

Ans - Some primitive cultures believe that if one takes a photographic portrait of someone then one is stealing that person's soul.

4. What do you understand by the expression," thumbprints on his windpipe"?

Ans - The meaning of, "thumbprints on his windpipe" is that a person loses his freedom whenever he is interviewed.

5. Who in today's world is our chief source of information about personalities?

Ans - Our chief source of information about personalities or celebrities is an interview in today's world because it is a supremely serviceable medium of communication.


1. Do you think Umberto Eco likes being interviewed? Give reasons for your opinion?

Ans - Yes, I think Umberto Eco likes being interviewed because he has given a very friendly, interesting, and logical interview to Mukund. He has almost answered all the questions made to him in a very jolly manner. He also shared his way of writing, his likes on T.V. how he uses his free time to write, and the secret behind the huge success of the novel, "The Name of the Rose".

2. How does Eco find the time to write so much?

Ans- Eco is a man of interstice, that is the time between two acts and he very well utilizes the interstices to write. He values his time and does not like to waste it. So whenever he gets free time, he starts writing. He manages his time in a very proper manner and that was the key to his success.

3. What was distinctive about Eco's academic writing style?

Ans - Normally before writing on any subject, writers do extensive research on the topic, make some conclusions, and then make a final draft of the subject, but on the contrary, Eco writes on his research even though it is a trial and error method and that too in a narrative style and readers get related with it and appreciate and this writing style makes Eco different and unique than others.

4. Did Umberto Eco consider himself a novelist first or an academic scholar? 

Ans - Umberto Eco always considered himself a university professor, part of an academic community, not a novelist. He did participate in academic conferences but not the meetings of writers. He was a professor, who writes novels on Sundays. He disliked being known as a novelist and always wanted to be known as an academic scholar.

5. What is the reason for the huge success of the novel, " The Name of the Rose"?

Ans - According to Eco, the success of the novel is a still mystery, but it may have been published in a suitable time. The novel, " The Name of the Rose" is a detective novel consisting of metaphysics, theology, and medieval history but he believed that the readers like difficult text, and that was the reason behind the success of the novel


1. Talk about any interview that you have watched on television or read in a newspaper. How did it add to your understanding of the celebrity, the interviewer, and the field of celebrity?

Ans - I always like to watch or read the interviews of different celebrities because, through the interview, we come to know about the struggle, inspiration, and achievements of the celebrities and in turn, we get inspiration to achieve something extraordinary in life. A few months ago, I came across an interview of an environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, by the British newspaper, " The Guardian" and after the insistence of the newspaper, she portrayed herself as sinking in the oil. Greta Thunberg has made the ultimate sacrifice for the Guardian. She's allowed us to turn her into a human oil spillage. The treacly black stuff is dripping from her hair, down her nose, past her cheeks onto her neck and shoulders - The Guardian.

I was literally shocked to read that article that just at the age of 18 years, she is ready to sacrifice anything that will save planet Earth from the disastrous effects of climate change, and people will become aware of it. I simply became her admirer and follower and decided to contribute my small and tiny efforts in the field of climate change. At the same time, I learned from her interview that it is very important to take initiative for a good and noble cause, Even, I wrote a blog post on it and I am glad to share its link.

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