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The Interview – Andrew Weatherall

April 5, 2013 | by Faber Social

Tags: Andrew Weatherall, Faber archive

Like exquisitely evil Japanese inquisitors who tortured their victims in a beautiful zen garden, my interrogators allowed me a moment of sensory delight. Bracing myself against the grey steel shelving that stored the thoughts of a hundred poets, I took a lungful of air that only old books could perfume … (FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW)

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Like exquisitely evil Japanese inquisitors who tortured their victims in a beautiful zen garden, my interrogators allowed me a moment of sensory delight. Bracing myself against the grey steel shelving that stored the thoughts of a hundred poets, I took a lungful of air that only old books could perfume …

The aromatic reverie it induced came to an abrupt end as soon as I spotted the camera. Surely they weren’t going to film proceedings for posterity.

‘Your questioning will be recorded for training purposes if not purely for our own pleasure.’

I shall forgo the unpleasantries and gory details but it soon became painfully obvious that previous “training films” and and twisted pleasures had served these craftsmen well when they were but mere apprentices.

Experts they may have been and despite intense questioning under the bronzey gaze of Mr Eliot I think I acquitted myself reasonably well and as there’s little chance of me reviewing the tapes I’ll never know to the contrary.

Minutes after the camera had stopped rolling and I’d stopped shaking I was led past Mr Pound’s head in a bag and shown into the office of the man known as “The Commissioner”. He explained little but offered much. I blurted out a somewhat crass response.

‘So I get kudos by association and a trolley dash round the archives … I’m in.’

The blurt continued.

‘I can do something once a month. A lino cut, some music, short stories … reviews. It shouldn’t be a problem.’

‘That’s great. Thank you.’ said The Commissioner.

‘But we would have been happy with once or twice a year.’

It was then that I felt the all-too-familiar wet and warm sensation as the blood from the self-inflicted gunshot wound filled my boot.