“You get the politics that you deserve.” Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Richard Ford here speaks bluntly of the interplay between politicians and the public in America, arguing that people can only blame themselves for being lied to by politicians.
Ford claims that it is because we are also hypocrites that politicians seek to obscure the truth – out of fear of having to take any responsibility, which they might then be held to by the public: “We ask them to lie to us, so that we will be happily lied to. So it’s not the politicians’ fault alone.”
“When the truth is one thing, and the utterance is another thing, then you have the basis for comedy, of irony.” Ford writes about politics not only in his novels but also in European newspapers – but never in American newspapers: “In America, people who do what I do, namely write novels, are basically irrelevant and thought to be untutored in the ways of politics. Nobody asks us to write anything… nobody cares what we think.”
Richard Ford (b. 1944) is an American novelist and short story writer. Among his best-known works are his short story collection ‘Rock Springs’ (1987), the novel ‘Canada’ (2012) as well as the novel ‘The Sportswriter’ (1986) (proclaimed by Time Magazine to be one of the 100 best novels written in English) and its sequels ‘Independence Day’ (1995), ‘The Lay of the Land’ (2006) and ‘Let Me Be Frank With You’ (finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction – 2014), all featuring Frank Bascombe. Ford is the recipient of several prestigious awards such as the 2013 Prix Femina Étranger (for ‘Canada’), 2001 PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in short fiction, the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award (for ‘Independence Day’) and the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (for ‘Independence Day’).
Richard Ford was interviewed by Synne Rifbjerg in connection to the Louisiana Literature festival at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark in August 2015.
Camera: Jakob Solbakken
Edited by: Klaus Elmer
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2016