Interview with Richard Godwin, by Giulia Mastrantoni.
Good morning Richard and thank you for this opportunity. Wow! Wrong Crowd is even more striking than your previous novel. What’s the secret?
I am not sure there is one. Writing is a process. Melville wrote, ‘the only secret is there is no secret.’ There is no glass ceiling in writing.
Claude is a very peculiar character, a multifaceted man. He is, well, not exactly tall, but he is also overgoing a processus of change. He becomes more and more confident because of Maxine. But what’s the true reason of that? Does he want to deserve her? Is he willing to possess her? He certainly has a non conventional ideal of love.
He is obsessed because of his past, because of his conditioning and he loves beauty. An Art thief who loves beauty. And she is a work of Art in more ways than one.
I was stuck by Spike. He is the pal we’d all need, he hides corpses, he kills, he protects his friends. But he is sort of a traitor, don’t you think so? How do you feel about him?
He is a traitor and friend. He is a killer and a lover. Shaped by the streets, he is all of those things and more. Complexity is a key part of character in many ways.
Women have a central role. But none of them is able to steal the scene. Maxine is the only meaningful female figure and that’s because of her body: she’s sexy and she can seduce man, she is good in bed and she is always willing to have sex. What’s the role of sex in real life, in your opinion?
I think Freud was right. Sex is intregal to our pleasure and our morality and all those conditions imposed theoreon. It is part of our id and desire nature. Of course Reich was right also.
Fiction is halfway between reality and an invented world. What are the “real elements” that inspired you?
They are the line between moments. Like the one when you just spilled your coffee and saw your bank manager walk up your path.
Grigory has his own way of speaking. How did you make up such a stylistic choice?
I listened. To Russians.
Thank you for answering these questions and… we’re looking forward to your next novel!
Oh yes and thank you Guilia.