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Good reads: Who is Terry Gross?

August 18th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Thumbing through this book I’m trying to find out who is Terry Gross? I know of her, but who is that woman behind the voice?

The introduction to her book “All I Did Was Ask” puts on the table a glimpse into her life – it’s a lot to offer for a person that calls herself “pathologically unforthcoming.”  Who knew that as a child she had dreamed of becoming a lyricist?

I’ve always admired her and the talent she has for interviewing people while listening to her radio show Fresh Air. For me it’s usually on during a jam packed snail-paced drive from Orange County to L.A. so I’ve learned to sit back and just listen. The way she poses questions, the way she takes a subject’s personal experience and strings together a meaningful conversation… it’s an art.

Recently an interview with composer John Cage re-aired after his long-time life partner Merce Cunninham died in July. (It was hearing this interview that was the impetus behind ordering the book.)

Cage had some really interesting food for thought and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. He said

“There’s a beautiful remark of Marcel Duchamp: To reach the impossibility of transferring from one like object to another the memory imprint. And I think the trouble with memory, both from a poetic point of view, is made clear too by the remark of René Char, the French poet, that each act is virgin even the repeated one, to see things as being new rather than things that we already know before we’re experiencing them. I think this is one of the things that leads to trouble between two people when someone says of another person, I knew what she would say or I knew what he would say. I would hope that we don’t get into that frame of mind with respect to one another, hmm?”

It’s really a good reminder to keep things fresh, especially as a reporter. So I’m looking to her for a little inspiration this week.

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