Monday, January 22, 2007

Norman Corwin Interviewed

"I believe the announcement of the utter extinction of Carl Sandburg, beyond hope of rescue or resurrection, should be taken with a grain of salt: and I would recommend to the undertakers of academe that each of them take a few grains of Valium before delivering a funeral oration over any corpus of serious writing whose ink has hardly dried." -Norman Corwin

Los Angeles, California January 16, 2007

In May of 2007, Norman Corwin will turn 97 years old. His life is filled with more stories, adventures and accomplishments than perhaps anyone else we've interviewed for the Carl Sandburg documentary (see his bio link above). He was one of Sandburg's best friends and the poet thought of him as a Son.

The interview was conducted in his pleasant home in Los Angeles, amid shelves of books and ephemera collected through his lifetime. This longtime radio, book, stage and screenwriter told us stories about Ed Murrow, Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Miller and of course Sandburg. But there were more than anecdotes from Corwin about Sandburg. Corwin has written numerous articles defending the lambasting that Sandburg's literary reputation has taken over the years.

Backed by his significant reputation as a landmark communicator of the 20th Century, Mr. Corwin's thoughts on the lasting value of Sandburg challenge many of the harsher critic's views. From the war poems of Sandburg to his children's stories to "The People, Yes" Corwin gave credit to Sandburg's voice as a primary influence on his own accomplishments. The time I spent with Mr. Corwin has boosted my optimism that this film is evolving into one that can not only force the re-thinking Sandburg, but perhaps a fair bit more than that.

Director Paul Bonesteel talks with Norman Corwin, Photo by Evan Schafer

1 comment:

John Weber said...

I am the webmaster for Norman's site. Thank you for posting this excerpt of your interview with him. I have placed a mention of this interview, and a link on the news page of the site.