The chapter "Interview" by Christopher Silvester discusses the history and varying opinions of interviews in journalism. Silvester notes that interviews have become commonplace in journalism and that opinions about them range from being a source of truth and an art form to being an unwarranted intrusion into people's lives. He cites examples of famous authors, such as Lewis Carroll and Rudyard Kipling, who despised interviews, while others, like H.G. Wells and Saul Bellow, were more open to them despite finding them challenging.
The chapter then includes an excerpt from an interview with Umberto Eco, a renowned scholar and author. Eco discusses his varied interests, which he pursues through his academic work, novels, and even children's books. He also reveals a secret to his productivity - he works in the "empty spaces" of his life, such as waiting for an elevator, to write articles. Eco's non-fiction writing has a playful and personal quality to it, which he attributes to his approach of telling a story rather than just presenting facts.
The interview delves into Eco's experience of becoming famous for his novel "The Name of the Rose," which is a detective story that also delves into metaphysics, theology, and medieval history. Eco notes that he considers himself a university professor who writes novels on Sundays, but he acknowledges that his novels have a larger audience than his academic work. He also discusses the success of "The Name of the Rose" and how journalists and publishers often underestimate readers' desire for challenging reading experiences.
Overall, the chapter and interview highlight the varied opinions and experiences of interviews in journalism, as well as Eco's unique approach to his work and writing.