How to interview a scholar? I still don’t understand

Preparing an interview for an academic topic requires the courage and brainpower to accumulate too much new knowledge, and I will always be interrupted by some unresolved questions.

These days, this kind of embarrassment has circulated back into my head, slowing down the progress that I was not too optimistic. For example, before interviewing this scholar, there was no or very little involvement in the field of entry monographs. The scholar’s research makes objective judgments; he/she has already received a series of media interviews, and has made relatively detailed answers to his own research. It is more difficult to break through to the depths; the field is relatively niche, and readers may not be curious. The scholar himself is an excellent public writer who sums up his/her academic and life with his own ability, almost destined to lead to an intellectual impairment; and so on.

The biggest distress is the unequal level of intelligence. This is one of the biggest attractions of this type of topic. I once thought that every time you make an academic topic, you can have a basic understanding of a field and talk to outstanding scholars in the field to answer your questions in a timely manner. How good.

Most of the academic topics I have done are not time-sensitive, and I don’t need to complete the sprint in a short time. If I can plan well, an interview can be prepared in two or three weeks. This is actually a luxury. But turning open the academic writings in the new field, the intellectual dimension reduction strikes will be frustrating. I tend to put the books away softly, and after a few days (or longer) I will repent for not reading the teeth before.

The scholar I interviewed for the first time was Jiang Weishui. He mainly studied modern Chinese and Western poetry and classical poetry. After the editor Jianping arranged this topic, I delayed the excuse of graduation for two or three months, and finally found that the interview time was actually more than ten days later. Fortunately, he is not a book, etc., I have grasped his research context, and scattered a bunch of questions.

On the high-speed rail, Jiang weak water suddenly sent a message: Have you arrived in Hangzhou? Let’s interview today, you can travel to West Lake tomorrow!

I swallowed bitter water to catch his kindness, and I will outline the four pages in a hurry and send it to Jianping. Jianping quickly responded: these questions are not asked. I also sent a few articles from past scholars for my reference. I noticed that I have raised a lot of problems that are too thin and lacking in extensibility, satisfying my personal curiosity about a small point in the study, but not having the publicity for readers.

How to find publicity? I am very reluctant. “How should ordinary people read history?” “How should ordinary people read poetry?” Such a lazy sentence that everyone can ask and answer, and learn to avoid some self-entertainment problems, but how to balance, I I haven’t figured it out yet.

This spring, I interviewed Jing Kaixuan, an Eastern European literary researcher. This time, I started (slowly) two months in advance to read books related to history and literature in Eastern Europe (of course, there is still a long way to go from the list of completed plans). Interviewing the tea house near his home, he talked for three hours without any time; in the evening, he offered to talk and eat and talk for another three hours. I talked about the intellectual group in Eastern Europe, underground writing, Kundera and Javier, the survival problems of current writers… I obviously feel that as time goes by, due to my limited capacity, the density of chats reaches a level and then begins to weaken. After writing the manuscript, I just opened the “Thinking of the 20th Century”, which is a dialogue between two intergenerational historians – Timothy Snyder and Tony Jute on the important ideas of the last century. Compared with the “review of those forgotten ideas and the careful examination of the fashionable thoughts”, I feel that the dialogue I led was only exposed to shallowness, and it was frustrated for a while.

Sometimes interviews are also influenced by external factors. In the summer, the opportunity of interviewing scholar Luo Xin was published in an academic essay. His books and papers were not many. I had prepared the outline a few days earlier, and relaxed and even conceived the textual framework. I did not expect the ideal country to schedule all interviews for one day. When I entered the interview at two o’clock in the afternoon, he had accepted at least four or five interviews and looked tired. One of the key points in my outline was the influence of nationalist historiography on Chinese historical scholars and the current nationalist concept of public opinion in the world. – The reply was very short (more sadly, I saw another media question before I handed in the paper, and Luo Xin gave a long answer to the similar question). I was so cold, and at the end of the interview, I asked him about his next trekking plan, and he unexpectedly elicited his interest in the history of his hometown and the process of textual research, which was directly related to the important changes in his academic path, and the interview was considered a rescue.

At the writing stage, there are new doubts. I regret that I am constrained by my own level and interviews. Some topics are not boring, and I am puzzled. These thousands of words, reports based on academic logic rather than character, every person who opens the public number will really Read it? In a limited number of words, is every question that I present really valuable to the reader?