Part two of the Interview opens with Harold’s discussing his relationship to his peers, many of whom achieved fame and a place in literary history.
Norse describes them as outcasts and I reply that they are hardly outcasts now.
Norse feels like an outcast and I hearken back to Auden’s comment by suggesting that perhaps a saint is an outcast who survives as an outcast.
Survival in this context is surviving as an artist.
Norse says he wrote because, “I wanted to write about my deepest feelings about being Gay.”
He goes on to tell a story about conversation he had with James Baldwin who was new to fame and Norse said, “Jimmy, you’ve got nothing to worry about, you’ve got it made.”
“Jimmy turned and said, ‘Whattaya mean I got it made! I’m still Black!'”
Norse goes on to say that no matter what he does, he’s still gay, he’s
Norse describes how he met with Baldwin again, after Baldwin was wealthy.
Baldwin looks in a mirror and says, “After all, I’m still James Baldwin.”
Norse stopped himself from saying, “And who is James Baldwin.”
Norse describes it as a ‘Zen’ moment when he realized that we are what we’re conscious of being.
Interview with Harold Norse Section 2, part 1.
When I turned the tape over I unknowingly enabled a ridiculous option
that stops the machine when it senses silence. The result is a little choppy.
I did my best to smooth it out.
To hear the beginning go to An interview with Harold Norse, Part 1, Section 1
(C) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved