CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
In the Green Room

Art Historian Carol Mavor

I Always Refer to Roland Barthes as my Boyfriend

Photo by Aaron Salcido.

Carol Mavor is a writer, artist, art historian, and the author of five books. Before joining the panel at a Zócalo/Getty “Open Art” event titled “What Does Blue Mean?,” she chatted in the green room about notebooks, artichokes, and her next life as a novelist.

Q:
What device do you do most of your writing on?

A:
Notebooks. Endless notebooks. I switch the kinds of notebooks I use, read through them, and then write on top of my notes. They are beautiful sometimes, the pages.

Q:
Which poem do you most often recite or quote?

A:
If I want inspiration for my writing and language, I turn to Emily Dickinson. “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers.”

Q:
If there were one artist, living or dead, you could have a coffee with, who would it be?

A:
Roland Barthes, the French philosopher, who did some artwork of his own. I always refer to him as my boyfriend, and I had a dream about him once—he was still alive and he came to give a seminar. And he asked me to sit down by him, and he held my hand and told me not to worry about my French.

Q:
What keeps you up at night?

A:
Worrying about my three boys. And writing.

Q:
What salad dressing best describes you?

A:
Nice olive oil with fresh squeezed lemon.

Q:
What kind of car do you drive?

A:
None. But I used to drive old Volvos that my father would give me.

Q:
What profession would you like to practice in your next life?

A:
I really want to be someone who writes novels all the time.

Q:
When you turn on the television at your house, what channel is most likely to be on?

A:
I live in England where we don’t have so many channels. BBC Four, I guess.

Q:
What’s your favorite plant?

A:
Artichoke.

Q:
What’s the best advice you ever received?

A:
Keep moving forward.