Frank Herbert Interviews

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Freakzilla
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Re: Frank Herbert Interviews

Postby Freakzilla » 25 Jun 2014 06:30

I looked for it a little but I think I may have confused a book about America they were talking about writing together with Dune 7. I'll look more to make sure.

And yes, HoD and CH:D did talk a lot about politics and government, much more than about intelligent machines.
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Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

HadiBenotto
Posts: 4
Joined: 02 Jan 2015 13:47

Re: Frank Herbert Interviews

Postby HadiBenotto » 24 Jan 2015 06:12

Hey guys,
about a year ago I stumbled over this forum and "The (Almost) Undeleted" because I wanted to see what Frank Herbert had to say about Dune – how he came up with the ideas, etc. So I started to read (and collect) the different interviews and essay from all over the internet and from second-hand books.

Since I found it too cumbersome to the scanned pages I quickly ran them through an OCR online scanner and converted them to plain text.
Here is my current collection:

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(as you see 'TBD' is work in progress).

If you are interested in any of them, just drop me a line or reply here.
If you have any additions I'd love to read them.
Cheers.

HadiBenotto
Posts: 4
Joined: 02 Jan 2015 13:47

Re: Frank Herbert Interviews

Postby HadiBenotto » 24 Jan 2015 06:30

Hey,
here is the full transcript of the Waldebooks "Lynch / Herbert" interview.

The second is transcribed done by me.
But here are a two small section I can't make out (highlighted in the text). Any help is highly appreciated...
And does one of you know who the Interviewer is?

Cheers.

HERBERT: We do nasty things to our leaders. We shoot them on the streets of Dallas and hang them on pieces of wood at Golgotha. We fondly say that in the United States we separate church and state. That's an asinine statement. I am a political analyst, and I've really never left journalism. I'm writing about the current scene. The metaphors are there. I'm writing about the political ecology, the religious ecology, the social ecology, and the physical ecology of our world. And I think you do not separate any one part of this from the other. You don't separate the mind and body and understand the human being.

INTERVIEWER: Waldenbooks is proud to have the opportunity to speak with author Frank Herbert and director David Lynch. David Lynch is not only the director of Dune, the motion picture, but also the author of the screenplay. And right beside me is Frank Herbert, the author of the book, and, of course, all of the subsequent books which have become so immensely popular.
The first question I wanted to ask of the film-maker. Did you feel threatened by the fact that so many readers had seen Dune so many times before they'll have the opportunity to come into the theater to see your Dune?

LYNCH: You’ve got to be either stupid or crazy, you know, to do something like this, and I live in fear 24 hours a day.

INTERVIEWER: So you're definitely cognizant of the stature?

LYNCH: Yes.

HERBERT: Why don't you me the question because I've seen the film.

LYNCH: Somebody has to do it, right? And someone had to do it, and I was…. the day I finished reading the book, I met with Dino in his office, and I was so high from finishing the book, and so thrilled with what I had read, I signed on. And I didn't really know that it was going to be three and a half of this type of year, but I'll let Frank tell you what he thinks.

INTERVIEWER: Dino De Laurentiis came to you or brought you to Dune, the project, before you were even really fully aware…. ?

LYNCH: I had never read… never even heard the word Dune.

HERBERT: He thought it was June.

LYNCH: I thought he said June.

INTERVIEWER: I do want to ask Frank the question about the film, what he thinks of it. And that is kind of a loaded question because Frank is a film-maker himself, something I didn't know until today. So you're not working with someone who is not aware…

HERBERT: Documentaries. Different things.

INTERVIEWER: …but, you're aware of the process, of the visual medium, and you're happy with the film?

HERBERT: Well, I get asked this specific question a lot of times. If the settings, the scenes, that I saw in David's film match my original imagination, the things that I projected in my imagination. I must tell you that some of them do precisely, some of them don't, and some of them are better, which is what you would expect of artists such as David and Tony Masters. I'm delighted with that. I mean, why not take it and improve on it visually? As far as I'm concerned the film is a visual feast. I would love to have some of the scenes as stills to frame and have around me. They're beautiful.

INTERVIEWER: So you feel there was a synergy between the two of you: the director/screen-writer and the creator of the concept?

HERBERT: Synergy? You mean the sum is more than the parts?

INTERVIEWER: That’s right. That something better came out of the two of you working together?

HERBERT: I think so.

INTERVIEWER: What was Frank's participation? I am asking David this question.

LYNCH: I signed on to do Dune. When I was working on the Elephant Man, I worked with Christopher Dvorn and Eric Bergman, and we tried to be true to the essence of, you know, the elephant man. And in Dune, I try to be true to the essence of Frank’s book, which is not an easy thing because there are so many different lines and so many different things swimming about. It's picking and choosing and condensing and, you know, all sorts of things. So Frank's contribution was the book and his support from day one all the way through to now. He's always available for questions, and he's read almost every draft (I did seven drafts). And, he has allowed me to do my thing, and his book is packed full with these, what I call, seed ideas. There's the big ideas, but there's so many little seed ideas, and those he let me sprout and run with. That was the thrill for me because there are things in the movie that were sparked by Frank, but they were allowed to grow out. I think it'll be neat for people who have read the book, they'll see a difference, but it is true to the essence of Frank's ideas.

HERBERT: The film begins as the book begins, and it ends essentially as the book ends. And I hear my dialog all the way through it, not just my dialog, but there's lots of other dialog. I had the funny sensation of watching the rough cut, not exactly too rough recently, of some of the cuts, the things that are not in there, of feeling that they'd happened just off stage or that we'd gone beyond them, but they'd happened, that we hadn't really lost them. There are only two scenes that I missed in the film, but I know why they were cut. They were pets of mine, and you shouldn't have any pets.

LYNCH: No, they were pets of mine, too, but I know which scenes they are. Those are the things… that's the trouble. The film right now is 2 hours and 20 minutes, and it rolls along gangbusters. But certain scenes that Frank and I both liked, I think, would have stopped the film.

INTERVIEWER: Was this merely a stroke of luck that two artists from two different mediums, obviously two sensitive artists, didn't really experience any substantial difficulty in molding or contributing to the production of this film?

LYNCH: On my part I consider it pretty lucky, yeah.

INTERVIEWER: Did you expect the license that Frank gave you?

LYNCH: I met Frank three and a half years ago when I first signed on. I didn't know who or what I was going to be meeting. I had seen his picture, this bearded guy on his books, right?

HERBERT: Guru author.

LYNCH: Yeah, so, but it's turned out to be like… well Frank is an idea man. They're the best kind of people in my book around. Ideas are…. everybody, you know, feeds of them, but very few people can catch them. They're out there, but they're so elusive. You have to be kind of sneaky and sneak up on them and capture them. Frank captures these fantastic ideas, and I really respect that.

INTERVIEWER: Frank, you are obviously satisfied with the result. You said so many times.

HERBERT: Yes, very much so. But the funny thing happened. Dino called me. I didn't know David from Adam's offer. And he called me and he said that he had hired David Lynch to do the…. to direct the film of Dune. This was after a couple of–well I think they would have been disasters. David knows why. So, I said: "David who?" and he said: "David Lynch". He said "Elephant Man.“ And I hadn’t seen Elephant Man. So I went out and got a tape of it and played it on my video, and I had this funny gut sensation we had the guy who could do it. When you're doing a film from the written word, you're translating into a different language. It is as though you were translating from English to Swahili. The visual language is a different language, and there was such subtlety and such beauty in the Elephant Man. I've seen it now about eight times, I think, and I get something new from it each time, something peripheral or something right in the mainstream that was done visually as a visual metaphor. I've never told David this, but this is true. This is what happened to me. I had this gut sensation: We've got him, you know, the guy who can do it.

INTERVIEWER: I’m glad we're having this talk. David, did you as a film-maker… I think by anyone's estimation Dune was written very visually as a piece of literature, visual description, visualization of that is very immediate. Did that help you in your translation to the screen?

LYNCH: Well, like I said, I really in a way forget a lot of the book now because there have been so many drafts of the screenplay in between, but some things I really think, in your mind, you think that Frank described things. But when you go searching, some things are described of course, but a lot of things are left to your imagination, even in the book. And, um…

HERBERT: That was deliberate I might add.

LYNCH: …and you get a feeling, and your mind takes over from there. A lot of times, you go searching for descriptions of things, they weren't there or I realized that I was picturing something and I was falling in love with what I was picturing. Like I said, Frank allowed me to go with my interpretation in how things looked, and because of that I was able to…. my interpretation is one thing. And then I started working with Tony and we went through two or three different steps into sort of the stratosphere of interpretation and we got clicking on four really nifty different worlds and the look of each one.

INTERVIEWER: So, the motion picture is truly an entity onto itself. If you love the book, you'll love the movie picture even more because it takes on a new dimension?

LYNCH: I can see how everyone who reads the book is going to interpret it, and their interpretation is not mine, but I have to… it has to go through me as the director like a filter, and things pass through me and it's not going to be other people's interpretation. Some people may love it, and some people say it's not what they pictured and they would be disappointed. You know, that's the way it is.

INTERVIEWER: Again, the book being so visual, some people… anyone who has read has been there before.

LYNCH: Exactly.

INTERVIEWER: What about the tools that you had to employ as a film-maker, especially a modern film-maker in this day and age? What did you do?

LYNCH: Every technique known to film-making has been used on this picture, except for stop-motion, strangely enough. And, so, I've learned a tremendous amount of technical things. We built over about 80 sets in what amounted to sixteen sound stages down in Mexico, travelled all over the world, Raffaella and I, Raffaella De Laurentiis is the producer, first looking for locations and finally going to Mexico. I've seen actors for this picture all over the world. And people in this film are from all over the world. The crew is from all over the world.
At one point there was 1,700 people on the crew, and that's a huge amount of people. And sometimes I'd turned around on the set, and there would be 600 people, and they are not extras, you know, crew people, or visitors, or camera crews on the set, so it has been a strange experience, but a huge, fantastic experience.

HERBERT: I want to add a little bit to this. A strange thing happened at the wrap party down in Mexico. At least a dozen of the actors and actresses who were in it came up to me and said, individually, more or less the same thing: that they were sorry it was over. They had such a good time.

INTERVIEWER: So it wasn't necessarily a grueling experience that drove everyone insane?

LYNCH: No, we were really together. It was a great experience. And we were in a foreign world, and we were in Mexico City, which is…. I will always feel is the perfect place to make Dune because Dune is a foreign world and four foreign worlds. And if I was making it in Arizona, it would be too normal. Mexico City was just the right atmosphere, the right mood to kind of let your…. just it was help your mind get out there, you know, and to…. dune.

HERBERT: There was a certain kind of rapport between the producer and the director. We had our disagreements, but they weren't major disagreements, they weren't shouting disagreements or anything like that. If you could explain your point, people listened to you. The only time that I objected to something that was going to be done, David and Raffaella and everybody else listened to me and they didn't do the thing I didn't want done.

LYNCH: I can't remember what it was.

HERBERT: You weren't going to kill off…

LYNCH: Oh yes that's right. Yes, yeah… yeah right, exactly.

HERBERT: That’s the only thing I ever objected to.

INTERVIEWER: Did they kill them off then?

HERBERT: No, yeah, they did.

LYNCH: But in the proper way.

HERBERT: In the proper way, yeah.

INTERVIEWER: So we'll see that when we go to the motion picture?

HERBERT: You’ll see an authentic scene that is from the book, very poignant.

INTERVIEWER: Who’s going to be killed?

HERBERT: Let’s don't tell them.

INTERVIEWER: So there are two more Dune projects, potential Dune projects already in the works?

LYNCH: In the works. I have started writing on the script to Dune II. It needs a lot more work, and then I'll show it to Frank, and I'll see what he thinks.

INTERVIEWER: You’ll be a tough audience then?

HERBERT: Tougher than hell.

INTERVIEWER: Now, it is interesting that Frank didn't do the screenplays for Dune. Why did that happen?

HERBERT: Well, I did a screenplay, and it was awful.

LYNCH: I never read Frank's script. I don't believe it was awful.

HERBERT: It was too long. It lacked the proper visual metaphors. I was too close to the book to be able to see it as a film. David didn't have that problem. Working on this film with David has taught me a great deal about taking the printed word, a screenplay and making it into a film. Now I feel confident to do a screenplay. I don't know if I can do a screenplay of one of my own books, but, yes, I can. I'm doing it.

INTERVIEWER: So you have definitely learned from each other in this experience a great deal?

HERBERT: I would say so, yeah.

LYNCH: Mmmhmm.

INTERVIEWER: And that would make the next two pictures something that you would look forward to?

LYNCH: Oh yeah, I look forward to it. I’m a little bit, well we all are. I'm a little bit duned out right now.

HERBERT: Duned-in we say.

INTERVIEWER: Three and a half years you've been on this project.

LYNCH: That’s right. Three and a half years.

INTERVIEWER: That’s a long time. But the results are, from what everyone says, well worth the effort. What, and that leads me to the last question I want to ask David as a film-maker… have you thought of how the public is going to respond to this? In other words, as you made the film, have you had a place in your mind where you've been contemplating what the response will be? How people will react to what you are doing?

LYNCH: Well, I've thought about… a lot about the films I've loved, and what it was. It wasn’t… It was an experience that I had while watching them that I couldn't get anywhere else. I never got it anywhere else. Ever. And I would so gladly pay my five dollars to have that experience. And it took me… the films that I loved took me to another place, even if it was twenty years ago or present day, but another place, and gave me an experience, and I think that is what I hope Dune will do. And it’s four different worlds and a trip through them that you can't experience anywhere else. Ever.

INTERVIEWER: Thank you very much, David, for sharing your thoughts and background on the film with Waldenbooks.

LYNCH: Thanks a million.

INTERVIEWER: Frank Herbert, every question that could have ever been asked of you has probably been asked.

HERBERT: Ask me a new one.

INTERVIEWER: [Laughs] I’m gonna go back to the beginning and maybe a little beyond to the real genesis of Dune and where it’s started for Frank Herbert, the author. Not necessary where it began as a project, as a book, but where it began for you, for Frank Herbert.

Well, I’m a history buff, and have been a history, buff since I was quite young. And while reading history, I got the idea that we had not looked at the messianic impulse in human society from a point of view that I knew could be developed. Reporting that this person came on the scene and these people followed and this is what happened, was kind of a journalistic approach to it. I didn’t mind the you-are-there approach but I wanted was something that showed the impact of a messiah on history as the creator of a power structure, because inevitably no matter how good the messiah, other people enter the scene, other people are attracted to the power structure. I think that the idea of power corrupting, an absolute power corrupting absolutely, is not on the mark, does not hit it. I think what happens is that power attracts the corruptible.

INTERVIEWER: That’s an interesting concept. That’s almost the antithesis, a reverse of the process that is commonly accepted.

HERBERT: I think this is why great power centers such as the Kremlin, the Pentagon, [??? – 3:47 @ http://youtu.be/0IeC2CZ5eYU?t=3m40s], Sandhurst become essentially cesspools really, because they get so many people there who want power for the sake of power, and it’s my estimation of it that a high percentage of these people are certifiable. You get real nuts. This is why you get people for example going to Guyana and drinking Kool-Aid because the errors of the leader are amplified by the number who follow without question. That was the beginning. I wanted to do a messiah story that explored this.

INTERVIEWER: The way that you perceived power structures at that time, and I want to make a statement about it, is this, that you mentioned just a moment ago, is that a messiah can create or develop a power structure?

HERBERT: It occurs around the messiah.

INTERVIEWER: That’s what I guess, my question is–does a messiah, walk in sometimes even inadvertently, to a culture or society who has already built a power structure?

HERBERT: Every messiah I studied in history was a reformer and for good reason. Jesus wanted to reform the Revenaid. He had a belief that it had become corrupted. The biblical movement had become corrupted. The same is true of Mohammed. He was a reformer. Zoroaster was a reformer.
Each of these individuals obviously was charismatic. Charismatic leaders are dangerous because people don't question them. They see the obvious thing that the charismatic leader is saying that this needs reforming. So they fall in the line behind the charismatic leader. And as I say, even if the charismatic leader is absolutely right and perfect in all of his judgements, eventually you get a power structure which accumulates, like filings accumulating in a magnet, all around the polarized places in this power structure.

INTERVIEWER: So the power structure does evolve as a result of the messiahs activities?

HERBERT: That’s right. But just not by the messiahs activities. It evolves because of the way people respond to a charismatic leader. So it’s part of the forms of our society,

INTERVIEWER: So in the case of Jesus, you mentioned a moment ago, weren’t the Hebrews waiting for a messiah long before?

HERBERT: Oh yes, the messianic myth was there in their history…

INTERVIEWER: It preceded his arrival.

HERBERT: Yes.

INTERVIEWER: Of course he never really exemplified the messiah.

HERBERT: There was some question whether he said that he was the messiah. Buddha was a reformer and Jesus was a reformer. In each instance you have an individual on the scene, a charismatic leader, who sees something that needs fixing. There’s a “repair job” necessary.

INTERVIEWER: Sometimes it’s obvious to everyone?

HERBERT: Yes, and a lot of people say: Yes, you are absolutely right Mr Charismatic Leader and we will follow you.

INTERVIEWER: There’s a broad truth to anything that’s said, so it’s easy to follow.

HERBERT: Yes. And then you get a movement going.

INTERVIEWER: This is sequential? These things happen…

HERBERT: But they don’t just happen because of the charismatic leader, they happen because the society picks up on it.

INTERVIEWER: But has the society have created a need or a void for the charismatic leader before that individual arrived?

HERBERT: Something had occurred in the society that the charismatic leader latches on to.

INTERVIEWER: The stage is set prior to the messiahs arrival?

HERBERT: That’s right.

INTERVIEWER: Do societies truly create the messiahs from within?

HERBERT: Oh, I think so. I think that we kind of create a vortex in which the messiah is sucked.
People ask me if I am starting a cult and I really avoid that like the plague. I don't want to be a cult leader. I am not your guru. You be your own guru.

INTERVIEWER: Is that why you shaved your beard?

HERBERT: This is the new Frank Herbert.

INTERVIEWER: [Laughs]

HERBERT: We do nasty things to our leaders. We shoot them on the streets of Dallas and hang them on pieces of wood at Golgotha. The whole structural form out of which charismatic leaders evolve, that’s the thing that I was addressing.

INTERVIEWER: But the process starts and you were referring a moment ago to what happens next. The leader evolves. The leader emerges and then things begin to happen.

HERBERT: Remember that Dune, Dune Messiah and Children of Dune were one book in my head. And Dune Messiah was a pivotal book which turns over the whole picture, changes your view of history. This is why a lot of people have trouble with it, you see. Because I created a charismatic leader. You’d follow Paul for all the right reasons. He was honest, trustworthy, loyal to his people, up to the point of giving his life for them if they wanted it.

INTERVIEWER: And the response to him?

HERBERT: The response to him was to follow him slavishly, to not question him. I think, for example, that John Kennedy was the most dangerous president we had in recent years. Not because I think the man was evil, I think he was a great guy and I’d enjoy drinking with him and have playing cards with him, but because people did not question him.

INTERVIEWER: So you are obviously a proponent of questioning authority.

HERBERT: Oh, absolutely.

INTERVIEWER: You consider yourself an iconoclast?

HERBERT: Indeed.

INTERVIEWER: With the relationship between the messiah and the followers, again, I want to go back to the process. It all begins well and it all seems very good…

HERBERT: Sweetness and light.

INTERVIEWER: And then something happens. Something begins to evolve.

HERBERT: A new structure evolves and people take it over. Other people get into the act.

INTERVIEWER: So they drain power away from the messiah?

HERBERT: Of course. It is delegated.

INTERVIEWER: And how does that happen?

HERBERT: It happens out of a structural force that is in the society. I think one of the best examples we have that in recent times, we can look at with a certain degree of historical clarity, is what happened in the Soviet Union. The October Revolution had real evils to address. The Czarist regime was one of the most evil regimes that this world has ever seen.

INTERVIEWER: The oppression was obvious?

HERBERT: Yeah. Marx and the others came in, into that vortex, and took it over. Now what has evolved out of that? They have evolved a Bureaucratic Aristocracy. Which is almost a precise copy of the Czarist regime.

INTERVIEWER: This might have contributed to the fall of Nikita Khrushchev. He was the last singular identity, as a human being, that I recall, in the Soviet Union. Since then the power has filtered down…

HERBERT: It defused.

INTERVIEWER: So that is the process that will take place in any similar situation?

HERBERT: I think so.

INTERVIEWER: Is it human nature?

HERBERT: I don’t think it’s human nature. Well, human nature is involved in it, of course, but I think it is an essential part of the forms that people develop and call government.

INTERVIEWER: Which they create for themselves.

HERBERT: Yeah. It’s kind of an evolutionary process, I believe that has come out of tribal forms. Feudatory is a tribe. So we have this marvelous historical example, it happened in our lifetimes, in the Soviet Union. We have seen them reconstitute the Czarist regime.

INTERVIEWER: Without an individual on which to put this.

HERBERT: Yeah. but all the Bureaucracy is there, you see. With even some of the same names–the same titles I mean.

INTERVIEWER: So Paul, in Dune,…

HERBERT:…is caught in this kind of a vortex.

INTERVIEWER: Now, did Paul come to, as society seeking that messiah?

HERBERT: He came to a society that was prepared to welcome a messiah.

INTERVIEWER: So his reception was favorable?

HERBERT: Oh, yes.

INTERVIEWER: And he was launched not only on his own initiative and ambition, if he had that…

HERBERT: The necessity of his decision making were obvious.

INTERVIEWER: And society lifted him quite willingly to where he ended up?

HERBERT: That’s correct.

INTERVIEWER: Everything else that you created–you were described once as a world-maker, let me rephrase that, maybe a world dreamer. You obviously had to create this world of Dune. It began with Paul, it began with this messianic impulse, this study. This interest that you had as an individual, as a writer, and then the rest. How did it grow outwards from that?

HERBERT: The first thing you have to do is to create the messiah, the charismatic leader that people will follow for all of the correct reasons. They can justify everything they do to follow him. And you accept it as a reader. Then we have domicile, which is the evolution power structure and how devolution begins to set in and you get the cynicism arising and you get a turnover of things that were good in Dune that now you get a different look at. You get to look at them from a different angle.

INTERVIEWER: Does the perspective change?

HERBERT: Yes, the perspective does change, the angle of view changes.
Prescience, which figures so prominently in Dune, and I am talking to a society which believes that prediction is a great thing. But if I were to give you an absolute prediction, John, of everything that is going to happen to you, from this moment to your death, your whole life would be instant replay and an utter bore.

INTERVIEWER: And yet, that’s your role.

HERBERT: Yeah, and that’s the thing people think they want. But what they really want, is they want to know what U.S. Steel is going to do around the big board next week and will she or won't she and give me a couple of winners at Hialeah while you’re at it, you see.

INTERVIEWER: But isn't that tremendous response you have received from your writing based upon that eagerness, people wanting to know? People wanting a window to the future?

HERBERT: Oh, yes. But you see, it’s the future that is in question. The value of surprise gets thrown out the window if you believe in absolute prescience.

INTERVIEWER: Now you’ve created a future, as we said, you’re a world maker, a world dreamer. Why did you create Dune? Why that planet? Why such an arid lifeless place?

HERBERT: Well, it’s a testing place for one thing. And all the great religions that we know about came out of the wilderness. So I created kind of an amplified wilderness.

INTERVIEWER: How much of your work, of your writing, of all your writing you have done, the science-fiction writing you have done, how much is a reflection of you and your beliefs as you perceive this planet and our social structures?

HERBERT: I think we have to reform our social structures. I really do. And I have certain metaphors in the Dune books that I deliberately chose to shake people’s views on the forms. For example the worms. The worms are the monster, the mindless monster in the depth, that guard the pearl of great price. It’s the unconscious animal, it’s the black bull of the corrida.

INTERVIEWER: That limits your options of how to deal with it.

HERBERT: Yeah, it is the welling of violence that comes out of humankind.

INTERVIEWER: So in describing or creating a wilderness you’re exposing elements, again I go to the phrase human nature, elements of the human condition. I noticed that it’s very humanoid. The future remains quite humanoid.

HERBERT: I wanted real people that you’d identify with.

INTERVIEWER: And also that they respond, in many ways, in a very consistent fashion to what we experience now. There is a tremendous amount of conflict in your writing. Many things are resolved by conflict. Now is that a prediction of the future or is that then, as you said, the metaphor, a reflection of the now?

HERBERT: That’s the way I read history.

[Note: There might be something missing in the interview, since the next sentence contradicts the previous one.]

HERBERT: If you read history, it’s not the way human begins have done things since we began chiseling our words in stone.

INTERVIEWER: And as it has been then it will continue to be?

HERBERT: Unless we change the forms. I don’t want to breed out or condition out of humankind the competitiveness because the our universe can throw surprises at us despite our predictions, despite our best predictions. And we have to be able to respond to this universe with all our options open. We don't close off any options. If we can respond non-violently that of course is preferable but if all that’s left to us is violence then we do not close off that options.

INTERVIEWER: You seem to be implying that we have the ability to change a legacy of the ages that we can actually attempt and perhaps succeed at something that mankind has failed to accomplish since the beginning of mankind. Do you really have that much faith in the resiliency and the elasticity of the human form?

HERBERT: Yes, I think we are the best equipped survival animal that this planet has ever produced. I don’t depend just on rationality, I depend on the need to survive, on the urge to survive, on the desiree to survive as a species. This is behind a lot of what I write. It pleases me to think that 20,000 years in the future, 20 million years in the future, there will be human beings around enjoying life the way I enjoy life.

INTERVIEWER: The World Without War Council?

HERBERT: Oh yes. As a member of the collegium of the World Without War Council I have bowed out of active participation, although not out of belief in that kind of work. I think that we can’t address this problem of war unless we address our own bureaucratic tendencies. Our tendencies to create a structure, such as the World Without War Council, which then becomes much more interested in maintaining its own form, its own identity, the ongoing need for its services, rather than to create an organization of form which puts itself out of business.

INTERVIEWER: How does this dedication to peace manifest itself in your writing?

HERBERT: Showing people some alternatives. Showing them the consequences of violence. Displaying alternative forms. Showing them how the old patterns repeat themselves.

INTERVIEWER: You describe… well, you have many emperors in your writing. Now as a reflection of the 20th century, for example: what do you see as the preferable leadership, a style of leadership, an evolution of leadership?

HERBERT: Well, my own response politically is that I vote against anybody in office. [Laughs] I think that we had the examples of how to deal with political power and that is to give it very briefly.

INTERVIEWER: Why is it that in your writing, when there are 1,000 emperors or when leadership is broken down and bisected, you refers, I think, that as the Dark Ages…

HERBERT: All I am saying there, John, is that the Aristocratic forms repeat themselves. Aristocracy is a repetitive structure in our world.

INTERVIEWER: More of a bad thing, doesn’t improve?

HERBERT: That’s what I am saying, yes.

INTERVIEWER: You talk about religion, and you take perspective…

HERBERT: Another power structure.

INTERVIEWER: Very much so. You also talk about the inside and the outside, about creating a need for your own leadership. How is that manifested in our own society?

HERBERT: We see organizations develop, which work unconsciously, for the most part, to maintain those conditions which require their services.

INTERVIEWER: And it’s subconscious?

HERBERT: I think mostly unconscious, yes. But all of the structures, these organizations, become much more career-oriented, much more orientated on maintaining the need for their own services and their ongoing participation in power.

INTERVIEWER: Is it a natural process, for example that bureaucracy begets bureaucracy?

HERBERT: I think it’s self-seeding, yes.

INTERVIEWER: And then, how can that be broken? Or can it be broken of its own will?

HERBERT: I think you need to break it by bringing the final judgment, the final determination, on who holds power back into the hands of what we like to call the grass roots. I would like to see in the United States, for example, some real democracy. I’d like to see review committees, with enormous power, very short term tenure, maybe one year, small budgets and never able to serve again on such a committee, only once in a lifetime. I would like to see such review committees called in to action automatically given certain conditions, declaration of war for example. At a local level if a school board is going to spend, say 200,000 dollars. Automatically, a review committee called into being. And called at random from the polls of the people who voted in the previous election. And given the power of life and death over what the school wants to do. Will they always act perfectly? No, they won’t. But if they only have tenure for a year then you can go at it again. And you will go at it having learned something from the actions of the previous review committee.

INTERVIEWER: Is this an extension of the existing set of checks and balances that we currently have?

HERBERT: It’s another check and balance I’d like to reinstall into our democratic system.

INTERVIEWER: But much more localized?

HERBERT: On, not only localized. I’d like to have at the local level, at the county level, at the state level and at the federal level.

INTERVIEWER: In broad terms, are you supportive of defusing a large centralized power source?

HERBERT: Of yes, on the broad terms, I am. I think we need certain central powers but I think we have to limit the tenure of however holds that power. And severely limited and so it’s arbitrary. For example, I think that we ought to have one term senators and maybe two term congressmen and that we ought to have a one term president. Maybe give him six years. And that senators have to be four years and one term. And congressmen maybe two terms, two years.

INTERVIEWER: Wouldn’t that much activity, coming and going in political office, create a volatile state of affairs for our society?

HERBERT: I think that it would demand that the society keep its eye on what is happening. And that’s what we don’t have now.

INTERVIEWER: In Dune, going back to the book, going back to how that is reflected in your writing, you have the tribal entity, the Fremen, responding as a tribe, responding primitively.

HERBERT: But in quite sophisticated [??? – 2:04 @ http://youtu.be/00zc2vonWNk?t=2m], too.

INTERVIEWER: What effect would your suggestions have on a society? I would obviously not tend to become more primitive and more basic in its decision making. It would have to become much more enlightened, I would think.

HERBERT: It would become much more aware of what’s going on. I had a senior bureaucrat in the school system in the state of Washington, when I expanded this idea to him he said: „You think some damn housewife could understand the complexities of what the school board has to do?“ And my response immediately is: „Yes. You bet I think a housewife would understand them. She would understand these things out of necessity.“ I think, if you throw the responsibility, the full responsibility, on to people they rise to the occasion.

INTERVIEWER: Back to Frank Herbert, as the writer, obviously very politically aware and tremendously sensitive to political and social issues. That was the basis then for Dune? For all of Dune?

HERBERT: Remember, before writing Dune I was the speech writer for a United States senator with two offices in Washington D.C. I’ve been right on the inside of the apple. So I know what’s going on back there. I am a political animal. And I really never left journalism. I’m writing about the current scene. The metaphors were there. Writing about the political ecology, the religious ecology, the social ecology and the physical ecology of our world. And I think you do not separate any one part of this from the other. You don’t separate mind and body and understand the human being and therefore you don't separate any of these elements and understated what’s going on in our world.
We fondly say that in the United States we separate church and state. That's an asinine statement. There is nothing more emotional than religion. Nothing more emotionally demanding than religion because it is the promise of survival. You can’t take that out of politics. You get heated emotions aroused. I am a political animal and that’s what I am writing about. I am writing about the economic ecology, the politics of all of these things that influence our lives.

INTERVIEWER: The response that you get to your writing, the way that people mirror your writing back to you. Is it satisfactory?

HERBERT: Oh yes, people are thinking and asking interesting question because of what I write.

INTERVIEWER: You’re impacting then your readers they way you want?

HERBERT: Oh, yes.

INTERVIEWER: And you continue to?

HERBERT: I hope so. [Laughs]

INTERVIEWER: And you have a new book in the spring, called Chapterhouse Dune?

HERBERT: That’s right.

INTERVIEWER: Where is that going to take place?

HERBERT: The sixth Dune book and it begins with a Bene Gesserit planet which has been converted into another Dune. And it goes from there…

INTERVIEWER: Thank you vey much, Frank Herbert, for sharing your thoughts on Dune, your writings and sharing your thoughts on our world with Waldenbooks. We wish you the best of luck with the motion picture, Dune, soon to be released and look forward to Chapterhouse Dune.


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Re: Frank Herbert Interviews

Postby 3 P-O » 24 Jan 2015 10:01

HadiBenotto wrote:If you have any additions I'd love to read them.


Here's one recently posted by Duneinfo: Space Voyager #14 1985

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Re: Frank Herbert Interviews

Postby HadiBenotto » 24 Jan 2015 10:07

3 P-O wrote:
HadiBenotto wrote:If you have any additions I'd love to read them.


Here's one recently posted by Duneinfo: Space Voyager #14 1985


...and the interview is by Neil Gaiman, how cool it that?

Thanks a lot. A perfect Saturday read.

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Re: Frank Herbert Interviews

Postby inhuien » 25 Jan 2015 05:42

HadiBenotto, thanks for the transcription, had a listen to both of bits you couldn't make out and failed also.
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Re: Frank Herbert Interviews

Postby ᴶᵛᵀᴬ » 25 Jan 2015 11:06

HadiBenotto wrote:
HERBERT: I think this is why great power centers such as the Kremlin, the Pentagon, [??? – 3:47 @ http://youtu.be/0IeC2CZ5eYU?t=3m40s], Sandhurst become essentially cesspools really, because they get so many people there who want power for the sake of power, and it’s my estimation of it that a high percentage of these people are certifiable. You get real nuts. This is why you get people for example going to Guyana and drinking Kool-Aid because the errors of the leader are amplified by the number who follow without question. That was the beginning. I wanted to do a messiah story that explored this.


Quai d'Orsay, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


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      Re: Frank Herbert Interviews

      Postby HadiBenotto » 25 Jan 2015 11:37

      Zeuhl wrote:
      Quai d'Orsay, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


      Thanks Zeuhl!

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      Re: Frank Herbert Interviews

      Postby ᴶᵛᵀᴬ » 13 Feb 2015 10:10

      Fullerton's audio archives at Internet Archive : https://archive.org/details/cfls_00001/v2

        interviews : 01-->04 + 15 -->19 (4 hours & 10 minutes)
        lectures : 05-06 + 20-21 (1 hour & 40 minutes)
        GEoD readings & commentaries : 07 -->14 (4 hours)


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          Re: Frank Herbert Interviews

          Postby lotek » 13 Feb 2015 10:22

          his is why you get people for example going to Guyana and drinking Kool-Aid because the errors of the leader are amplified by the number who follow without question.


          I guess that's the Jim Jones story?
          They killed a senator didn't they?
          Spice is the worm's gonads.

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          Re: Frank Herbert Interviews

          Postby ᴶᵛᵀᴬ » 02 Mar 2015 16:28


            "Herbert on "Dune" Sci-Fi Saga" [Frank Herbert interviewed by Bryant Gumbel]
            NBC Today Show, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 04/12/1983.
            Accessed Fri Feb 6 2015 from NBC Learn: https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=35847




            .
            Last edited by ᴶᵛᵀᴬ on 06 Mar 2015 17:47, edited 1 time in total.


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                Re: Frank Herbert Interviews

                Postby lotek » 03 Mar 2015 05:41

                Yeah guys, pretty please!
                They only tease you with the reporter's question and no Frank in the preview :/
                Spice is the worm's gonads.

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                Re: Frank Herbert Interviews

                Postby Omphalos » 03 Mar 2015 12:03

                Well that sounds like it will be hard-hitting.

                Seriously though, I'd like to hear it as well.

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                Re: Frank Herbert Interviews

                Postby Apjak » 11 Sep 2015 12:26

                Don't recall seeing this before.



                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26GPaMoeiu4
                I don't think the author should make the reader do that much work - Kevin J. Anderson
                We think we've updated 'Dune' for a modern readership without dumbing it down.- Brian Herbert
                There’s an unwritten compact between you and the reader. If someone enters a bookstore and sets down hard earned money(energy) for your book, you owe that person some entertainment and as much more as you can give. - Frank Herbert

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                Re: Frank Herbert Interviews

                Postby inhuien » 13 Sep 2015 02:13

                Apjak wrote:Don't recall seeing this before.



                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26GPaMoeiu4


                Thanks for that Apjak, I've not seen that before as well.
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                Re: Frank Herbert Interviews

                Postby Serkanner » 13 Sep 2015 17:45

                Apjak wrote:Don't recall seeing this before.



                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26GPaMoeiu4


                Thank you! Never seen this before.
                "... the mystery of life isn't a problem to solve but a reality to experience."

                “There is no escape—we pay for the violence of our ancestors.”

                Sandrider: "Keith went to Bobo's for a weekend of drinking, watched some DVDs,
                and wrote a Dune Novel."

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                Re: Frank Herbert Interviews

                Postby ᴶᵛᵀᴬ » 15 Sep 2015 11:56

                Serkanner wrote:
                Apjak wrote:Don't recall seeing this before.


                Thank you! Never seen this before.


                :whistle: Orthodox Herbertarian group & page.


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                    Re: Frank Herbert Interviews

                    Postby Serkanner » 16 Sep 2015 06:21

                    ᴶᵛᵀᴬ wrote:
                    Serkanner wrote:
                    Apjak wrote:Don't recall seeing this before.


                    Thank you! Never seen this before.


                    :whistle: Orthodox Herbertarian group & page.


                    ... should have said: I have never seen/watched it before.
                    "... the mystery of life isn't a problem to solve but a reality to experience."

                    “There is no escape—we pay for the violence of our ancestors.”

                    Sandrider: "Keith went to Bobo's for a weekend of drinking, watched some DVDs,
                    and wrote a Dune Novel."


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