Katherine Rundell on the Art of Words | Conversations with Tyler
In this engaging conversation, Katherine Rundell, a renowned author and scholar, shares her passion for words, stories, and adventures.
She discusses her fascination with John Donne, her unique writing habits, and her views on children’s literature.
Rundell also shares her experiences with rooftop walking and her ongoing journey to learn to fly a small plane.
Adventures as a Source of Inspiration
Adventures such as rooftop walking and learning to fly a small plane provide unique perspectives on the world.
These activities offer views that are otherwise unavailable, particularly in the increasingly privatized city of London.
The Value of Children’s Literature
Children’s fiction is not just for children.
Reading these books can remind adults of the feeling of newness and discovery.
They contain unabashed politics of idealism that can be both refreshing and enlightening.
I found [John Donne] a place of refuge against that which seemed to me often ungenerous in so much of popular culture. He offers a quite exciting vision of what your mind and language might be capable of, and I found him a brilliant antidote to that, a kind of bulwark against a kind of anti-intellectualism. – Katherine Rundell
Challenges for Children’s Literature
Children’s literature is facing competition from social media and other forms of entertainment.
However, it offers something slower, richer, and ultimately punchier, which is harder to sell to children but is ultimately more rewarding.
Promoting Gender Equality through Literature
Encouraging boys to read more stories about girls can help to break down gender stereotypes and promote equality.
Literature can be a powerful tool in shaping perceptions and attitudes.
Complex Vocabulary in Children’s Literature
Children’s literature can incorporate complex vocabulary.
Children will either guess, step over, or find out the word.
This approach can help to enrich their vocabulary and enhance their understanding of language.
Influence of Childhood Experiences
Childhood experiences can significantly influence one’s career.
The freedom and time spent outside during childhood can contribute to imaginative abilities and inspire a love for adventure and discovery.
[John Donne] is saying there is no single great truth upon which we can base anything and that was bold whether or not you agree with it. – Katherine Rundell
The Power of Self-Imposed Constraints
Self-imposed constraints and incentives can be effective in achieving goals.
For instance, pledging to donate money to a donkey sanctuary if failing to write a certain number of words each day can serve as a powerful motivation to meet writing deadlines.
Appreciation for Bookshops
Bookshops like Primrose Hill books, close to where Dodie Smith, the author of 101 Dalmatians, lived, offer a unique charm and beauty.
They serve as a reminder of the rich history and tradition of literature.