This article explores the literary functions of the author interview in all types of media (printed or broadcast, single or collected interviews). It claims that the literariness of the interview resides in the conversational exchange that takes place during the interview, in the way the interlocutors handle the question and answer form typical of media interviews. Through struggle for the interview's control but also through cooperation, the interviewer and interviewee produce a physical, psychological, and intellectual portrait of the interviewee. Literariness is also manifest in the written account of the interview, where the interviewer gains control of the interview by imposing his or her style on the narrative up to the point where it becomes his or her own oeuvre. Finally, the literariness of the author interview is featured in large interview collections through the mapping of the literary field and literary history.

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