RIC-J: Roland, why men?
RB: Why the moon, why the earth, why you, why me, why this, why the rain? I don’t know. Death creates space for metaphysics. Men are less beautiful than women, maybe that’s why.
RIC-J: Best memory of a novel?
RB: Invisible Cities – inside cities, there are other cities. Inside people, there are other people. Behind one heart, there is a secret heart.
RIC-J: What do you think is the best place in Paris? In the world?
RB: Le Relais de l’Entrecôte in Paris. Paris in the world, Paris in the rain in this world.
RIC-J: If you could be an animal, which one would you like to be?
RB: An amoral cat in a forgotten alley of Tangiers.
RIC-J: Your favourite sexual anecdote.
RB: Once a man refused to sleep with me because he didn’t have an egg.
RIC-J: One night with Foucault or Sartre?
RB: Neither. Both are ugly.
RIC-J: Or Beauvoir?
RB: I would like it, but she’s much too in love with that stupid philosopher to sleep with me.
RIC-J: Nipple or Buttocks?
RB: Buttocks, especially yours.
RIC-J: Mme de Maintenon or Mme de Pompadour?
RB: Without a doubt: Françoise d’Aubigné, Marquise de Maintenon.
RIC-J: Chocolate: black, milk, or white?
RB: Black in the morning, milk in the afternoon, white at night.
RIC-J: Please pick ten books you’d take with yourself on an isolated island.
RB: How long would I be going to this island?
Madame Bovary, The Castle of Crossed Destinies, The Passion According to G.H., The Flowers of Evil, Steles of Victor Segalen, Panchantantra, Tao Te Ching, Kamasutra, Bardo Thodol, and poetry of Pier Paolo Pasolini.
RIC-J: Jaipur, Jodhpur, or Udaipur?
RB: The blue, the ultramarine, the sapphire city: Jodhpur.
RIC-J: Siva or Kali?
RB: *eyebrow raise emoji* How is this even a question?
RIC-J: What is the subject of the manuscript you are writing on presently?
RB: It’s my first fiction, that is not fiction at all, where a young man going on his way to collect the Nobel Prize dies of getting hit by a laundry van. I am pitching it to agents as a comedy. I am hoping they will make a Netflix series on it.
RIC-J: In the memory of a Sufi patient, please define life in two words.
RB: Lover’s Discourse.