Meet the Blogger: A Self-Interview with Ariella Carmell / by Amanda Silberling

By Ariella Carmell, Blog Correspondent

Ariella Carmell is a senior at Marlborough School in California, where she is Editor-in-Chief of the school literary magazine and Head Copy Editor of the newspaper. A Foyle Commended Poet of the Year and a recipient of Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, she has had work published in Cadaverine, Crack the Spine, Eunoia Review, and Canvas Literary Journal, among others. She has attended writing workshops at the Center for Talented Youth, the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and Kenyon College, and hopes to pursue creative writing in all forms as much as she can in the future.


So…what are you reading at the moment?

Right now I’m almost finished with Tenth of December but I just started Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, so I’m in a bit of a literary no man’s land in terms of style and era. I can see George Saunders hanging around the fringes of Modernist groups, though, now that I think of it.

Are you one of those multiple-books-at-a-time kinds of people?

Not until recently, actually. I’ve found that as my pile of homework and college apps grows, so does my waiting list of books. The only solution to get through all of them is to read as many as I can at a single time.

Speaking of college... 

Please don’t.

What do you plan on studying?

English or Comparative Literature, but I’m contemplating an extra major or minor in History, Philosophy, or Cinema Studies. (No unemployment jokes, please). Then again, I may get to college and totally change my whole perspective on life and major in astronomy or something. 

Knowing you, that sounds unlikely. You’ve been a writer since you were eleven. You write pretty much every day.

I can’t hide from you. 

What are you writing now? 

You know better than anyone what an awkward question that is. I feel like if I tell you the plot I’ll jinx it and it will never get finished, but let’s say I have a somewhat absurdist play in the works that has to do with environmentalism and the fluidity of identity.

Sounds pretentious.

Now it will probably languish as an unfinished document on my computer. Thanks.

Where does film come into play with all of this?

I’m a huge film nerd. One summer I watched nearly 100 movies, and there was a time I could recite all the Academy Award for Best Picture winners in order and backwards. It was a cool party trick. I’m not too interested in the production side of things as much as I used to be, but I’m endlessly fascinated by the wellspring of culture and history in the art form, and how the medium itself is actually a conglomerate of all the other arts. 

How poetic. Is that what you’ll be doing here for Adroit—gushing about movies?

Not exactly, though I’d be happy to do that if anyone were interested. My main hope with the blog is to dispel the notion that film is somewhat of a “lesser” art form than books, that actually literature and cinema are interrelated and a healthy embrace of both is necessary to fully appreciate either. I’ll be writing about film adaptations of books, novels with cinematic flair, and a lot more.

Now for the Sound of Music question: What are a few of your favorite things?

Novels: Lolita, To Kill a Mockingbird, Middlesex

Films: All That Jazz, Cinema Paradiso, Almost Famous

Poetry collections: Geography III, 77 Dream Songs, The Waste Land and Other Poems. 

Which quotation could describe your life?

“We are all born mad. Some remain so.” Waiting for Godot.