Peter Stein, November 2016 / Photo: Andy Warhol Studios
Albert Renick interviews Peter Stein in connection with the release of “Cutie”.
Behind the author’s name Peter Stein there is someone else hiding. This person, let’s call him “Peter”, decided early on not to publish the book under his own name. If we were to ask him why, we would only get a question back. Why not?
And that’s so typical of Peter Stein. Why go with the flow when you can go in reverse? Why speak the truth when you can lie? Or as in Peter’s case, why not mix everything and let the reader form an opinion?
Who Peter Stein is should not be the main issue. What he represents, however, is an attempt to introduce a little mystery in the digital age. Perhaps Peter was simply tired of the fact that everything has to be seen under a microscope. When you break down something in its constituent parts, you may understand the matter better, but you lose something valuable and magical.
Perhaps that was what Peter Stein thought.
With that in mind, I will now share a short section of what Peter said after I had softened him up for half an hour with coffee and Danish.
“… but then get the hell out! Ask real questions or you’re going out the window, you piece of trash!”
AR: “… so you say. Train driver, pilot, fireman, soldier, super hacker and Sergeant at Arms at the Road Saints motorcycle club in California. Do you think it feels credible?”
PS: “I’m deciding whether it’s credible or not. That’s what I said and that’s what’s on the table.”
AR: “But you must understand that there are those who are interested in your background?”
PS: “Absolutely. And that’s why I told you what I was doing before. Ask any other questions now.”
AR: “Okay. Give us some more information about your writing then, how did it start?”
PS: “Looky-looky. That was not so difficult? Okay, now we are approaching something interesting. Writing … The fact is that I had so many people who told me for so long: ‘Peter, why don’t you write a book?’ that I finally decided to do just that.
By tradition, I always spend Christmas alone and at the Christmas holiday of 2014 I started. After a couple of weeks I had written down about 100 pages of raw manuscript. Then I understood that it could be done. I saw a clear path from where I was to complete the entire project. ”
AR: “And the story itself? How much of the book is true?”
PS: “I think everybody who reads the book will have to decide for themselves. But let me say this: You would be surprised.”
AR: “Will there be a movie?”
PS: “We’ll see, negotiations are currently taking place with people from the great country to the west. Nothing is decided yet.”
AR: “Do you have someone you’d like to see in the lead role?”
PS: “It was an easy question, Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. It’s just gotta be the two in the movie. Absolutely Hollywood’s hottest couple right now if you ask me. There’s some special connection between the two that I have not seen in a long time. Pretty much Bogart and Bacall over these two clearly. I was blown away when I saw American Ultra. ”
AR: “What’s next for you? Do you have more books in the works?”
PS: “Okay. That’s actually not a bad question. But I cannot answer it right now. Next question, please. ”
AR: “Eh … okay … Back to the book then. What is the book’s audience?”
PS: “Target group? Yes, you … Let’s say this: I wrote it to everyone. But not everyone will buy it. You probably know that most people who buy books are women over 30? Excuse me. I have to take this … ”
Peter Stein’s cell phone rings and he leaves the room. In that situation, I assume that, of course, he will return when the call is complete. The next thing that happens is that he appears in the doorway with a Stetson hat on his head and the hand raised in farewell. My recorder was still turned on, so I got his farewell word by word.
PS: “Excuse me, something turned up. Got to be going. But you were not quite like the other idiots. Listen, for the next book release, I’ll give you a proper interview. Peace out! ”
And with those words he leaves me. One of the more strange interviews I have done. Absolutely one of the shortest. I’m sitting and thinking about the phenomenon Peter Stein. Very strange man. And “Peace out”? Are there even people who use such words anymore? It sounds like it was taken from a Hollywood production for teens.
Just like one Peter Stein would like.