Denmark-bound Keillor chats about his plans

By , Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

``It's sort of like the high plateaus of Alaska,'' said Garrison Keillor, referring to radio as a medium. ``They're as beautiful as ever, but how do you support yourself there?'' The host of Minnesota Public Radio's ``A Prairie Home Companion'' - speaking on MonitoRadio with interviewer Frank Ferrel - was reflecting on his recent decision to leave the weekly program with the June 13 broadcast. Mr. Keillor called the show ``the most fantastic, loveliest opportunity for a writer, a writer who also has an interest in performing his work.

``It's an opportunity to look at and comment on just about anything, just about immediately, ... and I know that when I leave the show in June, that's the thing I will miss the most....''

Privacy was one of the factors in Keillor's decision not only to end his show but to go to Denmark with his family for a time.

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``I've had sort of a running disagreement with the two newspapers in town over what constitutes private life,'' he noted in the radio interview, ``and there really isn't any way to resolve it. ... In the end, they are right when they say that a person who chooses to be in the public eye really forfeits any legal claim to privacy ... and so it really leaves me no alternative but to go....

``I think that a person who is not shy might be more adventurous in being one of these extravagant public characters that we all love, people who really don't seem to draw any line around themselves and who live flamboyant and colorful lives in public. I'm not that person.''

On his writing plans, Keillor noted that they include a piece for The New Yorker ``about Denmark, which I need to write before I become too familiar with it. It's a little piece ... about feeling foolish and trying to talk the language and being mystified and enchanted by this beautiful city, a city which is my wife's home town.... I'm working on a book about Lake Wobegon called `Lake Wobegon Loose.' I've been working a little bit on a film script that is interesting to me.''

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