Tag Archives: Interviews

Video Interviews: 71-Year Old Welsh Author Ken Follett On His Writing

Ken Follett, international best-selling author and one of the world’s best-loved novelists, joined Reverend Hilary De Lyon (RSM Vice-President) for a lively discussion about his work, including the variety of different kinds of novels he has written, from the longevity and international success of his first novel Eye of the Needle and the later The Pillars of the Earth, to his latest book A Column of Fire; and what inspires him in the creative process of developing exciting plots in many different historical settings. The RSM’s In Conversation Live series offers the opportunity to get first-hand insights into the lives and thoughts of high profile individuals through an intimate, relaxed and entertaining setting, direct to your living room.

Kenneth Martin Follett, CBE, FRSL is a Welsh author of thrillers and historical novels who has sold more than 160 million copies of his works. Many of his books have achieved high ranking on best seller lists.

Author Interviews: Slavoj Žižek On His New Book “Hegel In A Wired Brain”

Monocle 24 Meet The WritersSlavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher and writer whose vast catalogue of work has earned him celebrity status across the globe. A radical leftist, his work encompasses everything from psychoanalysis and political theory to art and film criticism. 

Described as “the leading Hegelian of our time”, he speaks to Georgina Godwin about his latest book, ‘Hegel in a Wired Brain’, which is an evaluation of the German philosopher’s relevance in the 21st century that ties in with the 250th anniversary of his birth.

In celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of G.W.F. Hegel, Slavoj Žižek gives us a reading of the philosophical giant that changes our way of thinking about our new posthuman era. No ordinary study of Hegel, Hegel in a Wired Brain investigates what he might have had to say about the idea of the ‘wired brain’ – what happens when a direct link between our mental processes and a digital machine emerges. Žižek explores the phenomenon of a wired brain effect, and what might happen when we can share our thoughts directly with others. He hones in on the key question of how it shapes our experience and status as ‘free’ individuals and asks what it means to be human when a machine can read our minds.

With characteristic verve and enjoyment of the unexpected, Žižek connects Hegel to the world we live in now, shows why he is much more fun than anyone gives him credit for, and why the 21st century might just be Hegelian.

Podcast Interviews: Alexander Vreeland On His Fashion Journalist Grandmother “Diana”

The StackAlexander Vreeland, grandson of fashion journalist Diana Vreeland, tells us about his new book, ‘Bon Mots: Words of Wisdom from the Empress of Fashion’.

81vcK3Ok10LDiana Vreeland’s insightful edicts and evocative aphorisms remain her strongest legacy. She looked at life as a romantic and lived through dreams and imagination. Showing leadership, vision, and timeless wit, this book celebrates her visionary words that not only transformed the world of fashion, but also gave us sage advice to live by.

Sourced and edited by her grandson Alexander, Diana Vreeland: Bon Mots covers Vreeland’s incisive views of subjects such as allure, fashion, and style (“I mean, a new dress doesn’t get you anywhere; it’s the life you’re living in the dress”); beauty (“The neck is the beginning and end of looking like anybody”); age (“The quickest way to show your age is to try to look young”); color (“Black is the hardest color to get right–except for gray”); and her powerfully creative way of thinking (“I’m looking for the suggestion of something I’ve never seen”) Brought to life by illustrator Luke Edward Hall, Bon Mots vividly displays Mrs. Vreeland’s original thought and speech, which is equally as inspiring and relevant now as it was then.

About the Author

Diana Vreeland (1903-1989) joined Harper’s Bazaar as fashion editor in 1936; was the editor in chief of Vogue from 1962 to 1971; and later oversaw the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Alexander Vreeland has had an extensive career in fashion and beauty and is the president of the Diana Vreeland Estate and the author of Diana Vreeland Memos (Rizzoli, 2013) and Diana Vreeland: The Modern Woman (Rizzoli, 2015). Luke Edward Hall is a London-based artist and designer.

New History Books: “The Year 1000” By Valerie Hansen (Getty Podcast)

Getty Arts+IdeasValerie Hansen explores these early economic and cultural exchanges and their long-term impact in her new book “The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World―and Globalization Began”, which originated as a college course co-taught with Mary Miller, director of the Getty Research Institute. In this episode, Hansen and Miller discuss the state of the world around the year 1000.

The Year 1000 - When Explorers Connected the World - and Globalization Began - Valerie HansenFrom celebrated Yale professor Valerie Hansen, a groundbreaking work of history showing that bold explorations and daring trade missions connected all of the world’s great societies for the first time at the end of the first millennium.

People often believe that the years immediately prior to AD 1000 were, with just a few exceptions, lacking in any major cultural developments or geopolitical encounters, that the Europeans hadn’t yet reached North America, and that the farthest feat of sea travel was the Vikings’ invasion of Britain. But how, then, to explain the presence of blonde-haired people in Maya temple murals at Chichén Itzá, Mexico? Could it be possible that the Vikings had found their way to the Americas during the height of the Maya empire?

Valerie Hansen, an award-winning historian, argues that the year 1000 was the world’s first point of major cultural exchange and exploration. Drawing on nearly thirty years of research, she presents a compelling account of first encounters between disparate societies, which sparked conflict and collaboration eerily reminiscent of our contemporary moment.

For readers of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel and Yuval Noah Harari’s SapiensThe Year 1000 is an intellectually daring, provocative account that will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about how the modern world came to be. It will also hold up a mirror to the hopes and fears we experience today.

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Interview: Legendary 71-Year Old Folk Rock Singer Songwriter “Cat Stevens”

By any name, Yusuf Islam is a legend. The man who came to fame as Cat Stevens will soon release a new album, a collection of songs he made famous half a century ago and has now re-recorded with the perspective that 50 years of living can bring. Correspondent Tracy Smith talks with Yusuf about recording “Tea for the Tillerman 2,” including his duet with his younger self for the song “Father and Son.”

Interviews: Author Peter Boxall On His Book “The Prosthetic Imagination”

In this interview, Peter Boxall answers questions about his new title, The Prosthetic Imagination: A History of the Novel as Artificial Life. If the novel has helped to give our world a human shape, it also contains forms of life that elude our existing human architectures: new amalgams of the living and the non-living that are the hidden province of the novel imagination.
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These latent conjunctions, Boxall argues, are preserved in the novel form, and offer us images of embodied being that can help us orient ourselves to our new prosthetic condition.
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Discover more about this title at: https://www.cambridge.org/academic/su…

Podcast Interviews: Filmmaker Jon Wilkman On “Screening Reality”

New Books in History talks to Professional filmmaker Jon Wilkman, who draws on his own experience, as well as the stories of inventors, adventurers, journalists, entrepreneurs, artists, and activists who framed and filtered the world to inform, persuade, awe, and entertain.

Screening Reality: How Documentary Filmmakers Reimagined America (Bloomsbury, 2020) is a widescreen view of how American “truth” has been discovered, defined, projected, televised, and streamed during more than one hundred years of dramatic change, through World Wars I and II, the dawn of mass media, the social and political turmoil of the sixties and seventies, and the communications revolution that led to a twenty-first century of empowered yet divided Americans.

Podcast Interviews: 56-Year Old British Writer Julia Hobsbawm – “The Simplicity Principle”

JMonocle 24 Meet The Writersulia Hobsbawm is a writer, speaker, social entrepreneur and strategist whose work focuses on finding solutions for humans in an ever-changing world. She speaks to Georgina Godwin about her latest book, ‘The Simplicity Principle: Six Steps Towards Clarity in a Complex World’.

Podcasts Interviews: The Diagnosis And Early Treatment Of Covid-19

In this audio interview conducted on June 3, 2020, the editors discuss two new studies: one comparing test swabs collected by health care workers with swabs collected by the patients themselves and one assessing hydroxychloroquine treatment in people who had been exposed to Covid-19 but weren’t yet ill.

The continuing spread of SARS-CoV-2 remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. What physicians need to know about transmission, diagnosis, and treatment of Covid-19 is the subject of ongoing updates from infectious disease experts at the Journal.

Eric Rubin is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal. Lindsey Baden is a Deputy Editor of the Journal. Stephen Morrissey, the interviewer, is the Executive Managing Editor of the Journal.

Podcast Profiles: Author Georges Simenon, Creator Of Inspector Maigret (LRB)

London Review of Books’ John Lanchester talks to Thomas Jones about Georges Simenon, whose output was so prodigious that even he didn’t know how many books he wrote.

Georges Simenon - Maigret ReturnsTRANSCRIPT

Thomas Jones: Hello, and welcome to the London Review of Books podcast. My name is Thomas Jones, and today I’m talking to John Lanchester, who’s written a piece in the current issue of the LRB about Georges Simenon and his 75 Maigret novels, which Penguin have just finished reissuing in new translations. Hello, John.

John Lanchester: Hi Tom. Thanks for having me.

TJ: Thank you for joining me. And I thought we could begin where you begin your piece with Simenon’s ‘colossal output’, as you put it, and that nobody knows how many books he actually wrote, though it was probably more than four hundred, which is fewer than Barbara Cartland, but still puts the rest of us to shame.

JL: He didn’t half crack on, that’s true. Yes, he started as a young man in Liège, his home town in Belgium. And he got a job as a reporter on the local paper. I think he was not quite 16, which is properly strange. It’s like something out of a high concept kid’s TV show, you know, Georges Simenon – Boy Reporter, and very early on latched onto the idea of making money through writing.He began writing when he was 18, his first book came out when he was 19. He started writing every sort of potboiler, thrillers, romances, sort of semi-porn westerns, things like that, at an absolutely astounding rate of productivity. And his target was eighty pages a day, typewritten, and even on the assumption that the pages … I mean, a short page would be 150 words and it could well have been more, but it was 10,000 words a day, and he did that every single day. And then he’d write eighty pages, and then he’d go and be sick. Just from the physical and mental exertion and the strain. That was in the morning. And then he’d recover and do a bit of light reading and pottering about. And then the next day he did the same again, over and over and over for about seven years. And in that period, as you’ve mentioned, we don’t know exactly how many, because he forgot, and he had multiple pseudonyms. The main one being Georges Sim, which was how he was known when he began writing the Simenon novels. People thought that Simenon was a pseudonym because George Sim was so well known, but he seems to have written about 150 or more books in this seven-year burst. It  makes you feel peculiar even to think about what that must have been like.

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