:: Interviews

Existentialists In Love published 16/12/2017

Lovers can be the best mirrors because they tend to know us more intimately than anyone else. This is a curse too, though, because the more we care about another person, the more we want to know what they think of us, the more power they have over us, the more dependent we are on their views of us, and the more we want to try to control that view. There are two main strategies we use to try to find out the other’s views – their secrets – about us: possession and being possessed. That’s the sadism and masochism. We try to force the other person to reveal what they think of us, or we try to be subservient, to assimilate into the other.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Skye C. Cleary.

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… Or, ‘On the Novel’ – An Interview with Agustín Fernández Mallo published 14/12/2017

I believe that research for a novel is like a stone tied round the writer’s foot, it doesn’t allow him or her to move forward, he or she sinks. You have to be brave, imaginative and suggest nonsense which nevertheless has to be credible. This is the challenge: verisimilitude, not truth. 

John Trefry interviews Agustín Fernández Mallo.

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Performative Trance Trauma published 10/12/2017

My work often hangs out in the discomfort, the simultaneous alienation and implication of the viewer. Show them something raw, show them a trauma and show them a trance, amplify the calamity of being a woman, let them think what they want but make. them. think.

[Image: Antoine S. Lutens]

Continuing the States of Anxiety series, Jana Astanov interviews Leah Aron.

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Refer published 09/12/2017

I think it matters, and should matter, to a lot of Americans whether Trump is lying to us or whether he’s just full of shit. Likewise for the Brexiteers. Maybe it’ll only matter for the history books—well, at least until Trump finally gets around to banning those. Still, it matters. If we’re going to do better, we’ve got to start holding people to account, and hopefully in the right sorts of ways. My vague hope is that learning to attend to the various different ways in which our politicians lie to us, mislead us, and otherwise use language to manipulate us might one day help us to start making better, more informed decisions. I just don’t know how we can possibly hope to move forward in the complex, rather fucked-up world we live in if we’re basing our collective decisions not on good information, but on some bullshit that Trump decides to put in a tweet or that Boris Johnson decides sounds good on the side of a bus.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Eliot Michaelson.

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End Times Philosophy Interviews: The First 302 published 08/12/2017

As we hit the 300 mark I thought it might be a good idea to organise them in one place for readers who might find it useful. So here is the whole series so far. The categories used are pretty rough and ready but should help orientate people.

The End Times Catalog – all 302 of the interviews in one place!

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Diana Arterian in Conversation with Vi Khi Nao published 07/12/2017

Personally I would halt all suffering if I were bestowed with that power—even at the cost of art. Art can be a powerful and an exacting tool against oppressive systems, but often at great expense to the artist themselves (either prior to, during, or following artistic production). I wish I knew of an opening into great art without pain, but thus far that falls outside my own experience. My work feels so deeply entwined with my pain at times. I think, to begin, we must fight mythologising the aura surrounding the pain/great art link—the idea one must suffer for art as that is what endures after the artist is long dead, or has an impact on a larger community. I fence with this idea a lot. Is an artist’s short life, full of suffering, per se, worth the “sacrifice” for a painting that profoundly touches someone two centuries later? Has the impact that Rilke describes in “Archaic Torso of Apollo,” where the viewer realizes she must change her life? I don’t know.

Vi Khi Nao interviews Diana Arterian.

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Niconomicon: A Conversation With Lutz Graf-Ulbrich published 05/12/2017

If The Velvet Underground was the first “alternative” rock band, Nico—the Andy Warhol Superstar and original art house chanteuse most famous for her contributions to 1967’s The Velvet Underground & Nico, the band’s debut—was the first alternative to alternative music. Warhol essentially imposed the German supermodel on the band, as though she were an art installation. The result, arguably, was the advent of contemporary pop culture.

JJ Brine and Cat Marnell interview the musician Lutz Graf-Ulbrich about his relationship with The Velvet Underground’s Nico.

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Logics: More Than One Way to Skin a Cat… published 02/12/2017

There is a logic that is nowadays called “classical logic”. It is based on a number of assumptions, including the assumption that a domain of individuals the language of classical logic is used to talk about is never empty, and that every sentence is either true or false but not neither true nor false nor both true and false in a given situation. Historically, this logic is rather young and goes back to work by George Boole and Gottlob Frege in the second half of the 19th century. The first textbook on classical first-order logic appeared in 1927. It may be debated whether the classicality of what is now called “classical logic” is a historical coincidence or whether classical logic is classical for some deeper reasons.

Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Heinrich Wansing.

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“I was rather the bad boy in New Zealand literature”: C. K. Stead at 85 published 01/12/2017

My literary criticism has become less specifically academic. I was really writing literary history in The New Poetic, but my general practice of writing literary criticism is pretty much what it always has been. And there has always been a strong connection between being a writer—I feel as though I know what it feels like inside and I can say I’ve experienced similar problems and solutions from the inside. And I think that’s a great advantage as a critic, because you know what the writer is feeling.

Louis Klee interviews C.K. Stead.

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Materialising time in Lawrence, Kansas: a conversation with John Trefry published 30/11/2017

Inside the Castle is the title of a book I’ll never write that takes place inside the titular castle from Kafka’s book. The book was going to address my perception that the castle was just a place like any other, continuous with the fabric we traverse, and that it had no mythical distinction from the rest of the village where K is loitering around. So in this way it analogised my perspective on books, that they were contemporaneous continuations of the physical environment, and that their contents were meant to be seen as active word objects, not depictions.

Joseph Schreiber interviews John Trefry.

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