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An excerpt from my interview with writer and Novelist Philip Pullman: you can read the whole thing on Aeon Magazine

In a rare interview, Philip Pullman tells us his own origin story, and why the great questions are still religious ones

This battle between authority and self-authorship is a major tenet of Pullman’s narratives. For example, the young heroes of His Dark Materials, Will and Lyra, are ordinary people trying to reclaim an imaginative world that’s been monopolised by the gnostic Magisterium. Pullman readily concedes: ‘This is a perpetual obsession of mine.’ But when I ask if he really is in control of his fictional worlds, or whether, surely, his characters take over sometimes, he confesses: ‘I’m a very imperfect tyrant, because occasionally they do that. You can’t really make them do what they don’t what to do. It’s a complicated, confused business.’ So much for the absolutism, or absolute anti-absolutism.

‘I think religious questions are the big questions. Where did we come from? What is life about? What is evil? Those are questions I do think about’

Published in Interviews
Wednesday, 21 July 2010 00:00

Tony Judt: the last interview

 

Exclusive to Prospect online, the full transcript of Peter Jukes's interview with historian and author Tony Judt

Peter Jukes (right) with Judt (middle), 2007


Tony Judt died, surrounded by his family, on the evening of August 6th, 2010. The New York Times obituary can be read here. This is the full transcript of Peter Jukes’s interview with Tony Judt—conducted earlier this year via email, due to the progress of Judt’s motor neurone disease. The full text of Jukes’s portrait of Tony Judt is featured in the August issue of Prospect, and can be read online here.

Peter Jukes: I’ll start with a confession. Before we first met 12 years ago at the Remarque Forum [a conference Judt sponsored as professor of history at New York University] a joint friend of ours sent me an example of your work—a chapter I think from your 1979 book Socialism in Provence 1871-1914. I must admit my heart sank. I’m sure it was compelling and well documented, but it gave no indication of the liveliness and relevance of the discussion at that Forum, nor of the range of your writing. I think you must have been half way through your compendious history of the whole of post-war Europe at the time.

So my question is: how did you move from the micro-analysis of the French left between two wars to the often global historical issues you address today?

Published in Interviews

Links and Contact Details

Live Tweeting

Over the last few years I've created some attention with my live coverage of the phone hacking trial in London, the most expensive and longest concluded criminal trial in British history. There are various accounts and articles about this on the web, including a radio play. My Twitter feed can be found here, and a collation of evidence from the trial, and all my live tweets, can be found at my Fothom Wordpress blog. There's also a Flipboard magazine and a Facebook Page. My Klout ranking is here.

More Journalism and Books

Various journalistic articles of mine are scattered throughout the web. There's some kind of portfolio at Muckrack. The most extensive reporting is for the Daily Beast and Newsweek, but there's more at the New Statesman, the New Republic, Aeon etc. I have two non fiction books published in the last year: The Fall of the House of Murdoch, available through Unbound or Amazon, and Beyond Contempt: the Inside Story of the Phone Hacking Trial, available via Canbury Press or also on Amazon. I am currently contributing to a new site for open source journalism, called Bellingcat, and advisor (along with Sir Harry Evans and Bill Emmott) to an exciting new crowdfunded journalism startip Byline

Getting in Contact

My generic email is my first name at peterjukes.com. That should get through to me pretty quickly. My Linked In profile is here. For non journalistic inquiries, for television stage and film, contact Howard Gooding at Judy Daish Associates. Examples of my television work can be found on IMDB. This links to the site for my forthcoming musical, Mrs Gucci. My radio plays can be found in various audiobook formats on Amazon and elsewhere.

 

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