Paul Auster

Paul Auster

Unhappy Unrest

Paul Auster is one of the USA’s most important contemporary writers. In this short video, he speaks his mind about the growing right-wing and Donald Trump: “I think he’s the most dangerous being that has ever existed in public office in the United States.”

When asked about the growing tensions between old-time allies Europe and the United States, Auster feels that there are more similarities than differences: “It seems that both of us – Europeans and Americans – are in some kind of crisis. The post-war world that we’ve been living with for the past 72 years is changing, and how it will settle I don’t really know yet.” Brexit, Donald Trump and the “the right-wing populist movements growing up in all countries” are all signs of how there are a lot of unhappy people out there, who want things to change, but don’t know how to: “There’s a lot of unrest.” In the past, people had ideologies such as Marxism to lean on when looking for answers: “Right now, I don’t see any new ideologies coming up to explain the world to people.” This, he feels, makes the present “a particularly confusing moment.”

On the subject of President Donald Trump, Auster is very clear: “I can’t tell you how revolted I am by him, and how disgusting I feel he is. He’s stupid and ignorant… I just pray he doesn’t stay in office very long, or that his own incompetence will prevent him from doing all the harm I think he wants to do.”

Paul Auster (b. 1947) is a highly acclaimed American novelist. He has published numerous novels such as the ‘The New York Trilogy’ (1985-1987), ‘Moon Palace’ (1989), ‘The Music of Chance’ (1990), ‘Leviathan’ (1992’), ‘The Book of Illusions’ (2002), ‘Man in the Dark’ (2008), ‘Sunset Park’ (2010) and ‘4321’ (2017), as well as autobiographical books such as ‘The Invention of Solitude’ (1982), ‘Winter Journal’ (2012) and ‘Report From the Interior’ (2013). He has also written screenplays for several films, including ‘Smoke’ (1995). Auster is the recipient of prestigious awards such as the Prix Médicis Étranger (1993) and the John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence. From 2018 he will be President of PEN America.

Paul Auster was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner in August 2017 in connection with the Louisiana Literature festival in Denmark.

Camera: Klaus Elmer
Edited by: Klaus Elmer
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2017

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Bunny Rogers

    Mourning Youth

    “You can’t make objective art, it’s going to be subjective.” Watch the praised artist Bunny Rogers (b. 1990) talk about creating autobiographical work that draws from memory and deals with her childhood by archiving her feelings from that time.

  • Ed Atkins

    Something is Missing

    Ed Atkins is considered one of the most unsettling contemporary artists – as well as one of the most exciting. In this video, the young British artist shares how he works from written texts, and why melancholy is at the centre of his animated digital videos.

  • Louisa Gagliardi

    Longing for Something Else

    “Art is amazing because it’s in a way unnecessary, but extremely necessary as a testimony of its time.” Let us introduce you to a rising star of painting, Louisa Gagliardi, who creates her surreal work digitally and adds layers of paint to the printed image.

  • Hannah Levy

    A Design Purgatory

    “I wonder if the reason why people want to touch it is that they’re in some way attracted to it, or if they’re repulsed by it.” Meet the young artist Hannah Levy, who primarily makes sculptures combining curving steel forms with cast silicone.

  • Dora Budor

    Acting Things

    “I want to use art as a field where I can explore parallel scenarios.” Dora Budor makes complex sculptures and interactive installations inspired by cinematic metaverse and scientific research. Join us as we visit the young Croatian artist in her studio.

  • Ian Cheng

    A Portal to Infinity

    Watch Ian Cheng, a rising star on the art scene, talk about his trilogy of animated live simulation works – ‘Emissaries’ – which work like a never-ending video game in real time: “It was a process that was on-going as life is on-going.”

  • Yona Friedman

    Advice to the Young

    What piece of advice would a renowned 94-year-old architect offer young architects? Find out in this short video, where Yona Friedman argues that architects must always adapt to the context and work for the average user.

  • Jan Gehl

    How to Build a Good City

    “We now know that first, we form the cities, but then the cities form us.” Meet the 81-year-old Danish architect Jan Gehl, who for more than fifty years has focused on improving the quality of urban life by helping people “re-conquer the city.”

  • Marina Abramović & Ulay

    A Living Door of the Museum

    Standing naked in the main entrance of a museum, facing each other while the audience passes sideways through the small space. Legendary performance artists Marina Abramović and Ulay share the story behind their poetic work ‘Imponderabilia’.

  • Bill Viola

    Cameras are Soul Keepers

    When video artist Bill Viola was 6 years old he fell into a lake, all the way to the bottom, to a place which seemed like paradise. "There's more than just the surface of life." Viola explains. "The real things are under the surface".

  • Wang Shu

    Architecture is a Job for God

    The Chinese architect Wang Shu’s buildings – a crossover between traditional Chinese culture and large-scale modern architecture – have earned him prestigious awards. “Democracy means a really diverse society,” says the architect in this inspiring interview.

  • Margrethe Odgaard

    Colour Diary of New York

    Becoming more aware of your surroundings can “open a new dimension inside as well as outside yourself.” Meet award-winning Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard who has trained herself to register the world through colours.