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