Literature

Literature

  • Paul Auster

    The Meanness of New York

    The iconic New York novelist, Paul Auster, comments on the much debated Eric Garner case, and why he doesn’t want to give his usual pep talk about his beloved New York.

  • Kiran Desai

    The World Arrived in Books

    Because she spent her childhood in an India, that had not yet opened its doors to the larger world, Indian novelist, Kiran Desai, had only her knowledge from books to rely on, before she later became an immigrant.

  • Kenneth Goldsmith

    Assume No Readership

    This video presents a poet, who believes in uncreative writing and reads traffic reports to Barack Obama in the White House, calling it poetry. Meet Kenneth Goldsmith, who claims that “copyright doesn’t exist.”

  • Herta Müller

    How could I forgive

    ”Reconciliation? How can I reconcile with a regime? It's a huge machine. Each person was the dictatorship itself.” Interview with German-Romanian writer Herta Müller, who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2009. If you only see one interview with her, it must be this one!

  • Siri Hustvedt

    Art is a Memory

    “Every painting is always two paintings: The one you see, and the one you remember.” Interview with the renowned writer Siri Hustvedt on her strong personal relationship with art and on how she sees image and text as very different experiences.

  • Kenneth Goldsmith

    Poetry in a Newspaper

    Meet the playful American poet Kenneth Goldsmith, who demonstrates how poetry is all around us - you just need to open your eyes to it, the way Goldsmith does in this video.

  • Kenneth Goldsmith

    Reads Traffic Reports to Obama

    Plagiarism, file sharing, inauthenticity and insincerity. Vivacious American poet, Kenneth Goldsmith, was unfazed about entertaining the White House: “I just said the things that I normally say.”

  • James McBride

    That’s the America I Live In

    “When you glorify violence, then it comes back to bite you.” In this short video, writer James McBride reflects on the riots in the city of Ferguson and America’s refusal to take a long critical look at itself.

  • Alaa al-Aswany

    Dictatorship is a Disease

    Why is dictatorship so hard to get rid of? Best-selling Egyptian novelist, Alaa al-Aswany, here presents us with surprising takes on a continuously hot topic.

  • Daniel Kehlmann

    I could have been someone else

    ”I think a lot about chance and coincidence. We tend to regard the status quo as necessary, but in fact small details rule our existence. Absolutely anything in life could be completely different. For a writer this is an ideal situation: The novel is the art form of ambivalence.” Meet German writer Daniel Kehlmann, author of the global bestseller Measuring the World.

  • Lydia Davis

    All I get out of three cows

    "I would like to try to understand them and see how they exist in the world. Their existence is just as important to them, as ours is to us". Acclaimed writer Lydia Davis has been observing three cows for some years. "I envy them", she says.

  • Lydia Davis

    Reading 'Goodbye Louise'

    "Linda, Lyidia, Lindon, Lyda…" The acclaimed American short story writer Lydia Davis reads an ongoing piece of writing - 'a false autobiography' - of mistakes made about her name and profession. It's funny!

  • Herta Müller

    Putin Makes Me Sick

    "It's outrageous and it's far worse than what we had in our dictatorships back then", says German writer Herta Müller about Vladimir Putin and Russia's interference in the Ukraine.

  • Paterson & Atwood

    Future Library

    Come take a walk in the forest with Scottish artist Katie Paterson, who tells us about her artwork Future Library. And meets world famous writer Margaret Atwood, who will write this future library's first story, not to be published for 100 years.

  • Salman Rushdie

    A chance of lasting

    "I feel very proud to be part of this resistance", says the acclaimed British writer Salman Rushdie reflecting on his book The Satanic Verses and the years of the fatwa. "Today people are much weaker. I wonder if such an act of collective solidarity would ever happen again."

  • Salman Rushdie

    A line had to be defended

    "It wasn't only about me. It was a moment, when a line had to be held when you could not concede the fight", says the author of The Satanic Verses, Salman Rusdie, in this outtake from a longer interview about his life and work.

  • John Giorno

    Poets are Mirrors of the Mind

    Meet one of the great originators of performance poetry, John Giorno, as he looks back at his first meetings with poetry, his great influences, the importance of performing without a book, and where poetry is headed in the future.

  • Ian McEwan

    Reading from 'Sweet Tooth'

    During the Cold War CIA and MI6 funded cultural fronts. To promote the open societies agents had to operate in deep secret, an absurdity that drew Ian McEwan to write the spy novel ’Sweet Tooth’, which he reads from here.

  • Chimamanda Adichie

    Beauty does not solve any problem

    I am drawn to the beauty of sentences, Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie confesses in this interview. Nevertheless it is important to keep a distance to your characters.

  • Peter Laugesen

    Burning signals of two painters

    "Artists have to be like victims on the stakes, sending signals through the flames". Follow the burning signals of Asger Jorn and Jackson Pollock through the eyes of Danish poet, Peter Laugesen.

  • Gavin Turk

    About Piero Manzoni

    Is shit in a can art? In this short interview Gavin Turk talks about how Piero Manzoni and his piece ”Artist’s Shit” from 1961 has inspired him in working with his own art pieces, questioning art and its value.

  • David Vann

    Writing is a second chance

    You need two things for a good book: a character with a problem and a landscape. Hear American bestselling-author David Vann tell why.

  • Per Petterson

    The margins on your side

    Meet Per Petterson, one of the finest Norwegian writers, who talks about writing between the lines and playing with what's not being told. And about a country that's flooded with money!

  • Jonathan Safran Foer

    meets Jeffrey Eugenides

    A conversation between two great American writers, Jonathan Safran Foer and Jeffrey Eugenides, about the difficulty of writing and living, and the necessity of striking the right balance of self hate in order to write.

  • Ibrahim Al-Koni

    In the desert we visit death

    The desert means freedom. It is the only place where we can stare death in the face, and return home safely afterwards. Meet Libyan writer Ibrahim Al-Koni for a rare talk about the desert as a literary place.

  • Yahya Hassan

    Poems of rage

    Aged just 18, Danish-Palestinian Yahya Hassan has caused a stir and received death threats because of his powerful poetry collection, which sold in 100.000 copies, criticizing the hypocrisy of the welfare state, his family and Muslims in Denmark.

  • Ian McEwan

    How we read each other

    We are all spies trying to read each others secrets. Meet the superb British writer Ian McEwan in this conversation about his novel Sweet Tooth (2012) – a novel about literature as well as about a love affair between two very different people.

  • Adonis & Al-Koni

    Religion is a moral behavior

    Two of the greatest living Arab writers meet on stage together for the first time, Syrian Adonis and Libyan Ibrahim Al-Koni, in this video about poetry, Sufism and the changes happening in the wake of the Arab spring.

  • Taiye Selasi

    I'm a multi-local afropolitan

    ”There is no going back. Time moves on, we change, countries change, spaces change.” Meet the new star of English literature, Taiye Selasi, in this interview about what it means to be human in a global world, searching for a space to be yourself.

  • César Aira

    The queen of the arts

    “Literature is the queen of the arts – the greatest of them all, because it embraces them all. When you write, you are making music, painting, drawing, cinema.” Meet the unique, secretive César Aira in this rare interview.

  • Waciny Laredj

    Towards a new humanity

    ”What makes us human is those little gestures.” In this interview Algerian writer and academic Waciny Laredj talks about Islamism and democracy, and about how some religious leaders are learning to accept the modern world.

  • Colum McCann

    What Ulysses did to me

    ”The blood that moves through me right now is my great grandfathers blood, but the reason I know him, is because I read Ulysses” says Irish writer Colum McCann in this interview about James Joyce’s modernist novel.

  • 10 Writers

    On the Magic of Reading

    Enjoy these 10 acclaimed writers as they reveal what the magic of reading is to them, and why they feel literature is so powerful.

  • Günter Grass

    Our democracies are collapsing

    The protest against surveillance is turning global. A list of leading authors from around the world have signed the petition "A Stand for Democracy in the Digital age". One of them: German Nobel Prize winner Günter Grass explains why...

  • Günter Grass

    Writing against the wall

    "I realized it was through language, that I could define myself as a German." Meet Nobel Prize laureate Günter Grass in this interview where he reflects on his life, literary work and political engagement.

  • Tomomi Adachi

    Performing 'infrared sensor shirt'

    Get ready for a unique, extraordinary experience, as Japanese composer and sound-poet Tomomi Adachi's performs with his special invention - an infrared sensor shirt, which creates sounds according to what Adachi says and how he moves.

  • Sofi Oksanen

    All nations have untold stories

    ”We have the freedom, so we are also obliged to defend certain rights.” An interview with the award winning writer Sofi Oksanen on her latest novel ’When the Doves Disappeared’, a story of occupation, resistance and collaboration in Estonia during and after World War II.

  • Tomomi Adachi

    My voice in unknown places

    How can you find meaning in sound? Meet Japanese sound poet Tomomi Adachi who combines his voice with his own wondrous musical inventions to create sound works between poetry and music.

  • Taiye Selasi

    Reading from 'Ghana must go'

    With her debut ’Ghana Must Go’ (2013) Taiye Selasi was singled out as the new star of English literature, backed up by Salman Rushdie and Toni Morrison. ’Ghana Must Go’ is a profound, emotional story of family betrayal, transformation and love.

  • Taiye Selasi & Colum McCann

    We are all multi-local

    Meet the distinguished writers Taiye Selasi and Colum McCann in this inspiring talk about finding a way to be yourself, a "citizen of elsewhere", with more than one home and an international identity based on many local experiences.

  • Zadie Smith

    On bad girls & the hard midlife

    Once you reach the mid thirties, time speeds up intolerably and life becomes more complicated. Interview with writer Zadie Smith about her acclaimed new novel 'NW'; a portrait of modern urban life - and the unravelling of a generation.

  • Ian McEwan

    On making love work in fiction

    “Literature thrives on conflict.” The renowned British writer Ian McEwan talks of making love work in fiction, the amazing evolution of the novel as a genre, and the mature writer as a toddler of old age.

  • Günter Grass

    Facebook is Shit

    "Someone who has 500 friends, has no friends." An interview with the Nobel Prize winning author Günter Grass on why he dislikes Facebook, computers and the internet.

  • Nicole Krauss

    meets Naja Marie Aidt

    ”The older I get, the less I trust resolution at all, and the more comfortable I feel with questions.” Writers Nicole Krauss and Naja Marie Aidt in a conversation about poetry and novels.

  • Chimamanda Adichie

    The right to tell your story

    ”A strong woman is not something I find remarkable, it’s something that I find normal.” Interview with the acclaimed Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie about the power of writing against violence and war.

  • Khaled Khalifa

    Silence is disgraceful too

    “I know that words can’t stop a gun, but silence is disgraceful too.” Writer Khaled Khalifa talks about the importance of the written word, on daring to ask and answer questions, and on believing in peace through revolution.

  • Patti Smith

    I will always live like Peter Pan

    70-minute interview with Patti Smith from the Louisiana Literature festival in Denmark 2012. ”I thought we didn’t have to grow up. I was heart broken to find out that we didn’t have a choice.” Patti Smith is still running wild, staying young at heart.

  • Tomas Espedal

    My books are about language

    "You have to cross all boundaries and live with the consequences." Interview with award winning Norwegian writer Tomas Espedal on how being a writer means being willing to write about everything, even if doing so means hurting those closest to you.

  • Roni Horn

    Saying Water

    Have you ever stood by a river and stared into the black water? In this video acclaimed artist Roni Horn takes us down by the riverside, performing a powerful 40 minute monologue based on her associations with water, including tales of sex and murder.

  • Caroline Bergvall

    Seeing through languages

    Did you know that in French one has to spit out a cat, in order to clear one's throat? Poet Caroline Bergwall questions what languages do to the way we understand ourselves: “English speakers don't so much struggle with cats as with frogs.”

  • Linn Ullmann

    We all try to make life work

    ”Literature was a place, where I could recognize things, that I thought were only felt by me.” Meet Norwegian writer Linn Ullmann for a conversation about literature, writing and the obligation of the author to be critical of power.

  • Patti Smith

    We all have a creative impulse

    "Every human being has a creative impulse, and we all have the right to exercise this creative impulse" says rock poet Patti Smith. The difference between general creativity and being an artist is a true calling to produce work that endures and inspires.

  • Patti Smith

    Reading from Woolgathering

    Patti Smith reads a very moving passage from her memoir Woolgathering, about her close relationship to her baby sister as well as with her spirit dog Bambi, her childhood companion with whom she shared a unique understanding and connection.

  • César Aira

    My ideal is the fairy tale

    Interview with Argentinian César Aira who has been called the Marcel Duchamp of Latin America because of his experimental and unpredictable books, heralded by e.g. Roberto Bolaño and Patti Smith.

  • Gary Shteyngart meets DBC Pierre

    "Writing sucks. The worst. Like masturbation with paper cuts." Enjoy writers DBC Pierre and Gary Shteyngart in this extremely funny conversation from Louisiana Literature 2011.

  • Göran Rosenberg

    The road from Auschwitz

    What we should remember about Auschwitz is, that it was made possible by humans, says Göran Rosenberg, whose book about his father won the renowned Swedish August-prize in 2012. "And these human beings are we."

  • Anne Carson

    Reading from Nox

    Anne Carson reads from her book Nox, which is an epitaph for her brother who ran away and died in Copenhagen. In Nox Carson tries to picture her brother through diary notes, letters and photographs.

  • Anne Carson

    Performing Antigonick

    Canadian Anne Carson has been heralded as one of the most important contemporary poets writing in English. In this video she performs ’Antigonick’, which is her version of Sophocles’ ancient Greek tragedy, Antigone.

  • Kerstin Ekman

    Be careful of writers

    Swedish writer Kerstin Ekman, one of Scandinavia’s most renowned authors, talks about how she uses her own experiences when writing and why we should be careful of writers when they try to preach to us about society.

  • Gary Shteyngart

    Introducing a toilet

    This video features Russian-American writer Gary Shteyngart who reveals that he spends most of his working time on a toilet, giving the concept of a ’content provider’ a whole new dimension. Shteyngart introduces his favorite - the Scandinavian toilet.

  • Nicole Krauss

    Reading from Great House

    American novelist Nicole Krauss reads from her novel 'Great House'. In the excerpt father and son meet in Jerusalem for the first time in 25 years. We hear the voice of the father in the mind of his son. The author introduces.

  • Nicole Krauss

    We create who we are

    Interview with Nicole Krauss about her love for writing and literature in general. The New York Times declared Krauss as one of America's most important contemporary novelists.

  • David Vann

    Revenging a suicide

    The award winning American writer David Vann, known from 'Caribou Island' and 'Legends of a suicide' tells about the painful struggle between truth and fiction in his work dealing with his father's suicide when he was 13 years old.

  • Richard Ford

    Shooting for the stars

    Interview with the American writer Richard Ford, who many have compared to William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. In this video he talks about his novel 'Canada' published in 2012 as well as about his authorship in general.

  • Henning Mankell

    My responsibility is to react

    Interview with Swedish writer Henning Mankell, whose books have sold in more than 40 million copies. Here he reflects upon his work, inspirations and the role of the intellectual in society.

  • Patti Smith

    Poems are like prayers

    “I left religion when I was twelve, but I never left praying. Many poems have stayed with me in my life and a lot of them were like little prayers.” In this video Patti Smith explains how poetry can be a means for staying in contact with a higher energy.

  • Patti Smith

    First encounters with Robert Mapplethorpe

    In this interview Patti Smith tells the wonderful story of her first encounters with Robert Mapplethorpe, who became her lover and friend, and who is celebrated in her memoir Just Kids.

  • Jonathan Safran Foer

    Die cutting a novel

    Conversation with Jonathan Safran Foer about his book and artwork Tree of Codes, a novel that has been carved out of another novel by one of Foer’s favourite novelists, Bruno Schulz.

  • Jonathan Safran Foer

    Novels can learn from poetry

    Interview with American writer Jonathan Safran Foer, in which he reflects on the power of literature in general and poetry in particular. Foer also argues that art always has a personal point of departure, where the artist confronts the world and rearranges it.

  • Henning Mankell

    Theatre resembles life

    Interview with Swedish writer Henning Mankell about his passion for theater. Mankell talks about the privilege of working with another dimension of the word in the space of the theater.

  • Patti Smith

    Advice to the Young

    "Build a good name", rock poet Patti Smith advises the young." Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises, don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful. Be concerned about doing good work and protect your work".

  • Patti Smith

    I really appreciate Andy Warhol

    When September 11 happened Patti Smith discovered how much she missed Andy Warhol, the only artist who would have known how to respond, she says.

  • Jeffrey Eugenides

    The excitement of writing

    Interview with Jeffrey Eugenides, who finds it much harder to write short stories than long novels. Also he reflects upon the different expectations towards intellectuals in Europe and the United States.

  • Louisiana Channel trailer

    Impressions from Louisiana Channel which produces videos on the arts featuring interviews, reports, etc. with artists.