All Features

Peace - or Palestinian Surrender? An Interview with Norman Finkelstein

by Matt Hill

Norman G. Finkelstein is a man of contradictions. He is the Brooklyn-born son of concentration camp survivors who has enraged American Jews by denouncing the cynicism of what he calls the 'Holocaust industry'. He is a polemicist and inveterate contrarian who demolishes his opponents by scouring footnotes and soberly checking facts. In this wide-ranging interview with Review 31 to mark the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Finkelstein turns his fire on the 'silly, sectarian, cultist politics' of the pro-Palestinian movement and defends Israel’s right to a peaceful existence as part of a two-state settlement. At the same time, he pulls no punches on the revived 'peace process', dismissing it as an attempt to impose a 'historic defeat' on the Palestinians. [read full interview]

'We’re British - There’s No Cure For That': An Interview with Lars Iyer

by Marc Farrant

Lars Iyer is a lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, where he is one of the country's foremost Maurice Blanchot scholars. He is also the real-life embodiment of the fictionalised narrator 'Lars' in his trilogy comprising the novels Spurious (2010), Dogma (2012) and, most recently, Exodus (2013), all published by Melville House. Here, he discusses the destitution of academic life under the conditions of contemporary neoliberal society; the exhaustion of thought and thinking; the relation between literature and philosophy; and what it means to be British and attempt to think. [read full interview]

From Romantic Citizen to Tragic Victim: An Interview with Jennifer Mercieca

by Tom Cutterham

Jennifer Mercieca is an associate professor at Texas A&M University. She writes about the history of rhetoric and discourse in America, from the revolution in her first book, Founding Fictions (University of Alabama Press, 2010), to Barack Obama in her second, an edited volume, The Rhetoric of Heroic Expectations. Here, she discusses apathy, citizenship, and the role of rhetoric in political change. [read full interview]

Back to the Past: An Interview with Ned Beauman

by Charlotte Geater

Ned Beauman is a British novelist who lives in New York. He is 28. He’s had two novels published by Sceptre - Boxer, Beetle and The Teleportation Accident - and his third book, Glow, will be published in 2014. He was named one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists of 2013. His first two novels play with the conventions of historical fiction and jump between different time periods, but both are partly set in a 1930s German diaspora, and are concerned with the rise of Nazism. Charlotte Geater spoke to him about totalising systems and sympathetic characters in fiction. [read full interview]

Don Draper, the Devil and Democracy: An Interview with Adam Kotsko

by Tom Cutterham

Adam Kotsko is a professor at Shimer College in Chicago. He has written both academic theology and books on pop culture, including Awkwardness, which uses works including The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Knocked Up to examine the fundamentally social – and fundamentally awkward – nature of human existence. Kotsko is also the translator of Italian philosopher and historian Georgio Agamben, a regular blogger and tweeter of sardonic quips. [read full interview]

The Freedom to Publish: An Interview with Rafik Schami

by Luke Neima

Rafik Schami was born in Syria in 1946 but fled to Germany in 1971, where he has been living in exile for the past 40 years. While in Germany he co-founded the literary groups Südwind and PoLiKunst to help popularize immigrant literature; he writes only in German, and his most recent novel, The Dark Side of Love, is translated by Anthea Bell. Schami has won numerous international awards and has been translated into 23 languages. He and Barbara Schwepke of Haus Publishing have recently founded Swallow Editions, an imprint dedicated to bringing Arabic literature to the West. [read full interview]

Politics beyond Dalston: An Interview with Alex Niven

by Tom Cutterham

Alex Niven is a London-based writer and a recent addition to the editorial team at Zero Books. Zero was founded by Tariq Goddard, Mark Fisher and Matteo Mandarini at the tail end of the noughties; among its early titles were Owen Hatherley's Militant Modernism, Mark Fisher's Capitalist Realism and Nina Power's One Dimensional Woman. Alex's own book, Folk Opposition, was published by Zero in 2011. We talked to him about books, music, sport, and a politics ‘beyond Dalston’. [read full interview]

'All My Conversations Are Too Personal': An Interview with Sheila Heti

by Tom Cutterham

Sheila Heti is the interviews editor at The Believer. She has also written two novels, a book of short stories, and a book of 'conversational philosophy' called The Chairs are Where the People Go, based on conversations with her friend Misha Glouberman. Her novel How Should a Person Be? was published in Canada in 2010, but came out in the UK early this year. She talked to Tom Cutterham about her book, about the art and practice of the interview, and about the meaning of conversation. [read full interview]

'It's Not Your Homeland': An Interview with Shlomo Sand

by Lewis Turner

Shlomo Sand shot to prominence and controversy with his 2008 book The Invention of the Jewish People. His follow-up, The Invention of the Land of Israel, examines a nationalist mythology of land which forms a crucial part of the Zionist story of, and justification for, the Jewish State. In this interview Shlomo talks to Lewis Turner about his journey re-discovering his country’s history, his hopes for Israel’s future and the role of historians in social change. [read full interview]