BLOG Gwen Davies

NWR Issue 100

Audio file Gwen Davies talks to Prof Julian Preece and Chris Keil, Hay Festival, 2 June 2013

Prof Julian Preece of Swansea University and novelist Chris Keil were in conversation with NWR editor Gwen Davies on the closing day of the 2013 Hay Festival, Sunday 2 June. This audio file captures the complete conversation of one hour. Prof Julian Preece is Director of the Centre for Research into Contemporary German Culture at Swansea University and the author of Baader-Meinhof and the Novel, Narratives of the Nation / Fantasies of the Revolution, 1970-2010 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). Chris Keil is the author of three novels, including Liminal (Alcemi, 2008) and Flirting at the Funeral (Cillian Press, 2012). Topics covered in the audio file are, in the first interview (with Prof Preece), definitions of 'the Baader-Meinhof' novel and key events of the violent 'German Autumn' of 1977; postwar German attitudes to terrorism as an expression of survivor guilt; the iconography of Baader-Meinhof fiction, including terrorist as woman and mother, the rehabilitated terrorist etc; the impact of German reunification; the delusion of 'the harmless terrorist act', and conspiracy theories, especially within the Baader-Meinhof krimi or pulp crime thriller. In the second interview (with Chris Keil), topics covered are: how Chris Keil's novel Flirting at the Funeral, with its setting of the 1974 Portuguese Revolution & characters associated with the Baader-Meinhof movement, fits into a 'paradigm shift' of international popular action including Vietnam protests, the Civil Rights movement and Paris 1968; the way in which intergenerational conflict and attitudes to activism is portrayed in his latest novel; the appeal of youthful protagonists and the drama of political action as subjects for his novel; terrorism, media and performance; terrorist iconography, and the degree to which Flirting at the Funeral can be considered a 'Baader-Meinhof novel' according to Prof Preece's definition. The interview closes with a reading by Chris Keil from Flirting at the Funeral: a scene with revolutionary fantasist Dave Leaper.

Gwen Davies talks to Prof Julian Preece & Chris Keil in the Hay Festival green room, 2 June 2013

Editor Gwen Davies talks to Prof Julian Preece at NWR 100 Hay Party, 28 May 2013


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