A Point of View

A Point of View

Weekly reflections on topical issues from a range of contributors including historian Lisa Jardine, novelist Sarah Dunant and writer Alain de Botton.

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Recent episodes (10)

  • Will Self: The Power of Fiction: 20 Feb 15

    Fri, 20 Feb 15

    Duration:
    11 mins

    Will Self reflects on the power of our relationship with fictional characters. "People need people whose lives can be seen to follow a dramatic arc, so that no matter what trials they encounter, the people who survey them can be reassured that when the light begins to fade, these people - to whose frail psyches we've had privileged access - will at least feel it's all meant something." Producer: Sheila Cook

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  • Will Self: The Purpose of Satire 13 Feb 15

    Fri, 13 Feb 15

    Duration:
    11 mins

    Will Self finds himself driven to reconsider the nature and purpose of satire in the wake of the murders at Charlie Hebdo in Paris. "The paradox is this: if satire aims at the moral reform of a given society it can only be effective within that particular society; and furthermore only if there's a commonly accepted ethical hierarchy to begin with. A satire that demands of the entire world that it observe the same secularist values as the French state is a form of imperialism like any other." Producer: Sheila Cook

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  • Will Self: Having Children 06 Feb 15

    Fri, 6 Feb 15

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Will Self reflects on the growing and vexed divide between people with and without children. "The real indication that we don't know what value parenting currently has is that to either valorise or demonise this state of being seems as ridiculous (if not offensive) as doing the same in respect of childlessness". Producer: Sheila Cook

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  • Will Self: Losing Touch: 30 Jan 15

    Fri, 30 Jan 15

    Duration:
    11 mins

    Will Self regrets our growing lack of physical contact with one another and with the natural world as a result of the rise of technology. "What the touch screen, the automatic door, online shopping and even the Bagladeshi sweatshop piece-worker who made our trousers are depriving us of is the exercise of our very sense of touch itself, and in particular they are relieving us of the need to touch other people." Producer: Sheila Cook

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  • The Power of Art - 23 Jan 2015

    Fri, 23 Jan 15

    Duration:
    10 mins

    AL Kennedy reflects on the importance of the beauty and creativity of art to sustain the human spirit.

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  • AL Kennedy: Language and Listening: 16 Jan 15

    Fri, 16 Jan 15

    Duration:
    11 mins

    AL Kennedy reflects on the importance of learning languages and listening to one another. "More words give me more paths to and from the hearts of others, more points of view - I don't think that's a bad thing." Producer: Sheila Cook

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  • Adam Gopnick: Charlie Hebdo 09 Jan 15

    Fri, 9 Jan 15

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Adam Gopnick reflects on the Charlie Hebdo massacre. "The notion that what some have called France's 'stark secularism' - or its level of unemployment, or its history of exclusion, that imposed invisibility - is in any way to blame or even a root cause for this, depends on being ignorant of the actual history of France." Producer: Sheila Cook Editor: Richard Knight

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  • AL Kennedy: The Pursuit of Happiness: 02 Jan 15

    Fri, 2 Jan 15

    Duration:
    11 mins

    A L Kennedy reflects on what it means to pursue happiness in a world where "not having enough money can be utterly miserable" and indulging our desire to acquire is also unsatisfying. The answer may lie in seeing that happiness is, "not so much a condition as a destination - it can inspire journeys ...better made in company". Producer: Sheila Cook.

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  • David Cannadine: Monarch's Message: 26 Dec 14

    Fri, 26 Dec 14

    Duration:
    11 mins

    David Cannadine reflects on the history of the Queen's Christmas message. Following the success of the first broadcast in 1932 by Queen's grandfather, King George V, "what had begun as a one-off innovation soon became an invented tradition, and there can be no doubt it brought the king closer to his subjects than had been true of any monarch who had gone before him." Producer: Sheila Cook

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  • Roger Scruton: Art: The Real Thing: 19 Dec 14

    Fri, 19 Dec 14

    Duration:
    10 mins

    In the last of his three talks on art, philosopher Roger Scruton looks at the real thing, as opposed to cliche or kitsch. We must ignore the vast quantities of art produced as commodities to be sold, unlike symphonies or novels that cannot be owned the way a painting or sculpture can be. Real art has to have lasting appeal, he argues, and for that it needs three things: beauty, form and redemption. It takes immense hard work and attention to detail, but then it can give meaning to our modern lives, and show love in the midst of doubt and desolation. Producer: Arlene Gregorius

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