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Rana Mitter meets John Irving

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 29 May 2012

As part of the World Shakespeare Festival the Globe Theatre has been presenting all 37 of Shakespeare's plays in 37 different languages. For Night Waves writers Gabriel Gbadamosi and Kamila Shamsie have been covering the season, and tonight they report back on the controversial Hebrew Merchant of Venice, the Urdu Taming of the Shrew, and the Shona Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Rana Mitter meets John Irving whose new novel 'In One Person' examines loss of innocence, loss of sexual identity and trust in his most political novel since 'The Cider House Rules'. He talks to Rana about the relationship between the personal and the political, and how far we can separate the character Billy Abbot from Irving himself.

Rana talks to artist Tom Phillips about his best-known work, A Humument. Now re-published in its fifth edition, in the 1960s Phillips took an obscure Victorian novel and altered all 367 pages - using a mixture of collage, ornament and other techniques - to create a new book. How much does each edition change, and why does the art begin with the text?

The Hungarian director Bela Tarr is known as an artist of 'slow cinema', or cinema of the long take - he's said to have joked that for Kodak to issue film that's 11 minutes long is a form of censorship. His latest film, 'The Turin Horse', continues a series of visionary, apocalyptic films, and Tarr says it will be his last work as a director. Film historian John Cunningham and the poet and translator George Szirtes join Rana to discuss this Leviathan of European art cinema.

  • John Irving

    In One Person written by John Irving is published by Doubleday.

    John Irving
  • Globe to Globe

    Globe to Globe is part of the World Shakespeare Festival and runs at The Globe, London until Saturday 9 June 2012.

    Shakespeare's Globe - Globe to Globe
  • The Turin Horse

    The Turin Horse (A Torinoi Lo) is released in UK cinemas on Friday 1 June 2012, certificate 15.

  • Tom Phillips

    A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel created by Tom Phillips is published by Thames & Hudson.

    A Humument


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