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Shlomo Sand/School of Saatchi/Literary Adaptations

Rana Mitter talks to Shlomo Sand, author of a controversial new history of the Jewish people. Plus a new talent show for artists, and adapting great literary works for the cinema.

Rana Mitter talks to Shlomo Sand, author of a controversial new history of the Jewish people. His book, The Invention of the Jewish People, has been called 'remarkable' by some, 'baseless' by others, and was a bestseller in Israel. His thesis is that contrary to assumptions about biblical texts, there was no exile of the Jewish people from the Holy Land and that instead Judaism the religion, not its people, spread to North Africa and Southern Europe. Sand's research conclusions have led some to imply dramatic implications for the politics of the Middle East.

Alkarim Jivani joins Rana to review a new reality television talent search which attempts to discover the next big thing in the contemporary art world. Its panel of judges includes Tracey Emin and Matthew Collings, and the elusive art collector Charles Saatchi makes the final decision about which artist will win a place at his exhibition at the Hermitage in St Petersburg.

Rana also considers the problems of adapting great literary works for the screen. As Joseph Strick's controversial adaptation of James Joyce's Ulysses is released, Ian Christie and Sarah Churchwell explore the problems of turning great books into great movies and speculate on towering literary achievments that seem destined never to make the cinema.

30 minutes

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Free Thinking

Free Thinking

Radio 3’s new home for arts and ideas.