Ian McEwan Interviewed by Richard Dawkins

Earlier today, I wrote about Ian McEwan’s book Atonement in my “Day 4” post of the Thirty Day Book Challenge. In an attempt to shake off the melancholy that writing that post had inevitably brought on, I went through my archives of saved videos for this one, an interview of McEwan by Dawkins. McEwan is keenly intelligent and deeply insightful as to human nature, characteristics which surely contribute to his wonderful writing, but which also show so beautifully in this interview. When you have a few minutes to spare, sit and watch, you will be glad you did.



2 thoughts on “Ian McEwan Interviewed by Richard Dawkins

  1. Wonderful! I’ve only had a chance to watch a few minutes so far, but it’s a thrill to see two of my favorite writers in the world talking about a subject that I find endlessly fascinating: the odd schism between the intellectual view that sees the world as run by a set of objective rules and the lingering medieval view that the world operates on mystical principles. (And at least these two brilliant Brits understand that there’s a significant community of Americans that agrees with them.) I might add that one of the things that I love about McEwan is that he’s one of the few literary writers whose work shows a deep and well-informed understanding of science, to the point where a novel like SOLAR borders on science fiction. And I remember the thrill I felt when he invoked the anthropic principle in the opening pages of SATURDAY. How many writers, literary or otherwise, would even know what that concept was about? (I might add that I briefly invoke Dawkins in the latest installment of my blog Adrift in the Infosphere, but it’s a short entry and I didn’t have space to talk about him in any depth. Someday I’ll have to devote a longer entry on how important Dawkins’ writing has been to me over the years.)

  2. Thank you for posting this video, which I’d not previously seen. I’ve read almost every non-academic text Dawkins has published, though I’ve never read any McEwan. I’ll look for the latter’s works.

    I’ve no shame in admitting to anyone that I am an atheist, i.e., one who has no belief in a god or gods. I was born an atheist and will die an atheist—such is the cycle of reality.

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