Diverse interviews with Adam Phillips

On June 30th I had the privilege/challenge of interviewing, for American magazine BOMB,  psychoanalyst and author Adam Phillips, with the starting point being his latest collection of essays, On Balance.

The commission came about through pure serendipity.  BOMB occupy half a floor in the same Brooklyn building as WITNESS, and Monica de la Torre, BOMB’s senior editor (and a poet), and I shared the infamous G Train to work every day, and were latterly coffee buddies.  As I was moving back to London, she needed someone to interview Adam Phillips, and Phillips liked the idea of having an interviewer with a human rights background, it just seemed to fit together nicely.  And it was not utterly irrelevant that I’ve read and thought about (at Francesca’s behest) many of Phillips’ books.

I’ll post again when the interview itself is published in BOMB later this year, [Update: read the final interview here.] but in the meantime, here are a few interviews with Phillips online that I found a mixture of instructive and invaluable, and partly in response to which I positioned my own questioning.

– NYPL’s Paul Holdengraber interviews Phillips on stage in NYC on May 4, 2007 – mp3 / event page
– Artangel interviews Phillips about
The Concise Dictionary of Dress, an exhibition he recently co-curated with his partner, Judith Clark – audio / exhibition page / catalogue excerpt
– Jennifer O’Mahony interviews Phillips –
audio / transcript
– Video interview with Phillips on Kindness
– theartsdesk Q&A with Phillips
– A
conversation about Oedipus between Ralph Fiennes and Adam Phillips

Let me know if there are other good resources out there on Phillips and his work…

[UPDATE, June 2012: If you’re in the UK and can get iPlayer, or you’re elsewhere and subscribe to the Start The Week podcast, you can hear the great man discuss his latest book, Missing Out, here.]


One response to “Diverse interviews with Adam Phillips”

  1. Here’s a new interview with Adam Phillips in the New York Times:

    “Whereas philosophers often speak in abstractions about concepts like the human condition, human suffering, desire, pleasure and the good life, we suspected that a practicing psychoanalyst might offer us a more subtle analysis of these concepts, grounded in lives of actual persons. We were struck by how responsive, fluid and open our conversation with Phillips was. He was unusually good at listening to our questions, engaging them on their own terms, and delivering prose quality responses extemporaneously in speech.”

    (+ direct link to video: http://video.nytimes.com/video/2011/11/07/opinion/100000001128653/adam-phillips.html)

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