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‘Post’ doesn’t just mean to come next or to forget the past. It’s a rupture from the known. It’s a new species, a love-child, a thing giving birth to an evolved version of itself. Our current age is described as post-digital, post-colonial, post-gender, post-dramatic, post-global, post-cultural, post-love. There’s no doubt that something new is cooking, but what the hell is it?
Enter novelist and poet Ben Okri. Claimed by both Nigeria (his birth state) and Britain (who appointed him an OBE in 2001), his work addresses post-colonial, intertextual and elemental concerns – spanning autobiographical and philosophical dimensions.
Okri is a writer well-accustomed to examining the texture of reality. His Booker-winning novel The Famished Road (1991) is, at its heart, a search for the line between individual truth and transcendence; his poetry and his prose are strung through with this same questioning, painted with both tragedy and gentle magic. Okri’s searching extends beyond the frame, too – in poetry about poetry, and writing about writing.
In conversation with Jeff Sparrow, and mirroring the Malthouse Theatre’s second chapter of 2015 – themed ‘Post/Love’ – Ben Okri will explore poetic visions, textual intimacy, the craft of writing and the taming of chaos, against the backdrop of our disorienting modern world.
If, as Okri says, ‘a story is like an interval in the enchantment of living’, is Post/Love the ever, ever after?
Presented in partnership with Malthouse Theatre.
Ben Okri has published nine novels, including The Age of Magic and the Booker Prize-winning The Famished Road, as well as collections of poetry, short stories and essays. His work has been translated into more than 26 languages.
Jeff Sparrow is a writer, editor and broadcaster. His most recent book is No Way But This: In Search of Paul Robeson. He writes a fortnightly column for the Guardian, is part of the Breakfasters team on 3RRR each week day morning and is also an Honorary Fellow at Victoria University.
Bodies and identity. Life and love in the post-digital era. Ancient rites of passage and modern-day customs.
In 2015, we’re presenting a series of events that respond to the guiding themes of the Malthouse Theatre’s three seasons: Body/Language, Post/Love, and Ritual/Extinction.
We’ll explore through big ideas, curly questions and varied experience, creating public conversations that probe the depths, take our cultural temperature and surf the zeitgeist. Get ready to dive in and swim around.