Bernard-Henri Lévy - live

The lion of Libya speaks in London.

I interviewed Bernard-Henri Lévy last week for a profile that will appear in the New Statesman soon. He was in London to promote his new book, Public Enemies, co-written with his compatriot, the novelist Michel Houellebecq. (The book was reviewed for the NS by George Walden.)

Public Enemies appeared in French three years ago. BHL's most recent book to be published in France is La guerre sans l'aimer, a hefty record (and justification) of the role he played in persuading Nicolas Sarkozy to commit French troops to the NATO intervention in Libya - and, indeed, to persuade other NATO leaders to intervene in the first place. Lévy returns to London tomorrow to speak about liberal interventionism and much else besides at the Royal Geographical Society. Tickets are still available here.

In the clip below, taken from an edition of the BBC's Newsnight broadcast back in March, Lévy debates the merits of the Libyan adventure with Abdel al-Bari Atwan, editor of the London-based newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi.

Jonathan Derbyshire is Managing Editor of Prospect. He was formerly Culture Editor of the New Statesman.

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On Wheels

A new poem by Patrick Mackie

The hills swarm and soften towards the end of the day just as
flames do in a fireplace as the evening
loosens and breaks open and lets out night.
A nasty, grotesque, impatient year ended,
and the new one will be bitter,
tired, opaque. Words wrangle in every inch of air,
their mouths wide open in stupid shock
at what they have just heard every time they hear anything. Venus,
though, blazes with heavy wobbles of albeit frozen
light. Brecht, who I like to call my
brother just as he called Shelley his,
has a short late poem where he sits by a roadside, waiting
while someone changes the wheel on his car,
watching with impatience, despite not liking
either the place that he is coming from or
the place that he is going to. We call it
connectivity when in truth it is just aggression
and imitation writ ever larger. Poems, though,
are forms of infinite and wry but also briskly
impatient patience. Brecht’s poem seems to end,
for instance, almost before you
can read it. It wheels. The goddess is just a big, bright
wilderness but then soon enough she clothes
herself again in the openness of night and I lose her.

Patrick Mackie’s latest collection, The Further Adventures Of The Lives Of The Saints, is published by CB Editions.

This article first appeared in the 18 May 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Age of Lies

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