Archive | November, 2013

Paul Kent on Opening Up a Whole New World of Thinking.

26 Nov

Elaine Aldred interviews Paul Kent on Opening Up a Whole New World of Thinking.Many people avoid reading the works of philosophers and great thinkers because the way their words sit on the page might not make for easy modern reading. But what if you were given a way to access those words, so that they became less daunting? Paul Kent is someone who is passionate about accessibility and has written two books to introduce Montaigne and Voltaire to a wider audience.

Tell me about yourself.

I am first and foremost a radio producer. I worked at BBC Radio Four and the World Service for 17 years. I largely made documentaries while I was with them, sometimes about literature. Later on I got drafted over to the Drama department where I started producing readings and plays.

The skillset I picked up from that was the ability to research, and being able to put over an argument succinctly, precisely and accurately, in a very small number of words. So that really helps when it comes to writing a philosophical digest, which forms the core of the two books I have written, one on Montaigne and one on Voltaire.

I stayed at the BBC until 1998, after which I ran a literary radio station called Oneword for about eight years. This meant I read hundreds, perhaps thousands of books of fiction and non-fiction, as well as interviewing a lot of authors….