Art and Graft
Eva Hoffman and Richard Sennett, both intellectuals and musicians of the highest standing, discussed what makes the difference between a good and a great performer and the very concept of genius. They argue whether the view of the artist as superior to the craftsman is romantic idealism or reality. They considered these themes in relation to their own intellectual pursuits and explored the role and responsibility of the writer.
Eva Hoffman was born in Cracow, Poland, and emigrated to America at the age of thirteen. The recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Whiting Award and an award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, she currently lives in London. She is the author of Lost in Translation, After Such Knowledge, Shtetl and most recently the novel Illuminations.
Richard Sennett’s works include The Craftsman, Respect, The Fall of Public Man, and The Corrosion of Character. He taught for many years at the New York Institute of the Humanities and is now Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics.
Jonathan Heawood is Director of English PEN, having previously worked as Editorial Director of the Fabian Society and Deputy Literary Editor of The Observer. He has written on culture and politics for a range of publications, including the Independent on Sunday, Prospect, the New Statesman, the London Review of Books and Country Life. He wrote the introduction to Orwell: The Observer Years.