Free Thinking [2012 Festival]


01Should Biographers Imitate Their Subjects?2012111220201123 (R3)Would you don a diving suit or take a drug in a quest to understand the life of someone else? "Following in the footsteps" is an obsession for biographers as they travel the world to bring their subjects to life, sometimes with dangerous consequences.

Hull University Professor of Creative Writing Martin Goodman, biographer of the sorcerer Carlos Castaneda, the Indian mystic Mother Meera and the scientist John Scott Haldane, draws on visits to high peaks, the seabed, coal mines and monasteries to reveal the challenges of the biographer's art. This episode was recorded at Sage Gateshead at the Free Thinking Festival in 2012.

The New Generation Thinkers scheme is 10 years old in 2020. Jointly run by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, each year it offers ten academics at the start of their careers a chance to bring fascinating research to a wider public. This week we hear five essays from this last decade of stimulating ideas. You can also find a playlist of Documentaries, Discussions and other Essays by New Generation Thinkers on the Free Thinking website and over the weekend of November 28th and 29th they will appear across a variety of Radio 3 music programmes.

You can find Martin Goodman discussing his most recent novel J SS Bach in an episode of Free Thinking called Art and Refugees from Nazi Germany

Producer: Adrian Washbourne

Deep diving into the trail of an Indian guru: Martin Goodman's adventures in life writing.

The ideas shaping our lives today - with artists and thinkers in debates and interviews.