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Jonathan Bowden’s Last Interview, Part 1

Posted By Jonathan Bowden On January 7, 2013 @ 12:49 am In Counter-Currents Radio | 8 Comments

Bowden-new2 [1]387 words / 47:46

Part 1 of 2

Transcript here [2]

To download the mp3, right-click here [3] and choose “save target as.”

To subscribe to our podcasts, click here [4].

From February 23 to 27, 2012, Jonathan Bowden visited California to speak at a private Counter-Currents gathering in the Bay Area. On Sunday, February 26, after the official program had ended, Jonathan and I sat down in my breakfast room in front of a microphone and talked about philosophy, politics, religion, and above all art. This is, to my knowledge, the last interview Jonathan recorded. He died a little more than a month later on March 29, 2012.

Jonathan was very enthusiastic about this interview and pressed me to release it. But I set the recording aside, thinking that it needed a great deal of editing, as when we recorded it we were both rather tired at the end of a hectic weekend. After Jonathan died, I discovered to my horror that the flash drive on which the interview had been stored had been damaged. Luckily, after a long search, we found a person who could recover the information for a fee of $350 (we wish to thank one of our donors for putting up part of the cost; you can donate here [5]).

Topics discussed include:

  • Jonathan’s life and education
  • Modern architecture: Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Modern painting
  • Jonathan’s vitalist standard of art appreciation
  • Ugliness in modernist and Christian art
  • Picasso
  • Francis Bacon
  • Dalí as the greatest modern painter
  • William Blake, Fuseli, Bosch, Grünewald, Bruegel, medieval manuscript illustrators
  • The beautiful vs. the sublime
  • Jonathan characterizes his fiction as intellectual Gothic horror
  • The purpose of literature
  • J. G. Ballard and other contemporary fiction writers
  • Flannery O’Connor
  • The grotesque and anti-Bourgeois style
  • David Lynch
  • Art and dreaming
  • Film as a medium
  • Favorite filmmakers: Syberberg, Tarkovsky, Riefenstahl, Michael Powell, film noir, early Fritz Lang, early Soviet cinema
  • Opera: Harrison Birtwhistle, Wagner, Alban Berg (Wozzeck, Lulu)
  • How Jonathan reconciles his artistic modernism with his Right-wing convictions
  • Elitism
  • Western high art under communism
  • Soviet art
  • The greatness of Soviet music
  • How external political limits on art do not necessarily destroy creativity but rather can encouraging it by limiting and focusing it
  • Favorite poets: Robinson Jeffers, T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, Emily Dickinson

Part two of this interview will be released next Monday.

Greg Johnson


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[3] here: http://cdn.counter-currents.com/radio/CCR-BowdenFinalInterview_Pt1-20130107.mp3

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