Meet Christian Caryl, the JMSC’s first Muse Magazine Critic-in-Residence.
The American writer has taken a break from his busy schedule to teach a class in criticism to MJs this semester.
Caryl, who flew into Hong Kong from Cape Cod, Massachusetts in mid-January, is a regular contributor to Foreign Policy, Newsweek and the New York Review of Books.
His latest project is a book of world history about the year 1979. “Nineteen seventy nine is a much more important year in world history than people realise.”
Angharad Law spoke to him about life, the universe and everything.
Hear his views:
First impressions of Hong Kong: An odd combination of cosmopolitanism and South Chinese parochialism. Plus good weather!
What three adjectives describe you best? Adventurous, curious, tired.
Greatest strength: Scepticism.
Biggest weakness: Nervousness.
Favourite food: Tempura soba — yum!
Favourite place: Istanbul — the greatest place in the world — where different cultures and periods of history are layered together.
Best book you’ve ever read: I can’t pick one book but I love books by Marcel Proust, Vladimir Nabokov and Robert Musil.
Favourite piece of music: Anything by Mozart and Walk On by U2.
Favourite work of art: Anything by Vermeer.
Biggest fear: Something happening to my children.
Biggest regret: Leaving having children too late. One piece of advice I would give others is don’t be afraid to take the plunge and have kids.
Person living or dead you admire most: Charles Darwin.
Who would you most like to have dinner with? The Roman Emperor, soldier, philosopher and writer, Marcus Aurelius.
The love of your life: My wife and marzipan!
What piece of advice would you give your JMSC students about life? Take risks.
How would you like to be remembered? As a man who achieved his ideal weight.
The JMSC Critic-in-Residence Programme is funded by Muse, Hong Kong’s leading magazine about arts and culture. The publisher is Frank Proctor.