Mon, 6 June 2022

6:30 pm - 7:45 pm BST

The Conduit, London

Geoff Dyer – Live on Stage in London

In Conversation with Paul van Zyl

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Join ‘possibly the best living writer in Britain’ (Daily Telegraph) as he sets out his own encounter with middle age against the last days of his favourite writers, painters, athletes and musicians.

Much attention has been paid to so-called late style – but what about last style? When does last begin? How early is late? When does the end set in? Could it be that our deepest desire is for it all to be over?

Joining us live on stage in London, the award-winning author of Out of Sheer Rage and Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It will bring his playful charm and penetrating intelligence to bear on the last days of some of the great men and women who’ve mattered to him throughout his life.

He will examine Friedrich Nietzsche’s breakdown in Turin, Bob Dylan’s reinventions of old songs, J.W. Turner’s paintings of abstracted light, John Coltrane’s cosmic melodies, Jean Rhys’s return from the dead (while still alive) and Beethoven’s final quartets – and consider the intensifications and modifications of experience that come when an ending is within sight. Oh, and there’s stuff about Roger Federer and tennis too.

This talk on last things is also about how to go on living with art and beauty, on the entrancing effect and sudden illumination that an Art Pepper solo or an Annie Dillard reflection can engender in even the most jaded sensibilities.

Praise for Geoff Dyer’s The Last Days of Roger Federer:

‘Tennis, jazz, Dylan, movies, TV, drugs, Nietzsche, Beethoven. So, why am I laughing? Because Geoff Dyer once again melds commentary and observation with intellect and wit. Bouncing between criticism and memoir, Dyer is one of the few writers whose paragraphs I can immediately reread and get more from. The twists, turns, and delights abound, and when you finally put the book down you think, “Oh, yes, I’ve always been this smart, haven’t I?”’ – Steve Martin

‘Most authors use language to write about things. Dyer uses things to write about language. He’s a clever clogs but he’s one of us at the same time. Genius.’ – Simon Armitage

‘Who can make the world new again like Geoff Dyer? For the low, low price of a book, he will rearrange the art on the walls of your memory so that you might see it again, as if for the first time. The Last Days of Roger Federer is an inspired cultural and personal meditation as well as an unsurprising delight. To read it is to feel relief that, despite Dyer’s contention that his life’s theme is ‘giving up’, he hasn’t.’ – Sloane Crosley

‘More than its title would suggest, The Last Days of Roger Federer is an engaging series of meditations on mental and physical sunsets in the lives of painters, musicians, philosophers, poets, boxers, and of course tennis players. Dyer the stylist is at the top of his game here, serving up conundrums, paradoxes, logical binds, and other cerebral delights. Even his syntax is witty. This generous offering of Dyer’s insightful, often hilarious, take on art, life, and sports is a feast for his readers.’ – Billy Collins

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Geoff Dyer

Novelist and Critic

Geoff Dyer is an award-winning author of ten non-fiction books and four novels, including Out of Sheer Rage, Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It, Zona and, most recently, See/Saw. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science, Dyer lives in Los Angeles, where he is Writer in Residence at the University of Southern California. His books have been translated into twenty-four languages.

Paul van Zyl

Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, The Conduit Club

Co-Founder of The Conduit and Chief Creative Officer, Paul is a winner of the prestigious Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

He served as the Executive Secretary of South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission and co-founded the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), an international human rights organisation based in New York City.