Sun, 2 August 2020

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm BST

The Virus in the Age of Madness

Bernard-Henri Levy in conversation with Hannah MacInnes

Join one of the world’s most influential public intellectuals for a trenchant look at how the coronavirus reveals the dangerous fault lines of contemporary society.

With medical mysteries, rising death tolls, and conspiracy theories beamed minute by minute through the vast web universe, the coronavirus pandemic has irrevocably altered societies around the world. In this livestreamed conversation with Hannah MacInnes, world-renowned philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy will interrogate the many meanings and metaphors we have assigned to the pandemic—and what they tell us about ourselves.

Drawing on the philosophical tradition from Plato and Aristotle to Lacan and Foucault, Lévy will ask uncomfortable questions about reality and mythology. Rejecting the idea that the virus is a warning from nature, troubling the heroic status of doctors, asking us to think critically about the loci of authority and power, Lévy will present a lucid, incisive and original exploration of the most consequential historical event of our time – and propose a way to defend human society from threats to our collective future.

Praise for Bernard-Henri Lévy:

“Bernard-Henri Lévy does nothing that goes unnoticed. He is an intellectual adventurer who brings publicity to unfashionable political causes.”—New York Times

“Only France could produce a phenomenon like Bernard-Henri Lévy, . . . As celebrated as any rock star, he speaks uncomfortable truths.”—Vanity Fair

“We need Mr. Lévy’s voice—clear, unconstructed, unconstrained, real—to help us.”—Wall Street Journal

“A writer of enormous power and vitality.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Bernard-Henri Lévy, perhaps the most prominent intellectual in France today, [speaks] truth to power.”— Boston Globe

This event takes place at 6:30pm British Summer Time.

About Our Digital Programme:

In response to the global pandemic, How To Academy is curating a not-for-profit programme of live-streamed talks and conversations bringing you advice, insight and entertainment. Tickets are offered on a Pay What You Can basis, including a Free EarlyBird option for those who cannot afford more at this difficult time. Thank you for your help sustaining How To Academy through the crisis — and for enabling us to share new thinking from across the globe at a time when it has never been more important.

Books will be shipped within two weeks after the event. Please note that due to the challenges of distribution during the global pandemic, some books may be delayed. If we experience any delay in getting your copy to you, we will contact you by email to let you know. Thank you for supporting a local London business, Primrose Hill Books.

Bernard-Henri Lévy

Prominent French philosopher, activist, filmmaker, and author of over thirty books.

Bernard-Henri Lévy is a philosopher, activist, filmmaker, and the author of over thirty books. He is widely regarded as one of the West’s most important public intellectuals.

Hannah MacInnes

Presenter, podcaster and host of How To Academy’s live programmes.

Hannah MacInnes is a broadcaster and journalist. Alongside hosting How To Academy’s live programmes and podcast, she presents a cultural show on Times Radio and interviews on-stage at a number of other major literary events. She is the host of The Klosters Forum Podcast series and has written for the Radio Times, the Evening Standard and TLS. Before going freelance she worked for 8 years at BBC Newsnight, as Planning Editor and as a Producer / Filmmaker.