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Steffen Moestrup

Regular contributor to MODERN TIMES, and docent at Denmark's Medie- og Journalisthøjskole.

The art of talking to ordinary people

JOURNALISM: Gay Talese unfolds in great detail his journalistic method, which most writers could learn a part from. He hates interviewing celebrities.

Drawn towards something more simple and elemental

HIKING: Sylvain Tesson meets us with a harsh critique of everything modern and a tribute to the sublime simplicity of hiking. We rediscover how the local has lived hidden in the age of the global. This is a strong criticism of modernity and the authorities' eagerness to get the country on the modern bandwagon.

2–3 things I now know about Jørgen Leth

OLD AGE: To be in life. Really be. It is Danish Jørgen Leth's contribution to the rest of us. And this book cements that way of being in life. But, our reviewer asks: «Are we humans never satisfied?»

To live a simpler and calmer life

ECOLOGY: Henry David Thoreau provides the recipe for a wandering life in balance with nature, but arguably also for a leisurely life in balance with oneself. He can be said to be more relevant than ever.

Lots of life, movies and poetry

ESSAYIST: Immediately dive into the scribblings of Scottish Margaret Tait about poetry and film and all that makes life worth living. For example, as she writes about the experimental film – it is like poetry: airy, open, you can dive into it and just swim around.

European DNA

DEMOCRACY: Rémi Brague analyzes in an original, albeit not unproblematic manner, his way to Europe's DNA – if Europe were to have an inferiority complex, why have we always arrogantly and brutally sought to incorporate others, take over, defeat? The second book, by Mikkel Bolt and Dominique Routhier, presents democratic texts of the time.

Permanent state of emergency

ESSAY: The power goes out, exchange rates fluctuate, bread prices explode, fuel disappears. There are also still traces of the explosion. Yet Beirut's hard-pressed citizens time and again manage to find a foothold in chaos. And the chaos is contributing to Beirut never becoming a clean-up city.

Books that become waves

Essay: What happens when we listen to a book while we are also doing something completely different?

Acting, structural and symbolic power

Media: Magne Lindholm has written an extremely welcome book about journalism and power, which is, however, occasionally brief enough