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The Conversations with... series approaches figures from the past in a new way: by inviting us to listen to them. The interview format is used, as each participant explains themselves, and we sit gripped, because although the questions are imagined, their words are not. These are their own words, thoughts and feelings taken from their writings, and it’s such authenticity of voice that makes this a unique experience.

We’re familiar with biographies which tell us about someone, but here we meet the people for ourselves, reflect on their words and draw our own conclusions. The project might be subtitled, ‘In the psychiatrist’s chair’, as each reveals, knowingly or unknowingly, what it’s like to live inside their skin, with their faultlines quite as apparent as their genius.

On completing the interviews, Simon Parke’s comment was this: ‘I feel I know them better than I know myself.’

 
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When did you ever become less by dying? by Stafford Betty – When Samantha was just shy of her fifth birthday, an age when her delight in every manner of living creature was well underway, she noticed a slug on the sidewalk. This was the same slug she noticed just a few hours earlier, slowly crawling down the front steps of her home. Only now it was smashed on the sidewalk. "What happened to it?" she asked. "It looks like it got stepped on, Samantha," said her mom. "But why isn't it moving?" Her mom looked at her husband as if handing off the conversation. He said, "Samantha, it's not moving because it died." Read here
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