A Drink with The Idler | AN Wilson on Goethe’s Faustian Life

AN Wilson


Join “A Drink with the Idler” as we chat with AN Wilson on Goethe’s undying obsession with the work he would spend his entire life writing – Faust. 

Goethe spent over 60 years writing his retelling of Faust, a strange and powerful story that concerned all the philosophical questions of his time as well as the revolutions and empires that came and went. It’s his greatest work, but as the award-winning biographer, critic and writer AN Wilson explores, it’s also something much more – it’s the foundational myth of how we came to be modern. 

The discussion between AN Wilson and Idler editor Tom Hodgkinson will be followed by a live Q&A, and the Idler Academy’s Head of Philosophy Dr Mark Vernon will present a short “thought for the week” to get our brains fizzing. The event will be hosted by Idler Academy director Victoria Hull.

This is an online event. It should be like meeting up in the pub for an interesting conversation. We leave the meeting open at the end so you can carry on chatting.

 AN Wilson was born in 1950 and educated at Rugby and New College, Oxford. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he is one of the outstanding biographers of our time and a celebrated novelist. His novel, Winnie and Wolf, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He is the author of The Victorians and The Mystery of Charles Dickens among many others. His autobiography Confessions was published by Bloomsbury Continuum in 2022 to critical acclaim. anwilson@substack.com 

Tom Hodgkinson is editor of the Idler and author of the best-selling manuals, How to Be Idle and How to Be Free. Other publications include a book on parenting, the Ukulele Handbook and a manual for creative entrepreneurs, Business for Bohemians.

Dr Mark Vernon is a psychotherapist, writer, broadcaster, and teacher. He presents several Idler Academy online courses. He has a PhD in philosophy, and degrees in theology and physics. His most recent books include The Idler Guide to Ancient Philosophy (Idler Books), Love: All that Matters (Hodder) and Jung: How to Believe (Guardian Shorts) – and he has books on friendship, belief and the good life too. Mark can often be heard on Radio 4’s Moral Maze. He began his professional life as a priest in the Church of England. For more, visit markvernon.com.

Victoria Hull is director of the Idler Academy, producing the Idler’s live and online events and courses.

Testimonials for A Drink with the Idler

Drinks with the Idler have kept me sane.

A fabulous Idler Drinks – thanks Tom, Victoria, Mark and idlers everywhere!

A simple heartfelt “thank you”: I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying Thursday evenings as part of the Idler community. Never has a subscription yielded such brain-nourishing pleasure. 

Short yet so sweet, delightful and interesting… uplifting intelligent conversation. I feel so happy to have stumbled upon the Idler. I bow to you all☺️⭐️

A Drink with the Idler has turned out to be one of our lifelines! Such fun, wonderful commentary by you and the remarkable Mark, not to mention the delightful Victoria. 

A great way to round off another year of Drinks, raise a glass to Christmas and to 2024!

Event Details

Date: Thursday 3 October 2024

Time: 6pm-7pm

Location: Online via Zoom link

Cost: £7.50. Free for Idler members. SUBSCRIBE HERE.

How to join A Drink with the Idler: Non subscribers should register by clicking the BUY NOW button above. Subscribers can register by clicking the GET TICKETS button above.


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