History and identity: a conversation with Leila Slimani, Olivier Guez and Florian Illies
Conversation about identity and the connections between individual, family, national and world history
In the first two volumes of her trilogy The Land of Others, Leïla Slimani draws inspiration from her family's history to explore Morocco's history and its ties to France. In his novels, Florian Illies is particularly concerned with the intense artistic and intellectual exchanges across borders as the tragedies of history loom on the horizon. Olivier Guez repeatedly poses the question of what might constitute a European cultural identity. In this discussion, the three authors pose the question of identity. How does one define oneself based on one's family history, but also on one's historical and social context? How do our past and our history influence who we are? What lessons can be learned from history? Is it possible to escape it?