Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Michael R D James was born in South Africa and lived in Cape Town for 16 years. He travelled to England and was educated at Grammar School, Exeter University (B.ed) and Birmingham University (B.A and M.A. in Philosophy). He moved to Sweden in 1979 and has lived there for 38 years, taking his doctorate at Uppsala University in 1987 in Kantian Philosophy. For the past 24 years he has been lecturing in the International Baccalaureate Program (IB) and teaches the subjects of Philosophy, Psychology, and Theory of Knowledge at Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Läroverket (the Alma Mater of Olof Palme, the present King of Sweden, Curt Nicolin, Peter and Marcus Wallenberg and Carl Bennet) He introduced World schools Debating into Sweden and was the Swedish Schools team Manager between 2008 and 2013, coaching the team at the World Championships at Qatar and Dundee. His trilogy “The World Explored, the World suffered” is both an attempt, firstly, to bring student life into the arena of everyday existence and also, secondly, an attempt to introduce the curious to the study of Philosophy. He enjoys reading, travelling, exercising, listening to music, being with his family, and walking his dog. He currently lives in Uppsala.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“The World Explored, the World Suffered:The Exeter lectures”
Teaching students curious about the subject of Philosophy was part of the inspiration. The other part relates to the concern for the extraordinary times in which we live
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I write notes on all the important books I read and re-read
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Lawrence Durrell in all his works, including those on the Greek islands have influenced me but two works stand out “Bitter Lemons” and the “Alexandrian Quartet”: the latter because of its ability to communicate the spirit of the place of Alexandria and the times of the characters living in the city.
Other authors: Shakespeare, Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Laurens van der Post, V S Naipaul.
Poets: T S Eliot Dylan Thomas W B Yeats Robert Frost
What are you working on now?
Two works: The second volume of the trilogy “The world Explored, the World Suffered”. This volume will feature lectures from Birmingham University embedded in a fictional narrative.
The second work is entitled “The World Explored, the World Suffered: An Introduction to Philosophy”: a textbook for Colleges and Universities.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
My blog at michaelrdjames.org
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write every day and reflect upon what you have written sometime in the evening
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
What are you reading now?
Heidegger’s “Early Greek thinking” and the “Heraclitus Seminar” by Heidegger and Fink
What’s next for you as a writer?
Retiring in May 2018 and spending all day every day writing
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Shakespeares collected works
The Alexandrian Quartet
T S Eliot’s Collected works