Interview with Luca Luchesini

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
First and foremost, it helps clarifying ideas I have developed over time. You often think about a number of subjects and connect dots between facts, theories so to grasp a bit more of awareness and, why not, a small tidbit of truth to show your kids and nephews. But there is nothing like writing it down to inspect, challenge and make sure it stands on its feet. Then there is the feeling of coming back to things written in the past and finding yourself back, a bit like your soul in a time machine. Sometimes you like and approve even more what you wrote, sometimes not. But the time machine feeling is always amazing, it is like a time-warped soul looking glass.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have to make a distinction between essayists and novelists. Among essayists, it is by far Rene Girard. Powerful, far reaching ideas on the core concepts of anthropology and yet a very clear, accessible writing style. I think he is in the same league of Voltaire, when it comes to clarity of exposition and sharpness of analysis. Next comes Yuri Slezkine, he has a much narrower field of interest but somehow an even more imaginative writing style. When it comes to novelists, today I would start with Mordechai Richler, all the works I read are great novels and he is also a quite good essayist. Then Vassily Grossman, Joseph Roth and some works of Jorge Amado and Bruce Marshall. Among classics, certainly Stendhal (a long time preference since high school times) while Cervantes is a relatively recent discovery and I have to admit I find Bulgakov more intriguing than Dostoevskij.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The thought that something unexpected (not necessarily pleasant) can always happen. Apparently, I am not alone on this: Plato used to say "Send us Zeus the miracle of a change" and also Italian poet Eugenio Montale captured that feeling in his "The journey" poetry, when he said "I planned my journey too carefully, an unexpected happening is now the only hope".
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Working in my real life job (I am a freetime essayist, so I need a real job if I want to feed my family) and going through my absolutely arbitrary reading list to get material to write the next essay.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Honestly, I do not read many ebooks. I tend always to favor the paper version if it is available. I am not saying it won't change in the future, it is just that I got used like this. A bit like when you learn driving with manual gears, you realize the convenience of automatic transmission but you are better off with the old ways.
What is your writing process?
Finding a suitable topic requires to go through a few steps: first, I need to have at least exposure to it in my real life, personal or professional, so some kind of direct experience. Second, it must also have some more general relevance, else who would buy the ebook? Third, I have to be in a position (or, better, feel to be in a position) to have an original or sufficiently innovative line of interpretation. Fourth, it must deserve the time and passion to go looking for some decent bibliographic research, that is to read a few cumbersome and possibly not always entertaining books around the topic. If the topic is strong enough to go through steps 1 to 4, then there is a good chance it can develop into an essay. Note that steps might happen in different order, so for example I wrote the essay on Hegel after reading the fantastic book of Kojeve starting from Step 4 and complementing with a few other things.
How do you approach cover design?
That is painful! I am very much time-constrained and do not have time to develop skills to create my own graphic (which means learning Photoshop or some other creative graphic package). So the shortcut I use is the following: I think of an image that conveys at best the overall message of the book and then google something from the Internet that is copyright-free. More often than not, this ends up into some more or less famous paintings, I leave to the reader find the connection between the content of the book and the cover.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1- Things hidden from the foundation of the World - Rene Girard masterpiece with his theory developed and explained in full detail
2- Elias Canetti - Crowds and Power - Must read (even if a bit difficult) for anyone interested in politics and power
3- Solomon Gursky was here - Mordechai Richler - the saga of American (actually Canadian) Jews
4- The red and the black - Stendhal - The immortal novel about human ambition in power (normal) and love (less obvious)
5- Radetzkymarsch - Joseph Roth - OK, this is my Old Europe side....
What do you read for pleasure?
I would rephrase the question as "What do you read for duty" and the answer is: emails and everything that is related to work. Tech magazines, press releases, commercial and technical documentation are unfortunately horribly homogeneous, generally shabby, inaccurate and more often than not awfully boring. I would mandate engineering and MBA schools to have obligatory courses in reading great authors and writing compelling stories.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My smartphone. I won't name the brand because the experience is quite bad, but I do not like to go around with many devices so as you cannot do without PC and smartphone at the end of the day you stay with the phone. Maybe that is one reason why I stick a lot to paper.
Published 2014-01-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Last Enemy - A history of the present future - 1934-2084
Price: Free! Words: 167,660. Language: English. Published: December 21, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
(3.00)
Thirty-four years have gone by since an ingenious biochemist, named Louis Picard, invented the ultimate anti-aging drug in 1981, that is known as Telomerax. An apocalyptic novel based on political and scientific facts, “The Last Enemy” blends reality and fiction with a reflection on human nature and her possible future
The Last Enemy - Part 4 Volume 2 - 2071-2084
Series: The Last Enemy. Price: Free! Words: 29,100. Language: English. Published: November 20, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
In the final volume of the saga, Louis Picard and the remaining members of the team face the ultimate challenge, they run for their lives against enemies that are plotting to throw the world into chaos again to bring it back to the pre-Telomerax age.
The Last Enemy - Part 4 Volume 1 - 2055-2070
Series: The Last Enemy. Price: Free! Words: 19,170. Language: English. Published: August 7, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
After the Telomerax wars, the world is trying to settle to a new order, but new conflicts erupt and Louis and the remnants of his team have to face new challenges, among which the birth of new religions that want to bring mankind back to the pre-Telomerax age.
The Last Enemy - Parts 1,2 & 3 - 1934-2054
Series: The Last Enemy. Price: Free! Words: 119,540. Language: English. Published: December 31, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
Thirty-four years have gone by since an ingenious biochemist, named Louis Picard, invented the ultimate anti-aging drug in 1981, that is known as Telomerax. An apocalyptic novel based on political and scientific facts, “The Last Enemy” blends reality and fiction with a reflection on human nature and her possible future. This volume collects the first three parts, available also as separate ebooks
The Last Enemy - Part 3 - 2024-2054
Series: The Last Enemy. Price: Free! Words: 47,660. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
Part 3 of the Last Enemy, where the world order unravels following the ill-managed prohibition of Telomerax in the public domain, that sparks revolts and conflict on a worldwide scale. The team of Louis Picard endures bitter losses, fighting to avoid the collapse of mankind triggered by the environmental disasters of war.
The Last Enemy - Part 2 - 2011-2023
Series: The Last Enemy. Price: Free! Words: 51,560. Language: English. Published: August 8, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
(5.00)
Part 2 of the Last Enemy, where the team that has vowed to keep secret Telomerax, the ultimate anti-aging drug, is eventually detected by the secret services of Israel and the US. Louis Picard and his friends engage with very dangerous allies to bring the drug to the public in the safest possible way, but will they succeed?
The Last Enemy - Part 1 - 1934-2010
Series: The Last Enemy. Price: Free! Words: 20,360. Language: English. Published: April 22, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
(5.00)
Thirty-four years have gone by since an ingenious biochemist, named Louis Picard, invented the ultimate anti-aging drug in 1981, that is known as Telomerax. An apocalyptic novel based on political and scientific facts, “The Last Enemy” blends reality and fiction with a reflection on human nature and her possible future.
The Righteously Mimetic Mind
Series: Reflections on Mimesis, Politics, and History. Price: $3.49 USD. Words: 11,920. Language: English. Published: June 6, 2014. Categories: Essay » Political, Nonfiction » Psychology » Developmental / general
This essay connects the dots between “The Righteous Mind”, the recent success of Jonathan Haidt about the evolutionary foundations of morality and mimetic theory developed by Rene Girard around the key concepts of imitative desire and scapegoating. To my knowledge, the two theories are the best tools available today to interpret human moral and political behavior.
Fratelli Rivali: il Mediterraneo tra Mimesi e Sfida
Price: $3.49 USD. Words: 6,860. Language: Italian. Published: December 26, 2013. Categories: Essay » Political, Nonfiction » History » Middle East
Brevissima dimostrazione che Samuel Huntington aveva torto: non esiste solo uno scontro di civiltà, ma un'incessante mimesi di civiltà (che a volte come tutte le mimesi può sfociare in rivalità e guerre).
Breve guida a Hegel per il secolo globale
Price: $3.49 USD. Words: 15,230. Language: Italian. Published: December 11, 2013. Categories: Essay » Political
Introduzione ai concetti base della filosofia di Hegel esposti nella Fenomenologia dello Spirito con una panoramica dell'influenza del filosofo di Stoccarda sul pensiero e sulla mentalita' contemporanee. L'autore azzarda l'ipotesi che l'attuale crisi finanziaria globali sia una manifestazione della crisi dell'hegelismo economico dopo che il ventesimo secolo ha visto la fine di quello politico.
Rival Brothers: A Mimetic View of East West Relations
Series: Reflections on Mimesis, Politics, and History, Applying Mimesis to contempora. Price: Free! Words: 8,840. Language: English. Published: November 9, 2013. Categories: Essay » Political, Essay » Literature
A personal view of East-West relationship built from real life experience and filtered via the interpretation tools of Mimetic theory of Rene Girard
Desire and the West: Market, State and the Containment of Armageddon
Series: Reflections on Mimesis, Politics, and History, Applying Mimesis to Modern His. Price: $3.49 USD. Words: 13,020. Language: English. Published: October 23, 2013. Categories: Essay » Political, Nonfiction » History » Modern / General
Find out how mimetic theory explains the reasons behind the ascent of the West in the last few centuries, complementing the thesis of Niall Ferguson about the killer applications of the West and the research of Yuri Slezkine on the role of the Jews in modernity, while also having a look at the latest interpretations of the restraint of Armageddon in St.Paul letter to Thessalonians
Ritratti di italiani in tempi di elezioni
Price: Free! Words: 4,740. Language: Italian. Published: February 28, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Democracy, Nonfiction » Biography » Political biography
Brevi ritratti di elettori italiani incontrati in volantinaggi, raccolte firme e altri momenti di campagna elettorale vissuta sul territorio, che anche nell’era delle reti sociali si rivela un metodo insostituibile per tastare lo stato di un Paese. Spero di aver restituito fedelmente la realta' di persone e storie che sostiene il cammino delle idee in generale e della politica in particolare.
Desire, History, State and the Destiny of Man in Hegel
Price: $3.49 USD. Words: 12,270. Language: English. Published: December 31, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Philosophy » European philosophy, Nonfiction » Philosophy » Political
This book explains the core concepts of the philosophy of history of Hegel. For the reader interested also in the metaphysical view of Hegel, I refer to my other ebook, “The essential Hegel for the 21st Century” which includes also the content of this ebook.
Potere, Massa, Violenza e Desiderio in Elias Canetti e Rene Girard
Price: $3.49 USD. Words: 4,730. Language: Italian. Published: December 30, 2012. Categories: Essay » Political, Essay » Political
Questo saggio riassume le idee fondamentali sull’origine del potere e il comportamento delle folle che Elias Canetti raccolse in “Massa e Potere” e mette in relazione il pensiero di Canetti con quello di un altro grande antropologo e letterato dell’ultimo secolo, Rene’ Girard che ha trattato il ruolo della folla nella prospettiva della nascita del mito e della religione.
Power, Crowds, Violence and Desire in Elias Canetti and Rene Girard
Series: Reflections on Mimesis, Politics, and History, Introducing Mimesis and Power. Price: $3.49 USD. Words: 5,110. Language: English. Published: December 27, 2012. Categories: Essay » Sociology
The essay nails down the key ideas about the origin of power and the behavior of human crowds as explained by Elias Canetti in his monumental work “Crowds and Power” and connects the dots with those of Rene Girard about desire, violence and religion to provide a comprehensive theory of the origins of power and religion.
The Essential Hegel for the 21st Century
Series: Reflections on Mimesis, Politics, and History, The starting point. Price: $3.49 USD. Words: 17,370. Language: English. Published: October 8, 2012. Categories: Essay » Political
This book explains the core concepts of the philosophy of Hegel based on the interpretations given by Isaiah Berlin and Alexandre Kojeve, and their lasting influence on the contemporary age and our way of thinking.