Interviewing Gabriel Josipovici
It was a delight to interview the writer and critic Gabriel Josipovici, in an online event hosted by AJR Refugee Voices and Sephardi Voices UK. The audience was privileged to learn out about Gabriels’ latest writing created during the spring lockdown, which consists of 86 short pieces starting with a different letter from the alphabet, written in 100 days. Gabriel read two of these yet unpublished pieces to the Zoom audience, one more theoretical musing entitled ‘Anonymous’ and a biographical piece called ‘Gabriel’ in which he explores the origins of his name and the name of his baby sister, who died very shortly after her birth in the village of La Bourboule in 1943, the place where Gabriel and his mother found shelter until the end of the war. Many themes were touched upon in the conversation. One of particular interest was the theme of identity and ‘not belonging’ and the impact of ‘not having a motherland to dream about, nor a mother language’. This was a wonderful opportunity to get a close up of one of 'Britains best post-war writers and critics (David Herman), who considers his uprooting and his wandering a central part of his Jewish identity.