tv Meet the Author BBC News August 31, 2017 8:45pm-9:01pm BST
we stand at a really critical time in the uk. this fighting talk comes only three months after mrs may called a snap election and lost her party's majority. but with brexit negotiations under way and no obvious rival in sight, most, but not all, tories seem willing to let her carry on, for now. we've made a decision, we want theresa may to get on with the job. we think it's an importantjob. it's critically important for the country that we get the right outcomes. i don't see any immediate change, but i think it's unrealistic to plan on the assumption that theresa may's going to be fighting the next election as leader of the conservative party. i don't think theresa may will stand down of her own accord, she would never to have a challenger to go forward to her. she is not a quitter. she's very resilient, and she will be there for as long as the conservative party want herto be. given north korea's latest missile test over this island, defence was a focus of talks here, as was brexit, with japan anxious to protect its investments in britain. translation: on brexit, we would like the impact on our companies minimised. we want predictability and transparency ensured
during the negotiations. mrs may says she's listening, so that a smooth brexit transition is realised. it's the long—term issues of trade, the consequences of brexit, defence and security cooperation that have dominated theresa may's talks here, but it's her unplanned, strikingly blunt declaration about her own political future that her trip to japan will be remembered for. ben wright, bbc news, tokyo. mac around 2 million muslims have taken part in the annual hajj pilgrimage. muslims gathered at the mountains where they believe the prophet muhammad gave his final sermon. prophet muhammad gave his final
sermon. muslims around the world will be celebrating eid tomorrow. time for a look at the headlines: the eu's chief negotiator says there has been no decisive progress in the brexit talks. the brexit secretary david davis says some progress has been made. a cricket match at the oval was abandoned today after a crossbow bolt was fired onto the pitch. the crowd was evacuated. officials in texas are warning of a severely dangerous situation is a chemical plant is flooded by the waters of tropical storm harvey. an update on the market numbers: here is how london and frankfurt ended the day. now on bbc news, meet the author. is
a story about storytelling, about myth and believe, about human curiosity. marcel theroux's new novel is a tale of religion and politics that move from czarist russia, india and eventually to the brink of the second world war and the holocaust. on every page, the same question teases and torments you: what is true and what is not? welcome. i'm not sure if classification of novels is a good idea or not, but in the case of this very original story, i want to hear how you would describe it as a book. that is a
tough one. for me, it is an adventure story, at the heart of it. i wanted to have the energy and vigour of a classic adventure story. the book itself sprang out of my obsession with another book, which i brought to show you. it's the unknown life ofjesus christ, published in 1894 in paris by a russian emigre. i have always been interested in this story ofjesus, and particularly the big gap in the gospel between his childhood and the beginning of his ministry in galilee, and i always wondered what he was up to in those years. and i came across this apocryphal tale that he had been in india studying buddhism, and it turns out it originates with this book. the writer claims to have discovered it ina tibetan writer claims to have discovered it in a tibetan monastery. the how, why and where of that story was the
seat. we live in an age of conspiracy theory sees —— conspiracy theories, and this is a great one. that period, the writer is a russian in this part of the empire, and he is possibly up to no good. it is fascinating that he is therein the first place. then he comes up with this gospel that sounds like something out of indiana showing thatjesus is a buddhist. what a lovely idea that would be, you might think about as you say, when you look at the historical background and what was going on in the 1880s and what was going on in the 1880s and 8090s, which is a period that weirdly resembles others, it was a busy time for fake news, for conspiracy theories. in many ways, it isa
conspiracy theories. in many ways, it is a book about stories, about how important they are, and about high how this leads to religious belief. it is a story about storage telling wrapped up in a piece of storytelling. that is why i think that the novel is the right form to tell his life, because his life is about telling stories. as i was writing it, iwas about telling stories. as i was writing it, i was thinking about the fa ct writing it, i was thinking about the fact that it seems like in the last ten yea rs fact that it seems like in the last ten years the word narrative has seized hold of people's imaginations. i don't think people talked about it in 20 —— talked about it 20 years ago. it is one of the legacies of the blair era. about it 20 years ago. it is one of the legacies of the blair eram was peter mandelson that i remember saying the labour party needed to find a new narrative. you could be talking about rasputin. how weird. people are so self conscious now
about the need to construct stories, to have a back story, a charismatic centralfigure to have a back story, a charismatic central figure struggling to do something. and it seems like the techniques of novel writing have been adopted wholesale by spin doctors and political analysts and movers and shakers. when you were writing it, you must have been aware that the whole political debate about fake news, the now famous phrase, about truth, falsehood, the manipulation of truth, had really been taken and thrust into the limelight for us all in a way that wasn't the case five years ago. that wasn't the case five years ago. that was the weird thing about the book. ifinished it was the weird thing about the book. i finished it last spring. was the weird thing about the book. ifinished it last spring. fake news wasn't a word when i handed the book my publisher, and i had weird to the tingling in my spine when people started arguing about the truth and falsehood, and alternative facts,
andi falsehood, and alternative facts, and i thought, this is so bizarre. —— i hada and i thought, this is so bizarre. —— i had a weird tingling in my spine. this book deals with anti—semitism, and that is the old est anti—semitism, and that is the oldest hatred of all. it seems evergreen and like it will never disappear. of course, it is a perennial subject for novelists, and yet, there is nothing familiar about that theme in this book — oh, here we go again — because it is wrapped up we go again — because it is wrapped up in this enigmatic figure who clearly fascinates you, almost obsesses you. i found him so strange. here is this guy, in british india, what is he doing? he finds this book and says thatjesus was studying buddhism. he then turns up was studying buddhism. he then turns up in was studying buddhism. he then turns upina was studying buddhism. he then turns up in a lot of other people's box.
in real life, he actually does. but you only see flashes of him. there is no biography. we don't know when he died, we're not 100% sure when he was born, but he flashes up a lot of times in declassified documents from british india. i have to say that what i have read about him, he doesn't seem like the nicest person in the world. he seems to have inspired this trust above all. the fa ct inspired this trust above all. the fact that he was there doing this thing, and that he disappeared from history, ifind extraordinary. in thing, and that he disappeared from history, i find extraordinary. in a way, the post—cold war world, with all those horrible certainties removed, has produced, as everybody knows, a version of political chaos that we are living through, and it seems to me that what you are trying to catch there is something that flavour, almost exactly a century before. what is weird is that that period, it seems that so many other
stories that are covered are re—emerging, stories about communism, liberalism, what rights we are fighting for, and a lot of very noble ideals lead to rights and extending the franchise to women, all these things. this is a cocktail of very modern ideas, and even the technology is modern. they get the first long—distance telephone lines. 0k, first long—distance telephone lines. ok, you can only call as far as belgium from paris, but still. we think of our period as unique and special in terms of the speed with which news travels, the wave fake news can be disseminated around the world. it really wasn't that different in paris in the 1880s. world. it really wasn't that different in paris in the 1880sm is also ultimately i think our hymn of praise to the art of storytelling, which can be manipulated and can be damaging, but it is part of the building of a nation, and you feel that with every
bonein nation, and you feel that with every bone in your body. i do, and i love stories and long to be seduced by them. my wife came home from a book festival with a bag that said, stories are bridges to other worlds. i thought, that's true, but stories are also other things, propaganda, poison, lies. and i wanted both for the reader to feel like this story involves them, but also for them to emerge with their eyes open to the manipulations of story, and to see how ubiquitous these forms of storytelling are. marcel theroux, author of the secret books, thank you very much. good evening. the final day of meteorological summer has seen a mix of sunshine and heavy showers. here is the radar showing the showers drifting away to the east slowly.
still a few heavy ones across eastern england and down towards the south west too. for most other places, they are fading away. over the next few hours, it will turn drive. clear spells, light the next few hours, it will turn drive. clearspells, light winds too. with that combination, it will bea too. with that combination, it will be a fresh start to friday. as we head through the early hours, temperatures in towns and cities down to around 12 celsius. it will be cooler than this in the countryside, and there could be the odd patch of mist and maybe even some grass frost in the most prone spots. friday is shaping up to be a fine morning with sunshine. through the day, the cloud will build, especially in the east. saudi scotland, through northumberland, the pennines, down to east anglia and the south—east, there will be heavy showers. to the north of that, for much of scotland into northern ireland, you are likely is that they —— likely to stay mostly dry. temperatures in the high teens. some heavy showers across the pennines,
towards lincolnshire. there could be the odd rumble of thunder with those heavy downpours. through wales and south—west england, the afternoon looks fine and dry, warm with light winds and temperatures around 20 celsius. the chance of a light shower across the south—east of england and heavier ones across the east anglia. it's the evening, the showers ease away, becoming largely dry overnight. once again, similar to this coming night, light winds and a chilly night. saturday dawns ona and a chilly night. saturday dawns on a fresh note, but with his area of high pressure creeping in, it is set to be a decent looking day across set to be a decent looking day a cross m ost set to be a decent looking day across most parts of the country. a largely dry picture, and with the light winds and sunshine, a great day for getting out and about. the afternoon will be warm, with temperatures up to around 21 celsius in the south. further north, typically around 18, 19 celsius. some rain is waiting in the wings. during the second half of the weekend, that moves in from the west. it could be heavy for wales,
south—west of england, strong winds too. and then this band of brain slowly pushes east across the country on sunday. the far east of england and eastern scotland will probably get away with a dry picture too much of the day. take out the forecast for the start of september on our website. —— check out the forecast. source i'm ross, i'm with source source. we begin with a chemical plant in texas, there are fears that there could be toxic fumes, as there have been explosions. and brexit. we did not get any of the disciplines on any of the subjects. i think it is fair to say we have seen i think it is fair to say we have seen concrete i think it is fair to say we have seen concrete progress. over seen concrete progress. over 300 new species have been found in the amazon. many in areas threatened by human activity. bbc brazil will cover this for us. to get in touch across the hour as we bring the main global stories of the