MWF marketing and development intern Benjamin answers the tough questions.
What do you like to do when you’re not interning?
I enjoy reading, writing, watching Netflix and patting my very excitable doggo Rusty.
If you could be any fictional character for a week, who would you be?
I’d be Hermione from Harry Potter. Harry gets all the credit for being the “chosen one”, but almost all his advantages are gifted to him e.g. the Nimbus 2000. Hermione is the real unsung hero whose formidable intelligence would be the greater asset in the modern knowledge economy.
Why did you decide to intern?
After graduating with a bachelor of arts in politics and media from The University of Melbourne in 2017, I’m seeking industry experience in media and marketing roles. I love the Melbourne Writers Festival and am passionate about promoting great writing, so this internship was a perfect fit.
What’s one book everyone should read at some point in their life?
George Orwell’s 1984 is vital reading. Some consider it cliché, but the book’s themes of truth, dissent and anti-totalitarianism are universal and timeless.
Who would be your dream author to see at MWF?
I’m currently obsessed with Ta-Nehisi Coates, and am crossing my fingers for a 2018 appearance. His writing on race as a structural force in US politics is essential reading in the age of Trump.
What’s your most loved and most hated book-to-movie adaptation?
Hulu’s TV adaption of Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale perfectly captures the essence of the book – I can’t wait for season two. Conversely, the original film adaption of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events is terribly unfaithful to the books – the recent Netflix series does a much better job.
What are you reading right now?
How do you read books – print/ebooks/audiobooks?
If a literary villain had the power to escape the pages of the book they’re trapped in and take over the world, which villain do you think would be most likely to do so?
Charles Lindbergh from Philip Roth’s novel The Plot Against America. Lindbergh was a real historical figure, a famous aviator who expressed fascistic sympathies. Roth’s alternative history imagines him running for president and winning, and signing a peace accord with Nazi Germany under the banner of “America First”. It is truly chilling stuff, especially since the novel was published in 2004.
Favourite Australian author?
Don Watson – his essays for The Monthly are always fantastic.
What’s a book you’ve read more times than any other?
I don’t re-read books – there are too many on my ‘to read’ list.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I hope to work in the arts, not-for-profit or government sector, using my skills in media communications and policy analysis for a good cause. Writing will always remain a passion of mine, and I would love to continue publishing work.
Discover Benjamin’s five essential writers for interpreting Trump’s America.
Benjamin Clark is a Melburnian writer and arts worker. He is a 2018 MWF marketing and development intern.