Cyprus Mail
A minute with Life & Style

A minute with Paul Stewart Professor of Literature at University of Nicosia; actor with Alpha Square; author of Now Then (a novel) coming out in May

Where do you live?
In an old house in Ayios Omologites, Nicosia with Katy and our two boys, Sam and Joe

Best childhood memory?
The first 18 years seem a blur to me now; I have an awful memory. We used to holiday in North Devon every year and I was acting for TV for much of the 80s so there must have been some outstanding moments, but they have failed to stand out.

Most frequented restaurant and absolute favourite dish?
I’m not one for restaurants as such and prefer on-the-street tavernas like those towards the end of Onasagorou

What food would you really turn your nose up to?
I do turn down squid in its own ink, when offered.

What did you have for breakfast?
Granola with red berries. Tea.

Would you class yourself as a day or night person? What’s your idea of the perfect night/day out?
Increasingly a day person, and quite possibly only a morning person at that. The perfect night/day combination might involve a good beach, a good read and some pokey cocktails.

Best book ever read?
Samuel Beckett’s so-called trilogy of Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable. The style and humour are key, but I’ve spent much of my professional career trying to get to the bottom of what makes these works absolutely key novels of the 20th century.

Favourite film of all time?
The Third Man. The script and story from Graham Greene are perfect, direction by Reed is fantastic, the acting superb (no one can push the limits without quite falling into over-acting like Orson Welles) and the music brilliant. All that, and a final shot to die for.

Favourite holiday destination? What’s your dream trip?
The best holidays were years going to the festival of San Fermin in Pamplona, Spain. Each time I packed more into eight days than was strictly wise. A dream trip now would probably mean less dirt and sweat and tears and more comfort.

What music are you listening to in the car at the moment?
The Brian Jonestown Massacre if I’m in charge; The Kinks if the kids are. I would be happy with either.

What is always in your fridge?
Wine.

Dream house: rural retreat or urban dwelling? Where would it be, what would it be like?
An apartment in the old town of Donostia (San Sebastian) in the Basque Country, preferably above a good tapas bar and overlooking the harbour and La Concha beach.

If you could pick anyone at all (alive or dead) to go out for the evening with, who would it be?
James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway used to go drinking together in Paris in the 20s, so perhaps I could combine the two. Getting punched by Hemingway would be an unfortunate possibility. Joyce would win the greatest writer competition but I suspect that the worst-human-being contest might be closer.

If the world is ending in 24 hours what would you do?
It wouldn’t matter, but as close to nothing as possible – just for the practice.

What is your greatest fear?
Senility.

Tell me a joke…
A man walked into a bar. Ouch.

 

Wilde Conversations
Paul Stewart can this week be seen in Alpha Square’s Wilde Conversations with Alexia Paraskeva, Nedi Antoniade and Andreas Araouzos. April 30 to May 11, Wednesday to Sunday at 8.30pm and Sundays at 6.30pm too. Point Centre for Contemporary Art, Evagoros Street, Nicosia. Tickets: €15 including a glass of wine. For reservations: [email protected] or Tel: 70001140

 

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