Jean-Claude Carrière

Please, Mr Einstein
  • Please, Mr Einstein

  • A young woman enters a building in a nameless contemporary European city. She walks into a waiting room where a dozen other people, with briefcases or sheaves of documents, are gathered. Ushered into a large office, she meets Albert Einstein, who is engaged in trying to figure out the equation that explains the universe. He is charmed by her, and agrees to answer her questions.

    Einstein and the young woman begin discussing the concepts of time and space. He explains his theories about relativity and his responsibility in the creation of nuclear weapons. Einstein also talks about the problem of being famous, about his life in Nazi Germany and how his dreams of worldwide peace were shattered. He appears bright, witty, hugely sympathetic, but also tormented and dreamy.

Jean-Claude Carrière is a writer, playwright and screenwriter, who recently collaborated with Michael Haneke on his award-winning film The White Ribbon. He has worked with many of the twentieth century's great directors including Peter Brook, Milos Forman, Buñuel and Jean-Luc Godard, and is the author of Please Mr Einstein. Umberto Eco (1932-2016) wrote fiction, literary criticism and philosophy. His first novel, The Name of the Rose, was a major international bestseller. His other works include Foucault's Pendulum, The Island of the Day Before, Baudolino, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, The Prague Cemetery and Numero Zero along with many brilliant collections of essays. Jean-Philippe de Tonnac is a writer and editor. His interviews with Umberto Eco, Jean-Claude Carrière and Stephen Jay Gould were published in the book Conversations About the End of Time. He is also the editor of several collections of essays, not yet translated into English, which include A Universal Dictionary of Bread andAn Encyclopaedia of Knowledge and Belief.