I was educated at Harvard University (BA magna cum laude, 1964; Ph.D. 1971 in Sanskrit & Indian Studies). Taught at the University of Toronto. From 1971 to 1979 trained as a Freudian analyst, then I was, for a very short time, director of the Freud Archives. Left psychoanalysis in 1982 and began writing about animal emotions. Lived in Auckland, New Zealand, for 14 years; then Malaga, Berlin, Sydney, and now Berlin again. Married to Leila Rubina Masson, a German pediatrician. We have two boys, 20 and 15. Formerly I was married to the late Therese Alter Masson, with one daughter, Simone, 42.
What brought you to Berlin? Love? World politics? Or was it a coincidence?
What do you love about Berlin?
There is so much – politics, language, culture, love of dogs, „veganliebe“ – super cool!
What do you miss in Berlin?
What is your favorite spot in Berlin?
Would you say you are a different person in Berlin? A different translator? And if yes, in what way?
Not yet, but I’m trying to write a novel: Évian, 1938. This will change everything!
Which existing literary work do you wish you would have written?
Consider the Lobster, David Foster Wallace