Dan and Eric discuss the nature of criticism this issue as well as where the New Yorker tends to situate itself in today's cultural climate. They start out talking about Jane Meyer's detailed investigation into the allegations against Al Franken. Dan and Eric move on to talk about Jill Lepore's incisive and expansive essay on Herman Melville, his life and legacy. They end this episode with a discussion of Hilton Als' criticism of Hannah Gadsby's new performance, "Douglas." So much to talk about this week as Dan and Eric engage about an extraordinary issue of the magazine.
Dan and Eric talk about Dan's recent surgery, from which he's still recovering; Sarah Larson's Talk piece on Lynn Shelton, Marc Maron, and a current exhibit at the Met; Dana Goodyear's insightful piece about presidential candidate, Kamala Harris; an excellent story by Hanif Kureishi; and an online story by Alex Kotlowitz about the beauty of the Boundary Waters (between Minnesota and Canada) and how they are imperiled.
Eric talks to fiction writer and New Yorker contributor Mary Gaitskill about getting started as a writer; publishing Bad Behavior; Philip Roth and Richard Yates; her perceptions of Eric when he studied with her at the Syracuse University MFA program; redemption in "Secretary" and "Romantic Weekend"; her parents' opinions of her work; writing as a spiritual practice; and so much more.
This was a great week at the New Yorker and on the pod. Dan and Eric talk about: Amy Davidson Sorkin's excellent and unique piece about the Democratic debates; Dan Chiasson's insightful close reading of James Tate's most final collection of poetry; and a transcendent piece of fiction by playwright and novelist David Rabe. A great episode, a celebration of literature.
Dan and Eric actually just met up in New York for a good friend's wedding, so they reminisce, briefly, about their mutual, now-married friend, and their debauchery over the long weekend. The conversation moves onto Kadir Nelson's cover, "Wheel Life"; Robyn Wright's terrifying piece about conflict with Iran; Lauren Collins deeply reported piece about Emmanuel Macron and the political scene in France; and, finally, Hollywood fiction by Emma Cline.
This week, Dan and Eric discuss recent experiences--Dan went to a Vermont conference for Jewish writers, Eric saw two concerts. They discuss the shame a person in their 40s might feel when engaging in a purely recreational activity. Then, onto the New Yorker. D and E talk Sorkin Davidson on Biden and Trump; Sheelah Kolhatkar on policy dynamo Elizabeth Warren; and Peter Schjeldahl on American bard Walt Whitman. Plus: the two hosts talk about the evolving editorial synchrony between the New Yorker magazine, its website and its podcasts.
Rebecca Curtis's short stories are often told by narrators who are unafraid to tell you exactly what they think--this is just one element of what's so great about her work. Curtis has published five short stories in the New Yorker (plus a lot more elsewhere) and her work certainly breaks the mold of the "New Yorker" short story. Her tales are bold, outrageous, and beautifully dark, almost gothic. In this episode, Eric and Rebecca discuss Rebecca's long career publishing in the magazine and elsewhere; her hiatus from writing publishing short stories; the nature of 'frame' stories; belief in ghosts; what it's like working with different New Yorker editors; Rebecca's experience studying fiction and poetry at Syracuse University's MFA program; and so much more. A long, candid conversation with one of the magazine's most distinct voices.
It is the summer fiction issue, and this week Dan and Eric talk--lamely--about how exhausted they both are. Apparently, parenting, teaching, writing and podcasting has caught up with them, and they spend a minute or two discussing the depths of their fatigue, like the two middle-aged Jewish men that they are. They also discuss Amy Davidson Sorkin on European politics; Jennifer Egan's memories of 1980s adventures in China; an excerpt called "Conductions" from Ta Nehisi Coates's upcoming novel, about an abolitionist tasking for the underground railroad; and, to wrap things up, Dan and Eric discuss a 1975 issue of the New Yorker and a movie review written by Pauline Kael. Enjoy, my friends, more next week.
On this episode, Dan discusses how being a podcast host has led him to be overly confident about his knowledge of facts; Eric counters by reflecting on his over-enthusiasm and thoughtless reliance on broad adjectives. They also discuss matters of greater substance: Margaret Talbot on US immigration policy; reporter William Finnegan and his thoughtful piece about presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke; Pulitzer prize winner Emily Nussbaum on television in the #metoo era; and Rivka Galchen on the story behind the creation of Curious George. A nice, long episode, with lots of good banter and discussion.