OGIC, Scott Esposito & Edie Meidav (BSS #51)

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Guests: OGIC, Scott Esposito and Edie Meidav (LBC Nominee, Summer 2006).

Condition of Mr. Segundo: Running away from the Bolsheviks.

Subjects Discussed: Dancing about architecture, Humbert Humbert, antiheroes, character names and wordplay, Nabokov, the memory of environment vs. its inevitable change, balancing secondary characters against a complex protagonist, the real-life inspiration for the wastrels, writing in sheds, various notions of “crawl space,” cross-graphs, visual elements contained within text, on being edited at FSG, “throwing out crazy trees,” discarded subplots, drowning babies, mining abandoned material vs. moving forward, and introducing loaded guns in the first act.

[INTERVIEW NOTES: The interview with OGIC was conducted by telephone.]

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Categories: Fiction

John Updike (BSS #50)

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Author: John Updike

Condition of Mr. Segundo: Defending himself against obnoxious talk show hosts and ready to move on.

Subjects Discussed: Epigraphs, faith and disbelief, starting Terrorist with a Catholic priest, first person vs. third person, on writing upon Americana, post-9/11 symbolism, humanism vs. pessimism, blow jobs, Christopher Hitchens, the state of the September 11 novel, Norman Mailer, Neil LaBute’s The Mercy Seat, applying “On Not Being a Dove” to Iraq, airport X-ray machines, external sexual imagery vs. internal emotion in prose, why Updike concentrates on explicit anatomical detail, Goths, language, challenging Updike on the BEA speech and the Internet.

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Categories: Fiction

Dave King (BSS #49)

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Author: Dave King

Condition of Mr. Segundo: Unknown, replaced temporarily by a shady documentary producer fulfilling a contractual obligation.

Subjects Discussed: Modeling, painting, making a transition to writing, ambition, disabilities, self-help, italicized words, iambic pentameter, sincerity in an age of literary realism, Richard Yates, the early ending to The Ha-Ha, getting The Ha-Ha published, Vietnam and war, Tim O’Brien, cities as reference points, conformity vs. uniqueness, sincere language co-opted by Hallmark, Matthew Sharp, the semantics of symbolism, Americans and passports, on being skeptical about self-improvement, A Clockwork Orange, Akiva Goldsman and the Ha-Ha film adaptation.

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Categories: Fiction

Colson Whitehead (BSS #48)

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Author: Colson Whitehead

Condition of Mr. Segundo: Dismayed by advertising jingle trios and interruptions; more than vaguely litigious.

Subjects Discussed: Living in San Francisco, working at CNET, writing on the clock, the importance of names, Theodore Judah, microhistories, the influence of 9/11 upon Apex, metaphors, toes, writing about work, James Wood, didacticism, masculinity, the influence of pop culture, Generation X novels, Sven Birkets, whether the reader or the author has the obligation to make connections, the value of reviews, self-criticism, avoiding cliches, Altamont, compulsive writing, research, translating cultural experience into fiction, comic books, and brokering a detente with Richard Ford.

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Categories: Fiction