Month: August 2006

Robert Birnbaum (BSS #60)

Author: Robert Birnbaum Condition of Mr. Segundo: Detached but amused by the pair-up. Subjects Discussed: The value of conducting interviews at a cemetery, Ed Champion’s arrest, the current state of the literary world, literary feuds, Richard Ford and Colson Whitehead, Stanley Crouch, Nicholson Baker, Leon Wieseltier, Anthony Burgess, US vs. UK journalism, Cynthia Ozick, the Read More

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Jeff VanderMeer (BSS #59)

Author: Jeff VanderMeer Condition of Mr. Segundo: Coming to terms with troubling generalizations. Subjects Discussed: Mushrooms as inspiration, writing “Dradin in Love” while suffering from mono, Steve Erickson, the writer as sadistic god, on being perceived as “difficult,” genre as revitilization device, the New Weird, China Miéville, the value of taxonomies, the use of parentheses Read More

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A.M. Homes (BSS #58)

Author: A.M. Homes Condition of Mr. Segundo: Trying to remember last night’s conquest, relying upon Jorge’s import/export skills. Subjects Discussed: Taking on the “male menopause novel,” idioms appropriated by corporations, Kurt Vonnegut, vernacular, throwing the reader off guard, the dropping of letters, character names, donuts vs. bagels, burgers, on being provocative, novelists as ethicists, maintaining Read More

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Jonathan Safran Foer (BSS #57)

Author: Jonathan Safran Foer Condition of Mr. Segundo: Dismissive of Michael Martone. Subjects Discussed: San Francisco vs. New York, time-shifting as style, invention as experimentalism, the importance of critics (James Wood, B.R. Myers, Sven Birkets), responding to John Updike’s review, visual elements, designing Extremely Loud in Word, the use of conceptual red ink, the post-9/11 Read More

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Daniel Green and Michael Martone (BSS #56)

Guests: Daniel Green and Michael Martone (LBC finalist, Summer 2006) Condition of Mr. Segundo: Avoiding his own Contributor’s Note. Subjects Discussed: The entertaining components of experimental fiction, the genesis of contributor’s notes, Edith Hamilton, mythology, the “Michael Martones of the universe,” cultural influence, Hugh Kenner’s The Counterfeiters, how the origin of the word “fact” influences Read More

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David Mitchell II, Part Two (BSS #55)

[NOTE: This is part two of a two-part podcast.] Author: David Mitchell Condition of Mr. Segundo: Miffed by a grand literary theft. Subjects Discussed: The Simpsons, the ambiguity of Norman Bates, transcontinental reception, the unexpected reception of Black Swan Green, the Stranger review, Haruki Murakami, finding auctorial voice, the “fourth book” breakthrough, avoiding the pitfalls Read More

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David Mitchell II, Part One (BSS #54)

[NOTE: This is part one of a two-part podcast.] Author: David Mitchell Condition of Mr. Segundo: Responding to the crazed accusations of a major film director. Subjects Discussed: The similarities between Jason Taylor and David Mitchell, idiosynchratic vernacular, first-person vs. third-person voice, index cards, how Granta unexpectedly kicked off Black Swan Green, the correct pronounciation Read More

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Michael Orthofer and Betsy Wing (BSS #53)

Guests: Michael Orthofer and Betsy Wing (translator, LBC nominee, Summer 2006) Condition of Mr. Segundo: In absentia, fleeing the silly hipsters. Subjects Discussed: How to raise awareness of translated fiction, an idea involving Chad Post, on being a designated translator, language adopted by literary critics, a very friendly dog in the Wing household, breaking down Read More

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Dan Wickett & Kellie Wells (BSS #52)

Guests: Dan Wickett and Kellie Wells (LBC Nominee, Summer 2006) Condition of Mr. Segundo: Absent, avoiding his family lineage. Subjects Discussed: Interdependent stories, the perception of a “novel in stories,” “Compression Scars” as the launching pad for the novel, building community consciousness within fiction, setting down distinct vernacular, preserving Midwestern cultural details, Sherwood Anderson, the Read More

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