Notebook on Cities and Culture
(Formerly The Marketplace of Ideas.) Colin Marshall sits down for in-depth conversations with cultural creators, internationalists, and observers of the urban scene all around Los Angeles and beyond.
Literary auteurhood: Geoff Dyer, writer and intellectual gatecrasher

Colin Marshall talks to Geoff Dyer, the "intellectual gatecrasher" who has written, in addition to several novels, books on photography, World War I, jazz, John Berger, travel, and D.H. Lawrence. His essays turn out to cover an even wider span of subjects than his books, and his latest collection Otherwise Known as the Human Condition includes pieces on Susan Sontag, Def Leppard, Ian McEwan, avoiding real jobs, Richard Avedon, Editions of Contemporary Music, W.G. Sebald, growing up an only child, and the search for the perfect donut and cappuccino.

Direct download: MOI_Geoff_Dyer.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:50am UTC

Michel de Montaigne's examined life, re-examined

Colin Marshall talks to Sarah Bakewell, author of biographies on Jorgen Jorgenson, Margaret Caroline Rudd, and, most recently, the 16th-century French essayist Michel de Montaigne. How to Live, or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer examines the life of a man whose life you'd have thought was already pretty damned well examined. More remains to learn, it turns out, even after Montaigne himself wrote three volumes of personal essays which have attained over 400 years of success and counting. Bakewell finds a man who, despite revealing no end of personal detail and disclosing no end of his own opinions, paraxodically becomes near-universally relatable to the reading public across the world and through time. Yet could he have achieved this not in spite of his essays' specificity, but because of it?

Direct download: MOI_Sarah_Bakewell.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:57am UTC

You got arthouse film in my experimental literature!: novelist Jeffrey Deshell

Colin Marshall talks to Jeffrey DeShell, associate professor of English at the University of Colorado, Boulder and author of Arthouse, a novel that takes the form, structure, and aesthetic of each of its chapters from famous films like Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story, Bela Tarr's Satantango, Arthur Ripley's Branded to Kill, Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist, and Jean-Luc Godard's Contempt. DeShell's protagonist, a "failed fortysomething film studies academic," lives through a story among the meth-dealing toughs of Pueblo, Colorado that pulls him through not the events, not the settings, but the very substance of the cinematic art of these and other classics of the "arthouse" theater.

Direct download: MOI_Jeffrey_DeShell.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:40am UTC