Something different this week. No banter, no topic, no intro, no outro, just a brief introduction and the first chapter of Kelly's memoir, Cloudbreak, California.
Please note that PRL will take a break after this episode, and we're not sure how long the break will be. It's been a blast so far, and we hope there's something on the other side, but now is a time for contemplation. See you around! And hey, thanks for listening.
Dan and Kelly wrack their memories to find writers famous for either their horribleness or their kindness. Beneath the various stories lurks a question: to what degree to we reward or punish writers based on who they are and not they've written. Do great writers get away with being assholes? Do extra nice people get away with being mediocre writers? Tune in to find out.
Kelly enjoys a reunion with his old friend from graduate school, Marc P: poet, fiction writer, teacher, and publisher of his own small press. Dan adds his wit and verve to a lively chat about the state of literary publishing, complete with practical advice on starting your own small press.
Dan and Kelly take on a topic that's been dogging graduate students for millenia (a word my mouth-breathing spellchecker doesn't recognize as the plural of "millenium"). Why does it have to be so fricken confusing? Is it all a big scam, or is there something to be gained from making the reader struggle to keep up? As usual, the boys have more questions than answers, but if you pay attention, you just might learn something anyway.
Dan and Kelly share experiences with their favoritest and least favoritest "how to" manuals, trying to get at this vital question: can you learn to write by readings books about how to write? An "AJWilson82" inspired episode.
Classic guest Joe Bonomo joins the boys for a live podcast from the ballpark. Heated debate about America's most literary sport ensues, as do hot dogs and beer. Also, raccoons.
The boys talk book reviews, their own and those of others. Leaning hard on A Reader's Manifesto, by B.R. Myers, they present an unintentional conspiracy, whereby book reviews have become part of the advertising branch of major book publishers--and therefore completely dishonest and useless to readers. Like much in life, it's a damn shame.
Dan and Kelly opine on the subject of titles. They offer examples of good ones, bad ones, and ugly ones. If only they had a fistful of dollars every time they had to come up with a title... Tune in to this informative and fascinating discussion.
Dan claims that people who read on Kindles don't retain what they've read. Kelly is pretty sure that's wrong, but he can't quite remember where he read it.
Does "literature" have practical value? What constitutes "literature"? Who gets to decide? Should tax payers fund "literature"? Do the boys have answers to these questions, questions? Will all be revealed if you listen?
The boys fantasize about the opportunity to "sell out," whatever that might mean. And Bigfoot porn.
The boys are taking requests these days, especially good ones, like A.J. Wilson's question about the challenges and rewards of moving from short forms to book-length works. Kelly's all: blah, blah, blah, Knausgaard; blah, blah, blah, Walden. Dan's like: yadda, yadda, yadda, Alice Munro; yadda, yadda, yadda, Charles Portis.
Dan, with every fiber of his being, supports the Nobel Prize Committe's decision to award harmonica player Bob Dylan the Nobel Prize for Literature. Kelly thinks it should have gone to Billy Joel.
Chabon, Chabon, Chabon, sha-doobie, do-doobie, do-bom!
The boys do not discuss Mary Shelley's famous novel, its influence or content. Instead, they forget to push "record" for the first ten minutes of the initial conversation about some of the favorite books, and then go back into the studio to patch in a new intro. You can hear the stitches.
Kelly tries, unsuccessfully, to bring bondage and discipline into the conversation, while Dan earnestly talks the highs and lows of submitting for publication when you ain't famous.
The boys pass a podcasting milestone early in their careers: losing an entire recorded episode and having to do it over. Losing a whole episode and having to record it again. The subject is authorial identity, regional vs. nomadic. They talk about local and cosmopolitan writerly personas.
What do you do when you honestly hate your good friend's new book? Find out in this iconoclastic episode on "literary citizenship."
Kelly goes all Christian Science while Dan advocates for a balanced approach.
Dan seethes with envy--and vicarious thrill--as Kelly regales the listener with steamy tales of his time at artist retreats. Or something like that.
Starstruck Dan and Kelly fight for Joe's attention, talking baseball, rock n' roll, even a little writing. Three is definitely a crowd in the tiny recording nook, and they wouldn't have it any other way.
Dan and Kelly puzzle over "fan fiction," asking, what is it good for...(absolutely nothing?)
Dan comes out as a copy cat. Kelly tries to comfort him by pretending that he (Kelly) too is unoriginal.