Zero Squared #26: Romeo and Juliet in Palestine

Tom Sperlinger is the guest this week and we discuss his book Romeo and Juliet in Palestine. Tom Sperlinger is director of Lifelong Learning for English at the University of Bristol, where he has set up a part-time BA in English Literature and Community Engagement. He has written about literature, universities and adult education for publications including The Guardian, The Independent on Sunday, The Times Higher, The Times Literary Supplement, Open Democracy and The Reader. Romeo and Juliet in Palestine is his first book and came out from Zero Books last month on June 26th.

John Berger who is best known for his book and television series Ways of Seeing blurbed the book this way:

A book of vivid first-hand experience about the daily lives, suffering and courage of Palestinians living in the West Bank. Read it, imagine it and pass it around.

The voices you’ll hear in this episode include Rick Roderick, Stephen Greenblatt, Hamlet, Horatio, Robin Williams in the Dead Poet’s Society, Michael Fassbender, a Librivox recording of David Cooperfield, and Gretrude Stein reading If I Had Told Him a Completed Portrait of Picasso. The music in the episode is The Carmans Whistle by William Byrd.

Zero Squared #19: Listening to Writing and Letters

Daniela Cascella is the guest this week and we discuss her book F.M.R.L. The book is described as “a collection of fragments and essays recording accidents of hearing and detours of thought in response to the peripheral nature of listening and reading.”

Kristen Kreider, author of Poetics and Place, blurbed the book as follows:

“This is writing in its most present sense. Writing that, true to its tense, enacts a continual process of thinking and perceiving. Writing that, spinning its words from sound, gathers up referents in a loose weave. Expansive in scope, and intimate in scale, this is writing where reading dwells in the reverie of detail — and deserves our full attention. ”

It’s Wednesday, May 13th 2015 and I’m Douglas Lain the publisher of Zero Books and the host of this podcast.

In this episode you’ll hear Victoria Hanna discussing the Hebrew alphabet, Bobby McFerrin singing his ABCs, John David Ebert discussing Derrida and Plato’s Phaedrus, Nigel Tufnel playing Lick My Love Pump, Michael Tilson Thomas discussing music and emotion, Grover and Guy Smiley playing Name that Sound, Eric Satie’s Vexations, Gertrude Stein, the Youtube star Sonicstate unboxing a Moog Minitaur, Lester Bangs discussing the state of rock and roll in the 70s, Professor Wright of Yale introducing music appreciation, a mash up called Metal Machine Music for Airports and Sabine Schafer’s “Sound Warp” Installation.

Diet Soap Podcast #195: Former People

The guests this week are C Derick Varn and Steven A. Michalkow, the editors of the online literary journal Former People. We discuss modernism, neomodernism, and the impossibility of literature today.

What is Former People? According to their manifesto Former People is about bangs and whimpers. They wrote:

The past is not dead, it is not even past, to invoke Faulkner. And yet the past is obscured with dust, dross, and delusion. This seeming contradiction is but the inevitable process of human progress. The patina of confusion is make-up our world, the present merely being the current lie agreed upon. So too with “modernism”–a word whose archaic and historically limited reference strikes us already as self-parody. “Neo-modernism” seems no better – yet another joke of the post moderns. The kind of joke we now laugh at with no more vigor than in a reflex. “The new modern” – a redundant phrase, and yet on that has relevance to us. The goal of the Former People is to explore the future even as we look upon the past through the glass darkly. We aim not for nostalgia, but to combat the mid-brow and middle mind as well as the flippancy or over-seriousness of so much literary art. The literary arts are always intertwined within the new and the old, the high and the low, the experimental and traditional: we found all this already in the various modernism all over the world despite the pretensions to “modernism’s” difficulty.

We aim to be pluralists in our exploration of things neo-modern. This is not a movement nor is it a pretense to a clear aesthetic criteria as much as a zeitgeist and a de-personalization of the arts. We do not declare war against the philistine or the mid-cultist as that war is already lost–we are but an exploratory remnant that benefits from no want to make money on this endeavor and thus to be obscure or as popular as individual taste allows. We are like the orphaned children of deposed nobility, walking in the aftermath of their advances and retreats; their hundred visions and revisions. We are former people, who acknowledge that perhaps modernism has ended with both bangs and whimpers, and thus perhaps it can be appreciated and renewed as only something of the past truly can be: after all the mortar of future dreams is mixed water and quickener with ashes and pith of dead cities.

C. Derick Varn and Steven A. Michalkow
co-founding editors

This week you’ll hear from TS Elliot, William Butler Yeats, Allen Ginsberg, and Christopher Knowles. Remember, Literature is power. dietsoap195

Diet Soap Podcast #178: Samuel Roth, Infamous Modernist

The guest this week is Jay Gertzman and we discuss his book Samuel Roth, Infamous Modernist. Samuel Roth was a literary pirate, a purveyor of smut, and a champion of high modernism. For instance Roth published the dirty bits from James Joyce’s Ulysses as a serial in his literary journal Two Worlds Monthly.

It’s Wednesday, April 24th, 2013. I’m Douglas Lain the host of the podcast, and this week the secret word is “masturbation” and here’s an excerpt from Samuel Roth on the subject.

Diet Soap relies on donations, but rather than make my usual plea for help through paypal I’m actually going to tell you to hold off. I’m about to run a Kickstarter campaign to fund a US Diet Soap tour under the banner “Think the Impossible.” In fact, I just finished editing the Kickstarter video a few days ago and if you’d like to watch the video all you need do to get a sneak peek is join the Diet Soap International Facebook group. It’s much more an exploration of the ideas of Henri Lefebvre through a decidedly Hegelian lens than it is a straight forward call for funds, so I encourage everyone who is listening to check it out. Also, if you like Diet Soap but can’t afford a donation, why not share the podcast with a friend or write a review of the show on iTunes.

There is some smut in this episode of Diet Soap. For example, at the end, you’ll hear a bit of Molly Bloom’s soliloquy. You’ll hear a bit more than this:

…shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down Jo me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

The music you’re listening to right now is an instrumental cover of the Violent Femmes Blister in The Sun as covered by the Vitamin String Quartet but in just a moment you’ll be listening to Gertzman and I discuss Samuel Roth, Infamous Modernist.