Monthly Archives: May 2013

Episode 17: Wild Card 2

Episode 17 is another wild one. Among the topics on the WITTScasters’ minds are the rapid decline of civilization, Jon’s attempt to delay the cultural apocalypse (and how he may have given rise to the Caped Crusader), the relationship between art and elitism, and the struggle to balance gainful employment with soulful employment. Plus, a discussion of Alice Munro’s story “Amundsen,” in which Ben and Brian nearly make it all the way to the end without saying something negative.

Reading Discussed

  • Alice Munro’s short story “Amundsen”, from her recent collection Dear Life.
  • Jon was impressed by a recent performance by the Richmond Symphony. If only the rest of the audience shared his appreciation.
  • This is a bassoon.
  • Brian was able to avoid watching The Great Gatsby in the theater, but if he had been there you can bet he would have turned off his cell phone.
  • Not being the elitist snob that Jon is, Brian can admit that he enjoys a good fail video.
  • Edward P. Jones, who won the Pulitzer for The Known World, gives hope to those trying to write while holding down a day job…
  • … as does David Wroblewski, author of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, who started his career as a software engineer.
  • Jon appreciated the realistic-yet-unimportant details in Alice Munro’s story, and was reminded of the work of Anton Chekhov. Here’s a link to enough of his stories to keep you occupied through the cold Russian winter.

Episode 16: Sex

In episode 16, the boys talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be with sex in fiction. When does it work? Why is it so hard? And is that really what she said? Also, in-depth WITTScaster updates on their own reading and writing.

Reading Discussed

Episode 15: Exit Strategies

Spoiler alert: This week, the WITTScasters talk about endings. How do you write them? What do you want when you read them? Has there ever been a great ending to a comic novel? Plus, Sam Lipsyte’s story “The Dungeon Master” casts a spell on Ben and Brian, but Jon’s not ready to join the campaign.

Reading Discussed

Episode 14: Apprenticeship

In Episode 14, your favorite literary journeymen try to put the education of an author in context: When does a writer’s apprenticeship start? When does it end? What are you supposed to learn, and when, and for god’s sake, how? Plus, ex-presidents reincarnated as horses in Karen Russell’s story “The Barn at the End of Our Term.”


Reading Discussed