Monthly Archives: April 2015

Episode 75: Memory and Truth

It’s AWP time again, but instead of joining the dance party in Minnesota, the WITTScasters are at home reliving AWPs past and comparing notes on their aging memories. Then a discussion of R.T. Smith’s story “Docent” leads to a review of the many modern threats to the Truth. Finally, Jon tries to kick off a debate about the death of regionalism, which becomes a cliffhanger for next time…

Reading Discussed

  • R.T. Smith’s “Docent” is online in The Missouri Review‘s archives, but you may already have it on your shelf in The Best American Short Stories 2004 or New Stories from the South 2004.
  • AWP is upon us again, but the boys are recording the podcast from home rather than braving the meteorological vagaries of April in Minneapolis.
  • If you, too, couldn’t make it to AWP this year, just wake up with a hangover and scroll through the #AWP15 Twitter posts. It’s like you’re there!
  • Ben is sticking to Joshua Ferris’ funny ones. Having read Then We Came to the End this summer, he recently picked up To Rise Again at a Decent Hour. But Jon has read Ferris’ The Unnamed, and while it’s not comical like the other two novels, it’s the one whose characters have stayed with him.
  • By contrast, Anthony Doerr’s All The Light We Cannot See didn’t quite hold together for Jon — despite what the Pulitzer committee says — and by this time next year he probably won’t remember it too clearly.
  • Brian’s memory is failing him, too, particularly when it comes to the plot of Mad Men, but as Ben points out, once Brian is married he can outsource his memory to his wife.
  • Oh, eggplant parm
  • R.T. Smith’s story is narrated by a dedicated docent at the Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University.
  • The Seattle Underground. Brian was telling the truth, this time.
  • What scares Jon more than the singularity? The disappearance of a (imagined?) source of authoritative truth.
  • How not to do journalism.
  • “Docent” is a great example of the literature of the south, but Jon’s not so sure that there still is a south. So join us in Episode 76 when we discuss regionalism.

Episode 74: Bad Reviews

They say two out of three ain’t bad, and the WITTScasters sure hope so, because one of them didn’t finish reading the story for this episode. But that doesn’t stop all three from weighing in equally on issues like how to handle criticism, whether literary journals should charge submission fees, and whether anyone should give a shit about teenagers.

Reading Discussed