Monthly Archives: May 2015

Episode 77: Things Neglected

In episode 77, the WITTScasters try to build a list of the things most commonly overlooked by fiction writers–including why characters don’t get sick, how some stories seem to be set nowhere, and what you can tell about characters by where they buy their pizza. Also, Brian reveals that he’s gotten some writing done recently, Ben sees a light at the end of the teaching tunnel, and Jon wants to send kids back into the coal mines. All that, plus a quick trip to Ireland via William Trevor’s “The Woman of the House.”

Topics and Reading Discussed

  • You can read William Trevor’s story “The Woman of the House” at The New Yorker. For free, even.
  • Though this particular story isn’t included, Jon and Brian (if not Ben) would heartily suggest picking up Trevor’s Selected Stories.
  • Break kayfabe and learn about “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and the Iron Sheik’s arrest for yourself.
  • And to learn about “working snug” and other related vocabulary, check out Grantland’s pro wrestling dictionary.
  • Philip Roth, in Everyman and other novels, is one of the best writers out there for examining the vulnerability of the human body.

Episode 76: Transforming Place

In which Jon argues that the “South” (and regionalism at large) doesn’t exist. In which Ben takes him to task and brings out exhibit A, Jon’s “southern” novel. In which Brian says, “It’s not the region so much as the writer.” In this episode, the boys ask the tough questions about regionalism, transforming place, and the role of literature and the storyteller in preserving shared places. Heavy shit. Then they take a gander at Sarah Layden’s story “Decoy.”

Reading Discussed