Author Topic: Writers talking  (Read 1733 times)

surreal

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Writers talking
« on: June 22, 2020, 08:47:54 AM »
Lately I've watching some interviews and especially "An evening with..." type things with writers on YouTube.  Historically being a fan of Stephen King it was mainly his I was drawn to:

Stephen King, His Books, and Their Origins at Lisner Audiotorium (2014)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNvw0BcO_FM&t=126s

Porter Square Books Presents Stephen King & Joe Hill at the Somerville Theater (2019)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UjQPXQ7TKU&t=15s

John Grisham and Stephen King in conversation (April 2020 via Zoom)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xXj3jcRWs4

As you can imagine the King ones are quite entertaining, he's funny and an engaging speaker, but if you watch a few he does recycle his anecdotes a bit.  Worth a look though if you enjoy things like "On Writing" or "Danse Macabre".  There are quite a lot of his going back to the start of his career and I think I've watched most of the long ones.

I also found a John Scalzi talk at Google, which was quite entertaining, and a Charles Stross one which I was hoping would have been better but it was more of a scientific discussion so maybe that was it.

Anyone else watch these, or any to recommend?

Captain Crunch

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Re: Writers talking
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2020, 11:50:03 AM »
I’ve not seen any of these but will have a look thanks.

A very obvious one but the Jack Kerouac / Steve Allen (not that one, Jesus, could you imagine?) stuff is amazing.  Best clip if you haven’t heard any of it before:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W99dCQKaLIA

Full album:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dywFHScNecI

Radio 4’s Book Club with James Naughtie is horrible isn’t it?  On paper it’s a great idea but in reality it’s so cloying and sycophantic and dull.

James:  we’re delighted today to be joined by the best writer in the entire universe, a god-like genius who can only be described as a literary superstar.  Let’s chat about the book and what makes this writer, quite simply, the best.
*nervous awed snigger from the audience*
Audience member:  Your book is – obviously – the best thing ever written and I was just wondering how you got to be so, like amazing?

Might just be me. 


Twonty Gostelow

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Re: Writers talking
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2020, 03:50:52 PM »
Radio 4’s Book Club with James Naughtie is horrible isn’t it?  On paper it’s a great idea but in reality it’s so cloying and sycophantic and dull.

I remember enjoying the James Ellroy/Black Dahlia one, particularly the bit where Ellroy accidentally steps on Naughtie's glasses.

Re: Writers talking
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2020, 04:28:20 PM »
Always entertained by this Kurt Vonnegut speech:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOGru_4z1Vc

Retinend

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Re: Writers talking
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2020, 07:25:48 PM »

surreal

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Re: Writers talking
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2020, 11:36:51 AM »
Always entertained by this Kurt Vonnegut speech:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOGru_4z1Vc

This is great, not seen this before

Re: Writers talking
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2020, 12:11:12 PM »
I found this fascinating recording of a very boozy Raymond Chandler being interviewed by Ian Fleming, the only recording of Chandler's voice that exists. I wasn't expecting him to sound quite so much like Mr Plinkett.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj6cc0T1z7I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxJJo79e00o
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sS2DBBrOY8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9i00flBWuQ

Re: Writers talking
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2020, 10:24:21 AM »
I always find George Saunders fascinating to read/listen to, about the craft of writing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-1xNNrABw8

Retinend

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Re: Writers talking
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2020, 12:25:48 PM »
I always find George Saunders fascinating to read/listen to, about the craft of writing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-1xNNrABw8

A great contemporary writer. He hits upon the thing that makes many of his fellow contemporaries unreadable: they have it too clearly in their minds what they want a story to do - i.e. what they, the author, want to say, not what the characters want to say. Thanks for this.

This interview is also good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkXFCUjuUnQ

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Writers talking
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2020, 01:32:05 PM »
there's some good videos of Vonnegut giving lectures on the tubes.

Twonty Gostelow

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Re: Writers talking
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2020, 05:50:04 PM »
I remember enjoying the James Ellroy/Black Dahlia one, particularly the bit where Ellroy accidentally steps on Naughtie's glasses.
I recently wondered if that incident inspired Partridge stepping on his specs and breaking them during Open Books. Probably not, but it's around 21:40 here for anyone curious https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00fpw6m

surreal

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Re: Writers talking
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2020, 10:49:10 AM »
I've been looking for more of these as I've pretty much used up all the King ones, so I looked up some Harlan Ellison as he's always been a favourite but I realised I never knew what he was actually like.  I know he's supposed to be a legendary arsehole, and in the second interview here he kind of reminds me of Joe Pesci

Here's an interview on Thames TV with Mavis Nicholson (one for the over 40's of us to remember):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDxnsNw4FZI

He's got some stories though, here's him talking about the incident with Frank Sinatra - this is a must watch:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHf_DtcxhpE

EDIT: also (audio only) Harlan talking to Robin Williams about L Ron Hubbard and the origins of scientology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9AGVARpqdk

Re: Writers talking
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2020, 08:41:12 PM »
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7rRHpw50QJI&t=90s
This is the first part of a long panel discussion about sex featuring Anthony Burgess and feminist Andra Dworkin amongst others. Though Burgess tries to wind Dworkin up with a few chauvinist moves, there's a really nice rapport between them, and seeing them both get wound up by the sexual libertine-type guy with  the moustache is quite funny. Part two is below
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GFlF5rxOzec&t=3578s

Retinend

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Re: Writers talking
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2020, 09:32:52 AM »
Thanks for the link. Interesting as a time capsule... how they subtly make digs at one another and so on... though it's difficult to focus on what the point of the conversation is. They talk past each other so much. Classic example is when Burgess rambles around saying "whoever makes those things (women) made them for the purpose of begetting children... the whole genetic process or..." and he (staunch atheist) is interpreted as making an argument for God from biology and "first causes" by Roz Kaveney.

Someone in the comments says "what happened to discussions that meander along without having a moderator panicking about being on topic all the time?" but imo the reason we don't have them any more is because they're rather tedious.[1]

This is also something a bit time-capsuley, but they are all rather annoying in their manner of talking (except Julia Ronder and Burgess himself). Jack Dominian in particular. What the fuck is that accent? Creepy The-Penguin-looking, coke-bottle-glasses-wearing, double-chinned, all-the-life-in-the-room-sucking-out wanker. The problem is that he actually makes a lot of sense: play it back at 2x speed and you'll see he has a rather beautiful mind: regard https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rRHpw50QJI&t=24m (and don't forget to switch to 2x speed)
 1. edit: on this point I recommend this series with Brian Magee (since they are tightly planned and not at all tedious), featuring such authors as Hilary Putnam, John Searle and Noam Chomsky: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHMD05OcJTQ&list=PLBHxLhKiPKxBBSWWqzH9g71mMx9s72XoN
« Last Edit: August 14, 2020, 09:54:12 AM by Retinend »

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