hosts

S4 E5 – Best American Essays 2021

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S4 E5 - Best American Essays 2021
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This week we’re talking about this year’s edition of Best American Essays. We compare it to previous years (spoiler: this one is a bummer), discuss the new subgenre of pandemic essays, and focus on a few selections from the anthology. Also: David makes us a pandemic cocktail, Justin’s dog makes a few barky cameos, we (well, one of us) question the entire Best American Essays enterprise, and we do a year-end lightning news/round. See you next year!

(Note: we don’t mention Joan Didion’s death because it occurred the morning after we recorded, but if you’d like to hear some of our previous thoughts on Didion, we did an episode about her latest book earlier this year: http://www.essaypodcast.com/s3-e2-didion-on-writing/)

Some things we mention:

Best American Essays 2021:

https://www.hmhbooks.com/shop/books/the-best-american-essays-2021/9780358381754

Assay’s interview with Robert Atwan, the series editor of Best American Essays:

https://www.assayjournal.com/interview-with-robert-atwan-31.html

Alexander Chee’s link to BAE 2022 submission guidelines:

S4 E4 – The Address Book

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S4 E4 - The Address Book
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This week we discuss our first listener pick, Sophie Calle’s “The Address Book,” which was suggested by Will Howard. Also: lots of “Succession” talk (including a couple of potential spoilers), John McPhee’s inscrutable diagrams, more Chekhov, the kids’ music these days, whether we’d want to be address-booked, what we’d say about each other if it happened, Elena makes up a song about the 1985 Chicago Bears, and more! (Also, send us your favorite essays of 2021 for Pushcart nominations.)

Some things we mention:

Sophie Calle’s The Address Book:

http://sigliopress.com/book/the-address-book/ 

David Searcy’s book of essays, Shame and Wonder: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/221652/shame-and-wonder-by-david-searcy/

The Jeremy Strong profile from the New Yorker:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/12/13/on-succession-jeremy-strong-doesnt-get-the-joke

JM Tyree’s The Counterforce:

The sad and strange case of the Wanda Tinasky letters, which apparently were not written by Pynchon:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanda_Tinasky

John Vaillant’s book The Tiger:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/182226/the-tiger-by-john-vaillant/

S4 E3 – Essays About Feelings

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S4 E3 - Essays About Feelings
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This week we discuss our feelings, how to write about feelings, our feelings some more, and two essays about feelings: Jerald Walker’s “Breathe,” and Chris Offutt’s “Trash Food.” (Sorry about the rough audio quality, we had some tech issues this week.)

Jerald Walker’s “Breathe” in New England Review: https://www.nereview.com/vol-40-no-3-2019/breathe/ 

Chris Offutt’s “Trash Food” in Oxford American: https://main.oxfordamerican.org/magazine/item/550-trash-food

Allen Gee’s “Old School,” the other essay about James Alan Macpherson that we mention. (Excerpt only):

Allen Gee’s “Old School,” the other essay about James Alan Macpherson that we mention. (Excerpt only):https://blog.pshares.org/index.php/old-school-by-allen-gee/

Stephanie Soileau’s book of short stories, Last One Out Shut Off the Lights: https://stephaniesoileau.com/last-one-out-shut-off-the-lights-2

S4 E2 – Jeoparello!

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I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S4 E2 - Jeoparello!
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This week we discuss the biggest news in the entire world since our last episode—Elena’s appearance last week on Jeopardy! 

Elena’s episode (until it gets taken down): 

Elena’s J-Archive.com contestant page: https://www.j-archive.com/showplayer.php?player_id=14301 

“The Jeopardy! Essay” by Mike Garabedian:

https://www.academia.edu/44462679/The_Jeopardy_Essay

A clip from Mike’s appearance on Jeopardy!:

https://www.facebook.com/WhittierCollege/videos/how-smart-are-our-librarians-theyre-jeopardy-smart-heres-a-flashback-to-collecti/1056618957686460/

Elena’s Twitter thread about being on Jeopardy!:

River City News article re: wrong question: 

https://www.rcnky.com/articles/2021/11/10/jeopardy-contestant-fail-clue-about-roebling-bridge

Season 4 Premiere – Vanthony Bourdilmer

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I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
Season 4 Premiere - Vanthony Bourdilmer
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In our Season 4 premiere, we discuss what we’ve been up to since last season, a reader email, Big People Fashion, AI voice prints, and the recent Anthony Bourdain & Val Kilmer documentaries. Also: Elena does her best Christopher Walken impression, and we tackle the eternal question: is Val Kilmer a good actor?

Links:
Roadrunner: https://www.amazon.com/Roadrunner-Film-About-Anthony-Bourdain/dp/B09BB55XXX
The Vanity Fair article on Bourdain and Argento: https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2021/07/anthony-bourdain-asia-argento-roadrunner
Helen Rosner’s New Yorker piece: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/annals-of-gastronomy/the-ethics-of-a-deepfake-anthony-bourdain-voice
Val: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt14731254/

S3 E10 – Nonfiction Theater

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S3 E10 - Nonfiction Theater
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In our season 3 finale, we discuss documentary or nonfiction theater. Elena explains the subgenre, and David joins us to discuss “The Laramie Project,” a nonfiction play. Also: a stapler anthology update, a stapler anthology cocktail, some true crime talk, a theater-themed lightning round, and more! Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next season.

“The Laramie Project,” full text: http://www.harringtonartsalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/The-Laramie-Project-Script.pdf 

S3 E9 – Having and Being Hot

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S3 E9 - Having and Being Hot
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This week, we’re re-recording the lost episode from two weeks ago, about Eula Biss’ 2020 book Having and Being Had. We discuss its main topics—capitalism and class—as well as whether it’s a book-length essay and why or why not. Also: other books we’re reading, a creaky chair, the hottest day in Oregon history, how much money we’d cut our thumbs off for, and more!

Links: 

The upcoming (7/5) Essay Daily Salon with Justin and Jana Larson: http://www.essaydaily.org/p/the-essay-daily-salon-series.html 

Jana’s book, Reel Bay:

Stacey Swann’s novel, Olympus, TX:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/608671/olympus-texas-by-stacey-swann/

Ottessa Moshfegh, My Year of Rest & Relaxation:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/561517/my-year-of-rest-and-relaxation-by-ottessa-moshfegh/

S3 E8 – Essays About Sex (with Dave Madden)

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S3 E8 - Essays About Sex (with Dave Madden)
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This week, our special guest, longtime friend, and fellow nonfiction professor Dave Madden joins us to discuss two essays about fucking: Samuel Delaney’s “Ash Wednesday,” and Kristen Dombek’s “Letter from Williamsburg.” Also: Father’s Day presents, workshop models, a debate about sentences, Sizzler essays, and more!

Links:

Dave’s website: https://www.davemadden.org 

Dave’s web designer, Beth Sullivan: https://bethsullivan.com 

Samuel Delaney’s “Ash Wednesday”: http://bostonreview.net/arts-society/samuel-r-delany-ash-wednesday 

Kristin Dombek’s “Letter from Williamsburg” (subscription required for full essay): https://www.theparisreview.org/letters-essays/6236/letter-from-williamsburg-kristin-dombek 


The audio version of “Letter from Williamsburg”: https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2013/07/26/kristin-dombeks-letter-from-williamsburg/

IFMWID Rewind: I’m Your Huckleberry

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
IFMWID Rewind: I'm Your Huckleberry
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Our episode for this week failed to record (thanks, Zoom!), so we’re going back to the archives. More than a year ago, back when the pandemic was still young, we recorded an episode about Val Kilmer’s memoir I’m Your Huckleberry. It has the fewest downloads of any of our episodes, for some mysterious reason, so we decided to dig it out and re-post it to hold you over until we can get our shit together and finish Season 3. Also: other parts of the Kilmer corpus, including his poetry, art, and music; the movie Tombstone and related trivia; David’s Old Western cocktail; Frank Stallone; fake memoirs; and much, much more.

S3 E6 – One Long Episode About Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S3 E6 - One Long Episode About Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould
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This week, we discuss the 1993 Canadian/French Canadian film “Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould,” which we think is essayistic in many ways. Also: breath mints found in orifices, the thesis circle of life, writing too-long essays, apocalyptic media, Hamlet 2, “Canadian stakes,” lyric vs. narrative, accessibility, 

Links:

The full movie on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iv7nPiZHKy4 

Gould’s radio documentary “The Idea of North”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szgnGV4hOKU 

Justin’s essay from Territory: http://themapisnot.com/issue-iii-justin-st-germain