moth-stories
moth-stories:

Super Awesome Offer Alert! Pre-order our book The Moth: 50 True Stories before September 3rd and get two free VIP tickets to a Moth StorySLAM as a special thank you! We’ve never done anything like this before and it’s pretty much the best deal ever.
Find out how to claim your tickets over at TheMoth.org!

Pre-order The Moth’s new book and look out for October 15th when they join us LIVE at the NYPL! Get tickets here

moth-stories:

Super Awesome Offer Alert! Pre-order our book The Moth: 50 True Stories before September 3rd and get two free VIP tickets to a Moth StorySLAM as a special thank you! We’ve never done anything like this before and it’s pretty much the best deal ever.

Find out how to claim your tickets over at TheMoth.org!

Pre-order The Moth’s new book and look out for October 15th when they join us LIVE at the NYPL! Get tickets here

The strikingly eloquent psychoanalyst Adam Phillips will join LIVE for the second time tonight. His first appearance on our stage was in 2007, when he spoke with director Paul Holdengraber about — among other things — psychotherapy, literature, and how both intersect with human behavior. Here are several highlights from their conversation to acquaint you with Phillips’ unique philosophy:
On the title of his book, “Side Effects”:
"Well, one of the things that interested me about psychoanalysis originally was that it wasn’t an instrumental cure. That is to say, people would go to psychoanalysis with a specific located problem. What would emerge in the process of the therapy would be all sorts of often other things that also people would sometimes not get relief for the symptom they came for, but would still find the conversation interesting, useful. So side effects seem to me—and I say this in the preface—were there to be a drug that somebody marketed and said the value of this drug is its unexpected side effects, you would think this is preposterous. And that is exactly what psychoanalysis is at its best, and that was the point of the title.”
On why the act of tickling is important:
“One is it’s intensely pleasurable and painful at the same time. And can be abusive. So it’s on a real threshold. It’s also something that is blurred in childhood as something children crave and love and like and are frightened of, so it’s a really obvious — in a way — everyday initiation into the dangers of pleasure. And the question about whether one can contain excitement.”
]On writing as divergent expression from everyday life:
“I very much like the idea of people like Freud in a way, or Kafka, or Wallace Stevens or William Carlos Williams — people who did ordinary, regular jobs, and led very ordinary so-called bourgeois lives but then would write these extraordinary things. And these people strike me from reading biographies of them as, being in the best sense, nice ordinary people but who when they wrote could be, could perform a version of themselves that was by definition not something they would in that sense live or could only be lived as writing. And that’s interesting, I think.”
On Phillips’ fascination with the essay form:
"I think the literary analogy for a psychoanalytic session is more of an essay than anything else. I mean, they’re not like novels, they’re not like epic poems, they’re not like lyric poems, they’re not like plays, they’re a bit like bits of dialogue of plays, but they do seem to me to be like essays. As in nineteenth-century essays because in that situation or in that form there is the opportunity to digress, to change the subject, to be incoherent, to come to conclusions that are then overcome and surpassed and so on."
On why good communication involves forgetting:
"It’s like the way in which you know you’ve had a good conversation because you’ve forgotten the fact that you’re having a conversation, that you’re not acutely self-conscious of the fact that you’re speaking. So it’s like the kind of talk in which you forget yourself and can speak, because the most interesting words come out of the forgetting of self. But I also think there’s something important about being able to forget what people say. Because only if you forget it has it gone inside your body. If you remember it, I think it’s very available, and there’s no use in that."

The strikingly eloquent psychoanalyst Adam Phillips will join LIVE for the second time tonight. His first appearance on our stage was in 2007, when he spoke with director Paul Holdengraber about — among other things — psychotherapy, literature, and how both intersect with human behavior. Here are several highlights from their conversation to acquaint you with Phillips’ unique philosophy:

On the title of his book, “Side Effects”:

"Well, one of the things that interested me about psychoanalysis originally was that it wasn’t an instrumental cure. That is to say, people would go to psychoanalysis with a specific located problem. What would emerge in the process of the therapy would be all sorts of often other things that also people would sometimes not get relief for the symptom they came for, but would still find the conversation interesting, useful. So side effects seem to me—and I say this in the preface—were there to be a drug that somebody marketed and said the value of this drug is its unexpected side effects, you would think this is preposterous. And that is exactly what psychoanalysis is at its best, and that was the point of the title.”

On why the act of tickling is important:

One is it’s intensely pleasurable and painful at the same time. And can be abusive. So it’s on a real threshold. It’s also something that is blurred in childhood as something children crave and love and like and are frightened of, so it’s a really obvious — in a way — everyday initiation into the dangers of pleasure. And the question about whether one can contain excitement.”

]On writing as divergent expression from everyday life:

I very much like the idea of people like Freud in a way, or Kafka, or Wallace Stevens or William Carlos Williams — people who did ordinary, regular jobs, and led very ordinary so-called bourgeois lives but then would write these extraordinary things. And these people strike me from reading biographies of them as, being in the best sense, nice ordinary people but who when they wrote could be, could perform a version of themselves that was by definition not something they would in that sense live or could only be lived as writing. And that’s interesting, I think.”

On Phillips’ fascination with the essay form:

"I think the literary analogy for a psychoanalytic session is more of an essay than anything else. I mean, they’re not like novels, they’re not like epic poems, they’re not like lyric poems, they’re not like plays, they’re a bit like bits of dialogue of plays, but they do seem to me to be like essays. As in nineteenth-century essays because in that situation or in that form there is the opportunity to digress, to change the subject, to be incoherent, to come to conclusions that are then overcome and surpassed and so on."

On why good communication involves forgetting:

"It’s like the way in which you know you’ve had a good conversation because you’ve forgotten the fact that you’re having a conversation, that you’re not acutely self-conscious of the fact that you’re speaking. So it’s like the kind of talk in which you forget yourself and can speak, because the most interesting words come out of the forgetting of self. But I also think there’s something important about being able to forget what people say. Because only if you forget it has it gone inside your body. If you remember it, I think it’s very available, and there’s no use in that."

"I’ve discovered there are a few ways to handle leaky tear glands while surrounded by a bunch of strangers. I’ve used them each depending on what book I’m reading and how sad it is."

To close out the weekend, read this highly amusing and all too relatable post about how to compose yourself when that pesky variety of sob-inducing literature makes you its victim. (via BookRiot)

Colbert: Why do you write short stories? America likes big. Go big or go home. We like big, huge, huge, huge novels. 

Saunders: I’ll tell you why. If you imagine this, let’s say you were madly in love with somebody and your mission was to tell the person that you love them. So here’s two scenarios: one is you can take a weeklong train trip with the person, take your time, you’ll be in boring situations, beautiful scenery, everything. That’s a novel.

Colbert: Sounds good, sounds really good.

Saunders: The second scenario is she’s stepping on the train and you’ve got three minutes. So you have to make all that declaration in three minutes. That would be a short story.

Colbert: Can I get on the train with her?

Saunders: No, you’ve just got to shout it as she goes.

Colbert: Why can’t I get on the train?

Saunders: Because it’s a short story. You’re not allowed. You have to end it in eight pages and get out.

Colbert: But this is the short story I want to read — where is she going? Why can’t I go with her? We’re on to something here. Does she love me back? I’ve got to know!

Saunders: I don’t know yet! Sometimes a short story will just end with that question — does she love me back? So it’s a very special kind of beauty.

Saunders will be at the library with another eminent talk show host, Dick Cavett, next Tuesday, Feb. 26 to talk about his much-lauded latest story collection, “Tenth of December.”

Well, writers who consciously work out what’s going to happen in their books, that’s like literally incomprehensible to me, coming from my method, because if I did that, I would get, like, the worst book. It’d just be this hopeless thing, because the part of me that would write it would be the part of me that’s sitting here talking with you, and I don’t know how to do that stuff. My job when I write a book is to access a lot of parts of myself that aren’t magical or they aren’t particularly remarkable, but they aren’t available to me ordinarily, they become available through the process of writing the book, so I sometimes get that strange sense of sitting there and just like watching it happen. Which is great, you know, it’s good work when you can get it. I don’t get it that often, but very seldom am I sitting around going, “Well, if the butler did it, where did they hide the poker?” It doesn’t, that’s sort of not my mode, and I don’t see how you could - unless you were just an unbearably optimistic, Pollyanna-like writer - I don’t see how you could just, like, get wells of optimistic, good possibility. This is not a downer science fiction imagination coming out, but I can’t see how you could sit there and go, “Okay, what can I think of that would depict a happier future for Europe and the United States?” Oh, I don’t know, I find that just a very strange idea. I await its fruits, actually. I await the fruits of that idea.
William Gibson, author of Neuromancer and Apr. 19 LIVE guest, discusses his writing process and the role of science fiction in society with io9.com.
unypl
unypl:


“This Is How You Lose Her,” by Junot Díaz
Borrow I Read
I saw Junot Díaz on Wednesday night at Symphony Space. He was interesting, both bold and reserved too, somehow like his stories. An actor read “The Cheater’s Guide to Love,” a story from this collection, and I was gripped throughout. 



MacArthur Fellow, Pulitzer Prize winner, and gifted storyteller Junot Díaz will be joining LIVE this April. Tickets here.

unypl:

“This Is How You Lose Her,” by Junot Díaz

Borrow I Read

I saw Junot Díaz on Wednesday night at Symphony Space. He was interesting, both bold and reserved too, somehow like his stories. An actor read “The Cheater’s Guide to Love,” a story from this collection, and I was gripped throughout. 

MacArthur Fellow, Pulitzer Prize winner, and gifted storyteller Junot Díaz will be joining LIVE this April. Tickets here.

The bearing of literature on history, however, is of a different order for Ginzburg, and is original to him. In his work, literature is taken not as a standard of styles, nor a repertoire of genres, but as a tool of knowledge. In one essay after another, he has insisted that what novelists or poets can bring to an objective study of the past are cognitive instruments: techniques of estrangement as social critique in Tolstoy, free direct style as passage to a new interiority in Stendhal, ellipsis as at once suspender and accelerator of time in Flaubert, unmediated visualisation as access to fresh insight in Proust.

On historian Carlo Ginzburg’s unique approach to history as an inquiry capable of reaching higher planes of truth rather than merely documenting the past, via London Review of Books

Ginzburg will be at LIVE on Feb. 4 to discuss his ever-evolving relationship between being Jewish and becoming Jewish, and the work that directly transpires from it, including his most recent essay collection Threads and Traces: True False Fictive

explore-blog
explore-blog:




A gem from Dr Seuss’s Sleep Book, highlighted among George Saunders’s favorite children’s books. Saunders is also an Edward Gorey fan.




"Let me close by saying, from the perspective of someone with two grown and wonderful kids, that your instincts as parents are correct: a minute spent reading to your kids now will repay itself a million-fold later, not only because they love you for reading to them, but also because, years later, when they’re miles away, those quiet evenings, when you were tucked in with them, everything quiet but the sound of the page-turns, will, seem to you, I promise, sacred."
George Saunders — who will be at the library on Feb. 26 — may be a prodigiously gifted author and creative luminary, but at the end of the day, he’s also just a dad. His children’s book recommendations are, predictably, enchanting and original. Check them out above!

explore-blog:

A gem from Dr Seuss’s Sleep Book, highlighted among George Saunders’s favorite children’s books. Saunders is also an Edward Gorey fan.

"Let me close by saying, from the perspective of someone with two grown and wonderful kids, that your instincts as parents are correct: a minute spent reading to your kids now will repay itself a million-fold later, not only because they love you for reading to them, but also because, years later, when they’re miles away, those quiet evenings, when you were tucked in with them, everything quiet but the sound of the page-turns, will, seem to you, I promise, sacred."

George Saunders — who will be at the library on Feb. 26 — may be a prodigiously gifted author and creative luminary, but at the end of the day, he’s also just a dad. His children’s book recommendations are, predictably, enchanting and original. Check them out above!