KATE YOUNG: I can travel through what these characters are eating and what they're doing, and travel to places, to countries I've never been, but also to fantastical worlds that I've never been to and versions of this world that feel very different to my own or are 200 years older than this or one hundred years in the future or any of those thingsRead More
JIM GLAUB: To be honest, these letters have been coming in as long as I've lived in that Chelsea apartment. And even before that, the gentleman that lived before us had been getting the letters, only about four or five a year. And then they had told me that the guys before them had been getting the letters.
HZ: This is Jim Glaub. He and his husband Dylan Parker were living in an apartment on West 22nd St in Manhattan. And every year, these letters would arrive there, addressed... to Santa.Read More
HZ: Thirteen or so years ago, I met a friend at a pub, and she had someone with her who had a tattoo on her elbow of the word ‘cuticles,’. An unusual word to see as a tattoo - unlikely to be the name of a loved one or a birthplace or something. And also it wasn’t just the word ‘cuticles’, it was ‘cuticles’ followed by a comma.
SHELLEY JACKSON: With a piece of punctuation attached, you can really tell that it must be part of something else.
HZ: She was part of something else: The Skin Project, a story, 2095 words long, and each word tattooed on a person.Read More
ROSS SUTHERLAND: We're taught from a young age to be good sports at losing games. Sportsmanship as a concept is all about being a good loser. And yet we're terrified of the concept of losing art. It's a horrible thing to try and to put yourself out there and for it to fail. So if you can reframe it as a game then all the better.
HZ: Because if you fail again you've just failed at the game and not at art entirely.
ROSS SUTHERLAND: Yeah, exactly. You fail at the game, but then you can play again. it's less of a referendum on your own self-worth if you just lose a game, because we play games all the time and so we're very comfortable with our odds. Whereas I feel when it when it comes to art the odds feel a little bit more important, and they shouldn't.Read More
The term ‘classic’ turned up in English around the start of the 17th century, when it meant ‘of the highest class’ - same meaning as the Latin ‘classicus’ from which it came. It swiftly became the label for ancient Greek and Latin literature, and by the mid-19th century, that sense had been extended to any works with that sort of quality - though when it comes to the classics of English literature, I’m vague about what that quality is. “Written by dead white men”, going by the selection of classic literature that I had to read at school and university. “Big books that make me feel guilty and stupid for not having read them?” “Source material for TV dramatisations involving bonnets?” Seriously, what does ‘classic’ mean now?Read More
NK: I definitely wish I would’ve kept a journal in my elementary, junior high and high school years. You know, when you have so many years removed from certain periods of your life, you don’t really remember what it was really like. Your brain eliminates so many memories, you’re only left with specific moments. What a diary gives you is these moments of minutiae, which you managed to write down. The minutiae open up a part of your memory that is more deeply locked away, and allows you to connect to who you were as a kid which your normal memory can’t do.Read More
The Allusionist is a show about words, but today’s episode isn’t looking at words themselves, but what’s on either side of them: that is, nothingness.
If it weren’t for the absence of words, the words themselves would be rather incomprehensible - how do you know where one word ends and the next begins without the space between?
Since the spaces serve such a crucial function in language, I was pretty astonished to discover they are a lot younger than language itself.Read More