The Austin Writing Workshop is a fiction-writing workshop led by a former literature and philosophy professor. Listen in as the group discusses literary techniques, philosophy, and more on Saturday Show #70.
Detailed topics and approximate timestamps are below.
0:00 Excerpt from “Mother and I” by Dave Eggers
1:25 Frank’s introduction to the podcast
2:35 Group analysis of “Mother and I” by Dave Eggers, including the authenticity of authorship, Eggers’s taking of the crown of postmodernism from David Foster Wallace, If I Were in Charge of the World stories, Eggers’s exploits in San Francisco, drinking wine, dogs getting drunk, criticising and using aspects of popular culture in fiction, one-piece swimsuits, older people sharing inappropriate details with younger people, decorative fill-ups, Andy Rooney from 60 Minutes, curing genocide, stealing criticisms, stretching the genre of postmodernism, first-person vs. second-person points of view, seeing theme vs. feeling it and being unable to fully describe it, political commentary, truth of events, concrete action, understanding who the main character actually is, Wallace Shawn, Dennis Kucinich, Richard Ford, Transformers, Peter Joseph (a.k.a. “P.Jo”) and the Zeitgeist objectives, tasting home-made wine during the workshop, I Pencil by Leonard Reed, the ludicrous idea of being able to accomplish all of the objectives mentioned in the story, bringing certain elements into the potential theme, alternate endings to the story, having the surface and philosophy of the story match, llamas, banning or loving billboards, the awfulness of bicycle shots, mixing up the stories, the story lacks depth of knowledge, lobbyists in cages, the tourism of Cleveland and Detroit, LeBron James, Johnny Football Manziel, Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Was the story disappointing or satisfying?, multi-linguality of the world, bad Spanish puns, triteness and lack of depth, entertainment value of the story, the lightness of Eggers’s fiction, and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.
28:21 Group analysis of a member’s story, including discussion about what a daguerrotype camera is, comparison to previous stories, using the name “Bertha,” plot review, wine spritzers, “winos,” cleverness of language, word-playing on the title of the book “Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy O’Toole, use of the word of “illegaller,” reading prose as a run-on sentence, reading in different accents, the attractiveness of fame, unmucosey-ness of this writer’s prose, providing synopses with longer submissions, pitching stories, cheating on the writing group, broad discussion about how the workshop should function moving forward, the year of the novel, Kurt Vonnegut, Catcher in the Rye, Madame Bovary by Flaubert, Citizen Kane, Tolstoy, Doestoyevsky, moonshine, Cory’s dating preferences, absurdity of character, tropes in literary fiction, triteness of the narrative, literary environments as sex-fests, writing conferences, Sherlock Holmes, Charles Bukowski, Phillip Roth, Brautigan, and drunken dog kidnapping.
1:07:40 Group analysis of the movie, “Only Lovers Left Alive,” including the fact that the title of the movie may be its best part, a review of published critical reviews of the movie, style over substance, no plot or point of the movie, feeling like being on heroin while watching the movie, quantum entanglement, the question of whether immortality is desireable, Interview with a Vampire by Ann Rice, the director as musician, Guardians of the Galaxy, Lives of the Monster Dogs, male prostitute rings, green coffee beans and self-roasting coffee, Joan Rivers, Robin Williams, John Belushi, Bill Hicks, Bill Maher x 100, George Carlin, the Texas Outlaw Comics, Sam Kinneson, American: The Bill Hicks Story, Jimmy Pineapple, the Comedy Workshop, and Andy Kaufman is still alive and living in Cuba.
1:34:53 End of Podcast