Saturday Show Podcast is a live recording of the Austin Writing Workshop, which is a grad-level fiction writing workshop led by a former professor of literature and philosophy. In this episode, the group examines the issue of autobiography in fiction as a technique to engage the reader. This topic is examined via the first 20 pages or so of the novel “Women” by Charles Bukowski. The movie “The Fountain” and a group member’s submitted story are also critiqued. A more detailed topic list (along with approximate timestamps) is provided below.

0:00 Excerpt from “Women” by Charles Bukowski

1:56 Frank’s introduction to the podcast

5:01 Group discussion about the format of the writing workshop, including expanding to include critiques of novel submissions, elements of the novel, Jorge Luis Borges quote on short stories, plotting, discursiveness, pathways of the novel, importance of details, sublime choices, building character, Ernest Hemingway, depth of personality in character, setting as character, Victorian novels, Dostoyevsky, solipsism, synopses, taglines, expectations of the scope of the novel, participation of the writer, intertextuality, the baseball guys and military stories of Frank’s work, “Almost Home,” the next novel in Frank’s series, and Jenny Drama not making it into the next novel.

15:35 Group discussion of the movie “The Fountain,” including not watching the movie with the group, hating the last two movies the group has had to watch, letting the haters hate, the movie taking itself too seriously, plot summary, Rachel Weisz’s face, Hugh Jackman’s attractiveness, Carrie’s coldness, arty acting, pretentiousness, postmodern techniques of the film, excellent cinematography, theme infused throughout the movie, triteness, tree of life vs. tree of knowledge and making a choice between the two, eternal wisdom, Pan’s Labyrinth, fairy tales, intimate moments, Wolverine, buckles and zippers, history defining reality, fake British accents, the father of the land, facades, true natures, eternal love stories, The Matrix, Sideways, merlot, what a film can do with postmodern techniques, Momento, Synochdoche, Frank’s pronunciation etiquette, Schenectady New York, The Fountainhead, Gary Cooper, movie suggestions, and

34:10 Group discussion of “Women” by Charles Bukowski, including “Buke” vs. “Buck,” plot review, real life in fiction, Hemingway, Henry Miller, likeability, reality, getting tired of all the throw-up, wine tasting, McDonald’s cups, roman-a-clefs, dictionary reading, sexiness descriptions, diagramming of a woman’s vagina, absurdity of character, dry realism, quality of the techniques used in the novel, vague descriptions, getting away with vague descriptions, Hunter S. Thompson, reflecting of real life in art as a thematic structure, poetry, Bukowski treating women badly in his life and fiction, women running around naked and throwing things, naivete of the narrator about women, undercutting of character, dialecticals, dog poop dropping on characters’ heads, the hero being RIGHT and everyone else being WRONG, Googling information perceiving one’s opinion of the narrative while reading, Bukowski’s self-awareness, ad hominum attacks on Bukowski, autobiography in the narrative and the ability to critique the story knowing it is based on real life, story separate from the author, judging a lover’s poetry, the status figure and the student, Confederacy of Dunces, not knowing the author of a work, underground magazine publishing, people-first language, misandry, being overly autobiographical, the Internet living forever, Mad Max, the aliens, reading online, confirming misandric beliefs, attorney/stripper/liar admissions, physical coordination needed to be a stripper, and joining the dark side of systematically mistreating men without consequences.

56:06 Group discussion of a member’s story, including comedy of the story, interesting character, comparison to Bukowski, the writer stating his objectives, going into the character’s own future novel, Texas State University/Southwest Texas University, readability, enjoyability, Dr. Gordon’s puppets in Philosophy class, narrative pacing, plot mistakes, meandering, good cliffhangers, Bill Cosby sweaters, The Atheist, ten plot points, violent philosophy, close writing, free indirect discourse, alchemically switching from omniscient point of view to narrator’s mind, Jonathan Russell Clark’s article on The Millions, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Joshua Ferriss, Jane Austin, “How Fiction Works” by James Wood, trite storytelling, minor grammar issues, Ulysses, Frank Delaney’s podcast, Silo Apparent’s appeal as a character, relationship of two main characters, the martini glass of knowledge, potential plot holes, J.K. Rowling, the Rowling “switch” of her pen-name, Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, time frame of story, YouTube, Joyce Carol Oates, Shelley Duvall, Margaret Atwood, editing while writing, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Inception, character-driven movie screenplays, Borges, Christopher Nolan, “Extracted,” outlining, Nir Panieri, Being John Malkovich, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, The One I Love, The Unbelievers, The Machine, Jason Strathan, Transporter, Bliss, taglines, Liam Neeson, animation, Keanu Reeves, rotoscoping, Philip K. Dick, Highlander, and the magic of The Matrix.

1:36:48 End of podcast

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Frank Marcopolos founded "The Whirligig" literary magazine in 1999, which has been called "a landmark, demonstrating the power of the literary underground." It has been said that "you get this true lion-roaring sense that Editor Frank Marcopolos knows what he likes, and how to read, and how to publish, and he has guts, and eats insects on Wheaties with bleach." His long-form fiction has been reviewed with such praise as "thorough-goingly entertaining" and "highly readable...recalls the style of Michael Chabon or John Irving. A literary gem that should not be missed." A broadcasting-school graduate, his unique literary-audio work has been featured in movie trailers, scholastic environments, and on YouTube, with one of his audiobooks achieving over 100,000 "views" there.