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Memoir in the Age of TMI

Monday, April 13, 2015

On this week’s Out Loud podcast, Leslie Jamison, who recently wrote about Chris Kraus’s memoiristic novels, and Joshua Rothman, who has written about the autobiographical fiction of Karl Ove Knausgaard and Elena Ferrante, join David Haglund and Amelia Lester to discuss the state of the memoir in an age of ubiquitous self-documentation via social media. They discuss the evolution of so-called “confessional literature,” why discussions of autobiographical writing are so often influenced by the gender of the writer, and how authors use memoir to explore ideas about both themselves and the world. In the not-so-distant past, Rothman says, “people kept diaries, and then you took a creative-writing workshop and wrote thinly disguised autobiographical fiction about your life. And now, part of what’s defined the last decade or so is a lot of new ways to accomplish this.”

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Ninety Years of The New Yorker

Friday, April 10, 2015

The first issue of The New Yorker was published in February of 1925, ninety years ago this month. In celebration of our anniversary, David Remnick, the magazine’s editor, hosts a special episode of Out Loud in which writers and editors revisit New Yorker history, share memories, and discuss how the tone and direction of the magazine have evolved since its founding editor, Harold Ross, first envisioned a publication of “gaiety, wit, and satire.”

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The Beginning of the End of “Mad Men”

Monday, April 06, 2015

On this week’s Out Loud podcast, The New Yorker’s television critic, Emily Nussbaum, joins David Haglund and Amelia Lester to discuss the first of the final seven episodes of “Mad Men,” which aired last night. (Warning: the discussion includes some spoilers.) They discuss “Mad Men” in the age of binge-watching, the evolution of Don’s masculinity, the show’s handling of sexism, and where the final half-season might be heading. Despite the perils of high expectations, Nussbaum says, “However it ends, I’ll probably be happy.”

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Patrick Keefe and Philip Gourevitch on Northern Ireland’s Tenuous Peace

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

On this week’s podcast, Keefe and Philip Gourevitch join Amy Davidson to talk about the aftermath of the Troubles and the path to peace in Northern Ireland.

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Chinese Translation

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Amelia Lester hosts Evan Osnos and Peter Hessler. They discuss the pros and cons of translating ones work into Chinese.

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The History of Hardcore

Monday, March 02, 2015

The New Yorker's Kelefa Sanneh traces the life, and afterlife, of hardcore music as both an intensification and refutation of the punk genre.

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Office Life

Monday, February 09, 2015

The staff of the New Yorker said goodbye to the shrines of exotic booze, promotional doodads, and other uncovered keepsakes as they packed up and moved to new offices at 1 World Trade.

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Psychedelics as Therapy

Monday, February 02, 2015

In the nineteen-fifties and sixties, researchers explored the therapeutic effects of LSD on alcoholism, depression, and a number of other conditions. Then the counterculture came along, LSD became a recreational drug, and the research dried up. In this week's magazine, Michael Pollan writes about a new wave of researchers who are using hallucinogenic drugs to help terminally ill cancer patients cope with the fear of death. On Out Loud, Pollan joins host Amelia Lester, the executive editor of newyorker.com, to discuss the history of psychedelics research, the difference between a recreational psychedelic journey and a therapeutic one, and why he finds the effects of these drugs so intriguing. Whereas we don't typically trust the insights we have when we're drunk or dreaming, Pollan says, patients who take hallucinogens report having "a sturdy, authoritative experience." "It takes us into an interesting and difficult to navigate intellectual space," he says. "It's very exciting territory."

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The Gay Capital of the Nineteenth Century

Monday, January 26, 2015

Recently in the magazine, Alex Ross wrote about the little known history of gay rights in Germany in the late nineteen and early twentieth century. He joins Amelia Lester on this week’s Out Loud podcast to discuss how many of the ideas that we consider foundational to the modern gay-rights movement were first articulated in Germany more than a hundred years ago, and why this period is often overlooked. “German culture over the last couple centuries is so often seen through the lens of Hitler, of the Nazi period,” he says. “We tend to omit aspects of the story that don’t fit that narrative. And this astonishingly progressive movement around gay rights is an example of something that just doesn’t fit our stereotype.”​

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The Controversial Satire of Michel Houellebecq

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

In this week’s magazine, Adam Gopnik writes about the controversial French satirist Michel Houellebecq, whose work has been derided as racist and obscene but whose books sell well in France and have been translated into many languages. Houellebecq has been in the spotlight recently not only because of the release of his latest novel, “Submission,” which imagines French society under Sharia law, but because the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo featured a caricature of Houellebecq on its cover at the time the publication was attacked by radical Islamist gunmen earlier this month. On this week’s episode of Out Loud, Gopnik joins Michael Agger, the culture editor of newyorker.com, to discuss Houellebecq’s career and the common misunderstandings of his work. “It’s completely off the mark to imagine Houellebecq as a liberal critic of Islam,” Gopnik argues. “He is a reactionary critic of liberalism.”

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Play and Parenting at KidZania

Monday, January 12, 2015

Rather than escape into a fantasy world, at KidZania children take jobs, purchase items branded by corporate sponsors, pay taxes, and even run a legal system. Impressive, or spooky?

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Teju Cole’s Favorite Things

Monday, January 05, 2015

The writer and photographer Teju Cole recently wrote in the magazine about his favorite movie, Krzysztof Kieślowski’s “Red.” On this week's Out Loud podcast, he joins Michael Agger, the culture editor of newyorker.com, to talk about the film and the music, poetry, and art that he revisits over and over again. “For me, the great ideal is a work that stands up to repetition,” he says. “You can have two works that have similar impact on first encounter, but only one of them can contain sustained scrutiny.” Cole also discusses how listening to music changes a person’s experience of a city, his recent trip to the Deep South to explore civil-rights history, and why he finds Switzerland to be an “endlessly fascinating” country.

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Movie Stars on Broadway

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

As Maggie Gyllenhaal appears in “The Real Thing" and Bradley Cooper stars in “The Elephant Man," New Yorker theater critic Hilton Als tells us what this means for the dramatic arts.

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The Puzzling Promise of Graphene

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

If you’ve heard about graphene, you’ve probably heard that it’s a miracle substance. The only atom-thick material known to man, it seems to also be the lightest, strongest, and most conductive material on earth. Its potential applications seem almost limitless. The only problem, as John Colapinto explained in a recent magazine piece, is that nobody has figured out what to do with it yet. On this week’s Out Loud, Colapinto joins Nicholas Thompson, the editor of newyorker.com, and Vauhini Vara, a business and technology blogger for the site, to discuss the challenges that hyped new technologies face in the marketplace, and whether graphene is likely to live up to its promise.

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For Love of the Ice

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hockey fans make up a small but vocal contingent of The New Yorker’s staff. On this week’s Out Loud podcast, three of the magazine’s most ardent rink rats—Ben McGrath, who recently wrote about the hockey player P. K. Subban; Nick Paumgarten, who plays regularly in a local league; and Adam Gopnik, who is Canadian—join the editor John Bennet to discuss the sport. They talk about how they first encountered hockey and learned to love it, the relationship between hockey and writing, and why, as Bennet puts it, having a child who plays hockey “seems to exacerbates the psychosis that is parenthood.”

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Famous on YouTube

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

YouTube and Vine superstars gather millions of fans—and sometimes millions of dollars—with their viral online videos. And most of us have never heard of them.

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Growing Up in the Rodeo

Monday, December 01, 2014

Bull riding is the most dangerous sport in the world, and it’s become even riskier as breeders have begun selecting for extreme aggression. What happens when 10-year-olds ride them?

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Elevating Excrement

Monday, November 24, 2014

Fecal transplants, wherein the stools from healthy people are transferred to the bowels of sick people to restore good microbes, are gaining popularity as a DIY procedure.

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Music in the Age of Spotify

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Taylor Swift just pulled her entire catalog from Spotify, but as the tech industry and the music business converge, will artists and streaming services make peace?

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David Remnick's Reporting on Israel

Monday, November 10, 2014

In this week’s issue of The New Yorker, David Remnick writes about Israel’s new conservative President, Reuven Rivlin, whose support for both a one-state solution and Palestinian civil rights has made him the country’s “most unlikely moralist.” On Out Loud, Remnick joins Sasha Weiss, the literary editor of newyorker.com, to discuss Rivlin’s role in Israeli politics, the evolution of the one-state/two-state debate, and his own experience reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the magazine. “No matter who you are and what you are and what you write, you will be reacted to with enormous emotional force, fury, and often abuse,” Remnick says. “The pitch of the battle is something to behold.”

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