This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Seldes recommends 19/20 of the book "Is the Common Man Too Common?" He also discusses his own book, "The Seven Lively Arts." He notes his key argument, that you have to separate the thing from the frame in which it appears. This is his argument for the popular arts - such as comic strips - be counted among the arts.
He does not include the horror books among the lively arts. Winston Churchill is preparing to tackle these books. Seldes hopes the British versions are not as bad as the American ones. Seldes makes reference to Mayor La Guardia reading the comics over the radio during the newspaper strike. He delights in the idea of Churchill reading the comic horror books.
He goes on to discuss cinemas in New York and across the country that play old movies, such as "The Navigator" with Buster Keaton. Seldes was particularly amused by the scene of Keaton trying to shuffle cards while the boat floods.
Seldes goes on to praise comedienne Judy Holiday.
He describes the plot of the play "Mortal Coils" based on the The Gioconda Smile by Aldous Huxley. Seldes disagrees with the happy ending in the play. He also speaks on the main actress of the play, Dorothy McGuire.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 71542
Municipal archives id: LT3118