Tag Archives: literature

Witches, Fairies, Violence, Ireland: Fiction Writer Kevin Barry on AEWCH 86!

8 Oct

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Friends,

What an honor to talk to one of the greatest living fiction writers, Kevin Barry. And to talk with him not about “how do you get your ideas?” or “what’s your writing practice like”? But instead about witches, healers, fairies, violence,  the radical history of Ireland, and more.

Kevin’s latest novel, The Night Boat To Tangier , was longlisted for the Booker Prize. His novel before that, Beatlbone follows John Lennon on a mystical vision quest to find an island off the Irish coast. It’s a novel so strange and moving that you wouldn’t have to even like The Beatles to be caught up in its weird web.

Also, Kevin reads his absolutely brutal story, “A Cruelty” in his excellent, sinister Christian Bale-esque reading voice.

Apologies – the episode gets cut off just as we start discussing Twin Peaks. But we only spoke for about five more minutes after that. And besides, I’ll have Kevin back on. This is a great conversation and I absolutely want to continue it.

We talk:

  • Kevin’s superstitions
  • Animism and fiction
  • Irish writers and writers of the American South
  • how accents change fiction
  • How we add to the landscape as we walk through it
  • Kevin’s encounters with
  • Writing and dreams
  • The fairies and The Pixies
  • When Kevin was healed by witchcraft before playing video games
  • The non-linearity of time
  • Primal scream therapy in Ireland
  • Evil’s home in art

SHOW NOTES

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Rel@tionships: Writer and digital lit theorist Joanna Walsh on AEWCH 84

24 Sep
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AEWCH84TitleCardFriends,
We have so many inherited metaphors about love, relating, and intimacy, that even the thought of new narratives about them makes us uncomfortable. Well, good. Let’s be uncomfortable. To that end, I spoke with writer and literary & digital theorist Joanna Walsh, whose work explores the contours (and corners and failed uploads)( of love and intimacy, and relationships.
When I read Joanna’s book of stories Vertigo, a few years back, I knew I wanted to talk with her. Joanna’s fiction has an intense and even at times relentless quality of repetition, of observation. It’s the sort of fiction that gives you the sense that you are not just engaged with the efforts of a great writer, but a great thinker too. The conversation is, as usual, wide-ranging, but we stay close to the idea of how we relate to one another and why our old ideas of relating are not enough to describe our experiences.
Talking with Joanna is a dizzying experience because she is so brilliant, so learned, and able to articulate so many profound truths in clear, concise language. I’m honored to have gotten the chance to spend time with her. Three good places to start: her book of short stories, (which she reads from), her novel, Break.up: A Novel In Essays, and her book of pornographic fairy tales Grow A Pair.
We discuss
  • How intimacy is formed
  • How the I is composed by others
  • Tension in fairy tales
  • Why we have sex to masturbate
  • Theorists with bad ethics
  • Experimental writing as a way of relating
  • “Emotional logic problems”
  • Living in tension
  • The emotions women are “supposed” to feel in their assigned roles
  • The occult bodies and technological intervention
  • What the internet gives, what the internet takes away
  • Watching porn in clips instead of a whole movie
  • Who we are in our normal lives (and how that contains our creative and erotic life)
And in addition to the conversation, Joanna also reads her entrancing story, “Vagues”!

 

The moral of the story is… How Aesop confronts empire, with Carlo Gébler on AEWCH 78!

30 Jul
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Friends,
How exciting to welcome fiction writer, memoirist, and Aesop scholar Carlo Gébler to AEWCH to discuss how Aesop’s fables present insight into fighting empire, how the powerful tell their stories, and more!
Carlo is a staple here in the Irish literary landscape. The son of famed Irish author Edna O’Brien and famed/infamous Irish author Ernest Gébler, Carlo was named after Karl Marx and has taught writing for years, including in prisons. He’s written nearly 30 books for adults and children plus plays in total. His latest book, Aesop’s Fables: The Cruelty of the Gods, which is beautifully (and intensely!) illustrated by Gavin Weston, retells 190 (!) of Aesop’s tales, adding humor and amplifying the brutality of each one.
But, as you’ll hear on the episode, Carlo isn’t just retelling these tales for entertainment (though they are extremely entertaining), he sees in them strategies for resistance and hints at how power works. And Carlo reads a few of Aesop’s fables, including “The Clever Lamb and the Wolf”, “The Frogs Who Demanded A King”, “The Flute Playing Wolf and the Dancing Kid”, and my favorite, “The Fox and the Farmer”.
Until next week,
XO
CH
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QUEER NON-BINARY SEX REVOLUTION NOW! It’s Andrea Lawlor on AEWCH!

18 Jun
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Pay for your podcast is the new “pay for your porn.” Your Patreon contribution goes a long way to supporting not just to the podcast, but to my writing, lectures, activism, and other work as well. Support the queer creators you love! If you find something of value on my show, give back and support the many hours of free podcast content and other public output that I offer every month for the price of a latte or Guinness or lunch or cover charge for a painfully clean gay bar.
Pay for the podcasts you love by signing up for my Patreon today. 
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Friends,
Just when I felt like I was getting bored with queer culture, I was thrown back into it and out of my blinkered, jaded bullshit by the queer radical author, Andrea Lawlor and their novel of full frontal sexual liberation, Paul Takes The Form Of A Mortal Girl! It’s a novel about a shapeshifting postpunk anarchist, and is, I believe, more like me than any other novel. In some ways, this is the most sexual episode I’ve ever done, because we center sex the whole time. I cannot recommend Andrea’s novel enough. It captures a time, but more importantly, captures a style of spirit and a current of queerness that is so vital for the world’s anatomy today.
We talk
  • desire and detachment
  • my crush on a frat boy singing “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates
  • centering sex in our politics and literature
  • how “sex = death” has been replaced by “sex = harm” (and how that marks progress and stagnancy)
  • sex as a teacher
  • where our limits as readers are or should be, and how hyper-literalness harms our experience
  • how sex and transformation relate to fairy tales
  • is trans a universal condition?
  • how sexual liberation allows us to be full human beings
  • indie rock and zine culture as queer expression
  • how queerness brings intensity, relief, and brilliance into living

SHOW NOTES are HERE.

XO
CH

  • JR

The Occult Significance Of Ulysses

16 Jun
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If you’d like my recorded online course, Reading Ulysses With Conner Habib, it’s just $20 for six videos, further reading, and more. Email me at againsteveryonewithconnerhabib @ gmail.com
Happy Bloomsday, everyone! Here’s an Against Saturdays episode on a Sunday!
All about why people who are into the occult and magic should read Joyce’s Ulysses. Actually, why everyone should read it.
XO CH
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The Queer Esoteric Power of Poetry! It’s D.A. Powell on AEWCH 73!

11 Jun

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AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB 73: D.A. POWELL or THE QUEER ESOTERIC POWER OF POETRY

LISTEN HERE OR ON iTunesSpotifyOvercastSoundcloud

Your Patreon contribution goes a long way to supporting not just to the podcast, but to my writing and other work as well. If you find something of value on my show, give back and support the many hours of free podcast content and other public output that I offer every month for the price of a latte or cocktail or lunch.

Pay for the podcasts you love by signing up for my Patreon today.

Friends,

So excited to share what is one of my very favorite episodes of AEWCH with you, discussing poetry, the esoteric, the strange, and the occult with poet D.A. Powell (AKA Doug)!

Doug is the author of multiple books of poetry, and is best know for his Repast trilogy, including the books Tea, Lunch, and Cocktails, which have all be described as potent AIDS-era poetry. But what makes Doug such a profound thinker and poet (aside from his incredible poetry, of course!), is that he refuses to have his poems reduced to political polemic, even as they evince politics. Instead, Doug’s poems and Doug himself insist on the myriad of meanings each poem presents, and in that way, transmutes poetry into an alchemical act.

In addition to talking, Doug reads many of his poems, starting with the excellent “The Kiwi Comes To Gridley, CA” which is in his (also excellent) collection, Useless Landscape: A Guide For Boys. He also reads “Why We Have No Future,” “Mass For Pentecost: Canitcle for Birds & Waters”, “[strange flower in my hands. porphory shell. clipped wool.]”, “Don’t Touch My Junk”, and “Slut”.

We talk about

  • how poetry can’t be reduced to its contents or our current political situation
  • why plants are tops (really!)
  • those plaintive sighs at poetry readings
  • how the political overtakes and consumes all other meanings
  • loving and hating what you write
  • why poetry is not metaphor
  • how poems destroy the focus on a single point and expand the cosmos
  • how are relates to the Holy Ghost and the angels
  • the problem with the lack in psychoanalysis
  • how to hex people and cure people with words
  • what rhymes are
  • The secret poetry of the 1960s Batman and Robin TV series
  • Christ’s foreskin (really!)
  • poem-ography

XO

CH

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Can art contain evil? I explore mystery and murder with crime writer Sara Gran on AEWCH 61!

5 Mar

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I put out many hours of free content every month, please do support the show by donating to my Patreon today. For the price of a piece of cake or a bourgeoise donut in San Francisco or a delicious Yuengling lager in Pennsylvania, you can support the show in a major way and contribute to my mission to bring deep conversations to the world and inspire others to have them!

PATRONS GET ACCESS TO THE FULL YOUTUBE VERSION HERE

Friends,

When you follow a mystery, you see that’s it’s unending. And what better explorer of mysteries than acclaimed mystery writer Sara Gran, whose mystery and crime books rove through philosophy, the occult, and the hardboiled on their way to the murderer.

Sara is the author of mysteries and horror, from her acclaimed Claire DeWitt series (start with the excellent Claire Dewitt and the City of the Dead), to her shiveringly creepy demonic possession tale, Come Closer.

We talk about why detectives in fiction are always wounded, how criminals are materialists but detectives are spiritual, being an outsider, the philosopher she invented named Jacques Silette, the unknowingness of writing, how our creative projects becomes spells & become our friends, whether or not people actually succeed in Hollywood, the difference between real genre and mere spectacle, fairy tales, why political solutions don’t work, why the presence of the dead is healing, why people can’t accept the supernatural even in fiction, Suspiria vs Texas Chainsaw Massacre vs Hereditary, Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion, how art responds to and creates evil, and how psychoanalysis connects to the Western esoteric tradition and yoga.

Click HERE for show notes!

XO
CH

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