5.1 We Have This-ness, Y’all! Ocean Vuong and Amy E. Elkins (EH)

Season 5 of Novel Dialogue opens with an impassioned refresher course in literary theory brought to you by Ocean Vuong, poet and author of the bestselling novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (2019). Ocean talks with critic Amy E. Elkins and host Emily Hyde about browsing bookstore shelves and building his personal reading list of “life-giving weirdos.” They discuss genre and gender, antiquing and thrifting, fish sauce and photography, all the while integrating the insights of queer theory and the full range of literary history. What does looking at the world as a junkyard have to do with making art? What does it feel like to run smack dab into a memory? How can we be mindful of the fact that words (like “this”) are tiny objects with infinite possibilities? If autofiction annoys you, listen for how the form reinvents the self against dominant class and gender structures. And if your boots have ever touched down in Hot Springs, Arkansas, stay tuned for our signature question and don’t miss this episode!

Image credit: Amy E. Elkins, “Ocean’s Boots” (2023)

Mentioned in this episode:

Judith Butler
Anne Carson Autobiography of Red
Bhanu Kapil
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
Djuna Barnes Nightwood
Freytag’s triangle
Flaubert’s flâneur
Tim Ingold, Making: Anthropology, Archaeology, Art and Architecture
Walter Benjamin, “The Storyteller: Reflections on the Works of Nikolai Leskov”
Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji
Amy E. Elkins, “The Weaver’s Handshake”
William Carlos Williams
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
Susan Sontag
Walt Whitman
Langston Hughes
Lucille Clifton
Hot Springs High School
The Sugarhill Gang, “Rappers Delight
Duchamp’s ready-mades

Listen and Read:

Audio: We Have This-ness, Y’all

Transcript: 5.1 We Have This-ness, Y’all

5.5 They’re Not Metaphorical Demons: Mariana Enriquez and Magalí Armillas-Tiseyra Novel Dialogue

Booker Prize shortlister Mariana Enriquez, author of Things We Lost in the Fire and The Dangers of Smoking in Bed, joins Penn State professor Magalí Armillas-Tiseyra and host Chris Holmes to talk about her most recent novel, Our Share of Night, her first to be translated into English. Our Share of Night follows a spiritual medium, Juan, who can commune with the dead and with the world of demons, and his son, Gaspar, as they go on a road trip to outrun a secretive occult society called The Order that hopes to use Juan and Gaspar in their unholy quest for immortality.  Publishers Weekly called it “A masterpiece of literary horror.” In a wide-ranging conversation, Mariana reflects on being a horror writer in Argentina, a country that obsesses over its traumatic past. Indeed, Mariana’s interest in writing fiction in the horror genre was prompted by hearing her first horror stories, the terrors of torture and disappearances under the Argentine Junta government. The three discuss Mariana’s use of violence, especially when it involves children; the various afterlives of the translations of Mariana’s award-winning fiction; and the arborescence of the novel form. Humor and dry wit cut through these weighty topics to make for a lively conversation with one of Latin America’s most important contemporary writers. Mentions:  Silvina Ocampo Mariana Enriquez,  La Hermana Menor -The Things We Lost in the Fire -The Dirty Kid Ray Bradbury, The October Country José Donoso Juan Carlos Onetti Ernesto Sabato Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights Ingmar Bergman, The Hour of the Wolf A Nightmare on Elm Street (film) Titane (film) Pope John Paul II The Oulipo Movement Aleister Crowley Chris Holmes is Chair of Literatures in English and Associate Professor at Ithaca College. He writes criticism on contemporary global literatures. His book, Kazuo Ishiguro as World Literature, is under contract with Bloomsbury Publishing. He is the co-director of The New Voices Festival, a celebration of work in poetry, prose, and playwriting by up-and-coming young writers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
  1. 5.5 They’re Not Metaphorical Demons: Mariana Enriquez and Magalí Armillas-Tiseyra
  2. 5.4 The Meat and Bones of Life
  3. 5.3 “It’s on the Illabus”
  4. 5.2 Writing the Counter-Book: Joshua Cohen with Eugene Sheppard (JP)
  5. 5.1 We Have This-ness, Y’all!

%d bloggers like this: