The LRB Podcast
Weekly conversations, and occasional readings, drawn from the pages of the LRB, with hosts Thomas Jones, Adam Shatz and Joanne O'Leary, and including the ongoing 'Close Readings' series. Produced by Anthony Wilks.
In the first of three guest episodes from a new podcast, Myself With Others, hosted by Adam Shatz, writer and critic Margo Jefferson talks about her childhood in Chicago, her early experiences in radical theatre at Brandeis University, her relationship to the feminist and Black Power movements, her emergence as a writer, and her battles with melancholia.
John Lanchester, Rupert Beale and Thomas Jones, 22 December 2021
John Lanchester and Rupert Beale talk to Tom about the spread of the latest variant, where we might stand in the story of Covid, and the failures of the state in coping with the pandemic.
Rachel Nolan and Thomas Jones, 22 December 2021
Rachel Nolan talks to Tom about the overthrow of President Árbenz in Guatemala in 1954, its importance as a model for CIA-backed regime change across Latin America, and a new novel about it by Mario Vargas Llosa.
Enzo Traverso and Adam Shatz, 4 January 2022
Enzo Traverso talks to Adam Shatz about his new book on the history of revolutionary passions, images and ideas, from the rebellion of self-liberated slaves in Haiti in 1791 to Stalin’s top-down authoritarianism. Are revolutions, as Marx suggested, the ‘locomotives of history’, or, as Walter Benjamin saw it, the emergency brake? And what can modern political movements learn from their revolutionary forebears?
Clair Wills and Thomas Jones, 7 December 2021
Clair Wills talks to Tom about Netherne psychiatric hospital, where her mother and grandparents worked, and which became a national centre for art therapy. Wills asks how asylums such as Netherne – ‘total institutions’ as Erving Goffman described them – became normalised, and considers the role of art in revealing people’s experiences of them. They also discuss Wills’s related piece about the scandal of the Irish Mother and Baby Homes, published in the LRB in May.
Colin Burrow and Thomas Jones, 10 November 2021
Tom talks to Colin Burrow about a new book by Christopher Ricks, regarded by some as the greatest living literary critic. They also look back at his previous studies of, among others, Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot and Bob Dylan, and consider the rewards and limitations of the Ricks critical method, characterised by close verbal analysis and a tendency to treat all texts equally.
David Runciman and Thomas Jones, 20 November 2021
David Runciman talks to Thomas Jones about Silicon Valley’s best known investor-provocateur, his prescience, his mistakes, and why, despite his ultra-libertarian ideology, he owes so much to the state.
Daniel Soar and Thomas Jones, 21 September 2021
Daniel Soar talks to Thomas Jones about the sixth taste, variously translated as ‘mouthfulness’, ‘thickness’ and ‘lingeringness’, apparently discovered by the Japanese company Ajinomoto, and its origins in the twisty and opaque story of MSG in North America.
David Trotter and Joanne O’Leary, 20 September 2021
David Trotter talks to Joanne O’Leary about the novels and stories of Elizabeth Bowen, from her weird families and idiosyncrasies of style, to her mastery of atmospherics and prescient use of technology to shape her characters.