Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 507 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens and Julia Turner with the audio player below.
On this week’s Slate Plus, Stephen, Dana and Julia discuss what object they would make bigger if they could.
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This week, the critics are live from S&S Farm Brewery in Nassau, New York, with musical accompaniment by the Hold Steady’s Franz Nicolay.
First, the gabbers discuss Samantha Bee’s recent use of the c-word on Full Frontal, the reaction from both sides of the political aisle, and when that word is, or isn’t, acceptable. Next, they talk about the movie Book Club, in which a group of women start reading Fifty Shades of Grey and experience romantic and sexual awakenings as a result. The cast, which includes Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenbergen, is stellar, but is the movie true to the “book club” conceit? Finally, the critics examine the literary legacy of Philip Roth and dive into his book The Ghost Writer with help from the audience
Links to some of the things we discussed this week:
- “Ivanka Trump, Samantha Bee, and the Strange Path of an Ancient Epithet” by Katy Waldman in the New Yorker
- The N Word documentary
- “Samantha Bee and the War of Words” by Rebecca Traister in the Cut
- “How Samantha Bee Survives” by David French in National Review
- Book Club
- “The Very Fact That a Movie Such as Book Club Exists Is a Dream Come True” by Jeffrey Bloomer in Slate
- “Philip Roth, Towering Novelist Who Explored Lust, Jewish Life and America, Dies at 85” by Charles McGrath in the New York Times
- “What Made Philip Roth the Great American Postwar Novelist” by Stephen Metcalf in Slate
- The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth
Dana: Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
Julia: the word fingerspitzengefühl
Stephen: The Watchtower by Elizabeth Harrower
Outro: The Red Haired Strangers
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This podcast was produced by Benjamin Frisch. The production assistant is Daniel Schroeder.