Tag: Podcast

Ikea Effect and Difficult Reading – Shakespeare and Game of Thrones

WILSON: Right. Exactly. There’s just a certain type of reader who loves these sprawling, sociological narratives that have massive casts of characters. That have these interweaving stories, and they’re just epic in scope. They go on and on and they expand outward. George R. R. Martin is clearly one of those people.

I often have to remind my students. I say, “You know, Shakespeare’s supposed to be hard.” Right? It’s supposed to be difficult to understand what’s going on in these texts, but I think we can forget how extremely difficult these texts are—Shakespeare’s first tetralogy, “A Song of Ice and Fire”—for first time readers to come to these texts and just try to understand what is going on here. But then I also think that there’s a connection between the labor that we have to do to understand what’s going on in these texts and the love that we have for these texts. In the book, I theorize this as an example of the Ikea effect.

Some researchers did this amazing experiment where they had people put together some Ikea furniture, and then they had a professional carpenter put together the same furniture, and then they asked people, which of these pieces of furniture do you want? The one that you built or the one that the carpenter built? And most people chose the one that they built. And so the Ikea effect means, for example, we don’t work so hard to raise our children because we love them so much. Instead, we love our children so much because we’ve had to work so hard to raise them.

And when we return to the literature, I think just the immense amount of labor that is required to understand what is going on here and to enjoy these texts spills over into just the intense passion that fans of Shakespeare, fans of Martin, show for these texts. You have these amazing fan cultures that grow up around Shakespeare’s history plays, so there’s @HollowCrownFans on Twitter…

Shakespeare and “Game of Thrones”
Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 159

Based on his knowledge of Shakespeare’s Henry VI plays, Harvard’s Dr. Jeffrey R. Wilson knew just how HBO’s Game of Thrones would play out. Jon Snow, the illegitimate son, was a Richard III type, who would win the crown (and our hearts, in a love-to-hate-him kind of way). But Daenerys Targaryen, as a kind of Henry VII, would defeat him in battle and win it back, restoring peace and order. Turns out he was wrong about all of that.

But as Wilson kept watching, he began to appreciate the other ways Game of Thrones is similar to Shakespeare—like the way that both Shakespeare and George R.R. Martin’s stories translate the history of the Wars of the Roses into other popular genres.

Wilson’s new book, Shakespeare and Game of Thrones, explores some of the ways that Shakespeare influenced Game of Thrones… as well as some of the ways that Game of Thrones has begun to influence Shakespeare. Wilson is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

Comeback Cities

 You remember all those gallows jokes about American cities-like: will the last person out of Cleveland please turn out the lights. And then things got worse-if you went by the numbers and the conversational pall around the basket case of urban America. The white folks left, and middle-class black folks, too; and jobs and business. One of the best of the big-city mayors Ed Rendell of Philadelphia said the cause was lost, because the doctor wasn’t treating a bullet wound; he was confronting rampant cancer, without resources.

So the cities were left for dead, and guess what happened? Paul Grogan says they got vastly better and will get better yet-on the strength of poor-people’s markets and politics, on the further fall of crime rates, and the bust-up of the top-down bureaucracies running public schools and public housing. The really promising secret is that, as the man in Chicago said: “people like it here.” Comeback Cities are this hour on the Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)

Guests:
Paul Grogan, author of “Comeback Cities”

Big Ideas – the podcast

I think this was a Canadian Broadcasting show and it’s now off the air. (Could be wrong though.) Anyway, good stuff. Go forth and be intellectually stimulated.

Big Ideas offers lectures on a variety of thought-provoking topics which range across politics, culture, economics, art history, science…. By nature of its lecture format, pacing and inquisitive approach, it is the antithesis of the prevailing sound-bite television norm. The simple, bold concept is a victory of substance over style.

Here’e one I was digging today:

Paul Stevens from the English department at the University of Toronto St. George delivers his competition lecture entitled “Milton’s Satan”.

vids
https://tvo.org/archive-programs/big-ideas
audio
http://feeds.tvo.org/tvobigideas
itunes
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/big-ideas-audio/id129166905?mt=2

Thinking Shakespeare

Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 82

How do actors breathe life into Shakespeare’s texts? How do they take language that’s centuries old and make it sound so real and immediate?
Barry Edelstein, the Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director at The Old Globe in San Diego, is one of the nation’s most experienced Shakespeare directors. Twice a year, The Old Globe holds an event called Thinking Shakespeare Live! – a master class where you get to watch actors act and Edelstein direct – in essence, pulling back the curtain on the rehearsal room.

 

EDELSTEIN: It depends on the guy playing Marcellus doing a take after you say, “The air bites shrewdly.” So, your listeners will have to imagine that in the beat between the two halves of the line that the other guy is looking at you with a look of perplexity on his face and then you’ll get it. Go ahead.

BOGAEV: “The air bites shrewdly.”

EDELSTEIN: Huh?

BOGAEV: “It is very cold.”

EDELSTEIN: Oh. Right, so that’s, right he doesn’t say “huh” and he doesn’t say, “oh,” but there you go, that’s the idea.

BOGAEV: [LAUGH] Well, I can see it.

EDELSTEIN: Very good, see that’s it, you’re now a Shakespearean actor because we are asking ourselves, “Why am I talking this way?” And it’s never good enough to simply say, “Well, because it’s a Shakespeare play, and that’s how Shakespeare writes.” In the rehearsal room we’re trying to create human reality.

BOGAEV: So, it is this marriage of “Why am I saying these words now?” and “How is the language built?” because this is how you organize your master class, and your teaching, and I think we just talked about heightened language. You also include in these four categories “antithesis.” Now remind us what antithesis in rhetoric is.

EDELSTEIN: Antithesis is… sure. Antithesis is the big, big, big, big thing of Shakespeare. That’s the technique that he relies on really most. And antithesis is very simply opposition.

Unspooled – New Favorite podcast

with Paul Scheer and Amy Nicholson

Paul Scheer is a lifelong movie buff, but he’s never seen many of the all time greats. On Unspooled, his team-up with film critic Amy Nicholson, he’s remedying that by watching the AFI’s top 100 movies of all time, to find out what makes classics like Citizen Kane and Taxi Driver so special. Paul & Amy will dissect iconic scenes, talk to artists and industry experts, and discover just how these films got made.

This weeks episode covers The French Connection

Cool film podcast.


The Canon, with Amy Nicholson.
“What films should be included in the list of all-time greats? Film critic Amy Nicholson (MTV News) and a guest debate, discuss and sometimes harmoniously agree about whether a film should be Canon-ized. Ultimately, the decision is yours. Cast your vote in the Earwolf [aka FearWolf] forums, and decide the legacy of each movie forevermore. No pressure.”

I’ve been listening to this show for a while, but it’s really been on a roll lately. October is apparently Fear/Horror month. Good stuff.