S. 2 EP. 16 CHANGING NEW YORK CITY

This Sunday, Matthew D’Abate and Douglas Kennedy discuss their city of choice, New York. Kennedy, a Manhattan kid by birth, and D’Abate, a transplant of over 15 years, critique the gentrification that has permanently altered the face of NYC.

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S. 2 EP. 15 "LIFE IS THE ONLY FARCE YOU'LL EVER HAVE..."

This week, we’re delving deeper into Kennedy’s next project “Isabelle In the Afternoon” set for a French and English release in early 2020. Sitting down with Kennedy in his home in the center of Manhattan, we discuss some of the more relevant literary themes in this new torrid love story, which I had the pleasure to read in full just recently. He contemplates how short life is, and how the worries and concerns of our quotidian existence pale in comparison to how quickly it can all disappear.

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S. 2 EP. 14 THE CURSE OF THE STARVING CLASS

This week, we’re discussing a piece of extraordinary theater Douglas Kennedy and I had recently viewed, Sam Shepard’s American classic “The Curse of The Starving Class”. Not only is the “Starving Class” one of Shepard’s fantastic additions to his ‘family’ trilogy – it was directed this spring by the brilliant Terry Kinney, and like some artistic kismet, was performed at the fantastic Signature Theater in Manhattan. I sat down with Kennedy to discuss this deliriously genius piece of modern theater.     

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S. 2 EP. 13 THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH

This week we’re discussing our divided times, both culturally and politically. I decided to approach the issue head on, and ask Kennedy, always the purveyor of free speech and the pursuit of rational thinking, just what he thought about certain controversial figures being banned from social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.     

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S. 2 EP. 10 "KISS ME DEADLY"

This week we’re discussing that infamous classic film from the post-World War II period: “Kiss Me Deadly”. Released in the theaters in 1955, and adapted from the novel released in 1952, both the cinematic piece and its inspired counterpart represent a time of nuclear paranoia and ‘tough guy’ machismo, sometimes jarring to our modern ears.

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S. 2 EP. 9 MUSIC WE LIVE BY

I sat down with Douglas Kennedy in one of the most poetic cities in the history of music, Paris, France, to discuss the current state of classical music. In a world full of candy pop beats and auto-tuned charlatans, the aural intoxication of classical music remains the pinnacle of what the human ear can experience. Douglas Kennedy explains:  

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S. 2 EP. 7 "AURORE'S AMAZING ADVENTURES..." PT. 1

Talk about output. Already in the first quarter of the 2019, Douglas Kennedy has witnessed the release of “The Great Wide Open” in January, completed his next novel “Isabelle in The Afternoon”, and, just this week, published his new graphic novel “Aurore’s Amazing Adventures” in which Kennedy finds himself paired with France’s preeminent illustrator, Joann Sfar.

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S. 2 EP. 6 MISSING THE BOHEMIAN

No one can argue that most of the western world has befallen to corporate and monocultural tastes; opting for efficiency over aesthetic, and the bottom line over creative expansion. There is a general lack of care and concern that the artist of our cities are being priced out at a rampant rate. What will these centers of artistic energy do when they only left with chain stores, mini-malls, and gas stations? Cinemas are closing rapidly – book stores are nearly extinct. Places of cultural interest are empty. What’s next for the culture of art in the 21st century?

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S. 2 EP. 5 THE FUTURE IS LITERARY

Everybody knows that the world of the literary novel has been significantly diminished. Since the advent of the Internet, the colossal power of Amazon, and the almost daily shuttering of your local independent bookstore, reading levels are at an all-time low. According to a new study by the National Endowment of the Arts, the percentage of adults who read books fell to 52 percent in 2017, compared with 54 percent in 2012 and 56 percent in 2002. The percentage of adults reading fiction has dropped from 45 percent in 2012 to 41 percent in 2017.

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S. 2 EP. 4 "MY, HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED"

This week we’re discussing the seismic tremors and tectonic shifts coursing through our culture in the last century – so much so that any knowledgeable person with any historic interest can hardly catch their breath.

As the great Lenny Bruce once said: “The 'what should be' never did exist, but people keep trying to live up to it. There is no 'what should be,' there is only what is.”

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S. 2 EP. 3 THE POLITICAL MIND

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”  We take this Sunday to discuss the political mind.

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S.2 EP.2 INSIDE THE GREAT WIDE OPEN

This week we’re discussing the ritualistic habits and ornamental traditions of the literary life. Every writer has a specific pattern to which they construction their literary tomes, and Douglas Kennedy is no different. Some hide from the world. Some seek inspiration through travel. Kennedy found himself immersed in “The Great Wide Open” a novel that to nearly three years to hit the book shelves. I got a chance to sit down with Douglas Kennedy in Manhattan to ask him how this novel came to fruition.

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S.2 EP. 1 HOW WE LIVE NOW

Just in the last two months – America has experienced a great shift to the left. For the last two years, the Republican House and Senate have entrenched our culture in retrograde policies and astoundingly isolationist behavior. From the border wall, to the travel ban, to the hostile Grand Guignol theatrics of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation proceedings, the country is more divided than ever.

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EP. 60 THEMES INSIDE

All works of literature possess a river of thematic concern flowing beneath the written word. Some philosophers have expounded that authors themselves work to uncover and discover their own well-hidden secrets and foibles layered deep within the narrative structure of their work.       

The writer Alexei Panshin writes: “A book isn't a single, static thing with one unarguable meaning. Each reader who comes to it brings his own special knowledge, habits and attitudes. Each reader reads a different book. Each reader imagines a different story.”

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EP. 59 HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL PT. 2

This week, we’re continuing our two-part series titled, aptly, How To Write Novel. Brave title I know. But I’d put my good money on listening to those that have crossed that literary line. To try is noble. To do it once is heroic. To sustain a career – That’s something I’ll turn over to someone who has published over 21 books during the length of their career. Our dialogue with Douglas Kennedy continues.

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EP. 58 HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL PT. 1

The Pulitzer Prize winning author Eudora Welty wrote this about the craft of a novel: “The writing of a novel is taking life as it already exists, not to report it but to make an object, toward the end that the finished work might contain this life inside it and offer it to the reader. The essence will not be, of course, the same thing as the raw material; it is not even of the same family of things. The novel is something that never was before and will not be again.”

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EP. 57 THE FRAGILITY

The great Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz wrote: “The partition separating life from death is so tenuous. The unbelievable fragility of our organism suggests a vision on a screen: a kind of mist condenses itself into a human shape, lasts a moment and then scatters.”

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