I am being forcibly retained in the land of no repute. Here all the chiefs of staff are too punch drunk to drop bombs on anyone. Liberation is passe for all except a few debutantes who have put their ostrich feathers in mothballs. Slavery is strictly optional and enjoys considerable popularity in some of the best homes. Backgammon runs a close second, followed by painterly notions of the sublime. Unrequited love has become a game of wits played between satiated hedonists. There is a street car that runs on hot air, which any senior citizen can ride for free by showing proof of having committed at least one unnatural act.
Aisha Sabatini Sloan
Episode 22: “Form and Formlessness”
In an essay specially commissioned for the podcast, Aisha Sabatini Sloan describes rambling around Paris with her father, Lester Sloan, a longtime staff photographer for Newsweek, and a glamorous woman who befriends them. In an excerpt from The Art of Fiction no. 246, Rachel Cusk and Sheila Heti discuss how writing her first novel helped Cusk discover her “shape or identity or essence.” Next, Allan Gurganus’s reading of his story “It Had Wings,” about an arthritic woman who finds a fallen angel in her backyard, is interspersed with a version of the story rendered as a one-woman opera by the composer Bruce Saylor. The episode closes with “Dear Someone,” a poem by Deborah Landau.
Rachel Cusk photo courtesy the author.
Subscribe for free: Stitcher | Apple Podcasts | Google Play