The Virtual Memories Show

With his new book Disaster Mon Amour (Yale University Press), legendary film critic & writer David Thomson explores the intersection of disaster-as-entertainment and disaster-as-real-life. We get into how the imminent destruction from catastrophes like the pandemic, climate change, and authoritarianism have made us more cynical, why we thrill to CGI'd destruction, how his book evolved from his 2019 pitch, and how it pairs with his previous one, Murder And The Movies. We also talk about what we lose when we stop seeing movies in theaters, why romantic/screwball comedies of the '40s and not noir are the best American films, his Pauline Kael story, the decade he most adores, and whether after 45 years in the US he's ever felt quite American. Plus, we discuss whether he'll do another revision to The Biographical Dictionary of Film, his upcoming essay about The Godfather and whether he'll pretend the third one didn't happen, his literary upbringing and the radio adaptations that set him on his literary path, my lightning-round questions of Dostoevsky vs. Tolstoy and Bleak House vs. Middlemarch, and much more! • More info at our site • Support The Virtual Memories Show via Patreon or Paypal

Direct download: Episode_470_-_David_Thomson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:50am EDT

With his new book, The Floundering Founder: 24 Lessons To Refocus Your Business and Better Yourself, marketing entrepreneur (& longtime pal) Raman Sehgal explores what it really means to learn from your mistakes. We talk about the failures and missteps that helped him build a successful marketing & design agency in ramarketing, what he learned from good (and bad) business books, the process of writing his first book, and whether he has anxiety over running a company with ~60 employees. We get into how easy it is to get lost in the day-to-day and not step back to see the big picture, the importance of having some big (and shareable) goals, what it's like when there's an external valuation put on your business, the value of schmoozing, and the realities of imposter syndrome. Plus, we discuss what he's learned from hosting the Molecule to Market podcast, the importance of being/having a nemesis, his dream of taking his company & their families to see the northern lights, and more! Follow Raman on Twitter and LinkedIn • More info at our site • Support The Virtual Memories Show via Patreon or Paypal

Direct download: Episode_469_-_Raman_Sehgal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:48am EDT

Author, poet and translator Wallis Wilde-Menozzi returns to the show to explore her new memoir/meditation, Silence & Silences (FSG). We talk about the uses and abuses of silence, the magic of herons, what it takes for the voiceless to find a voice, the nature of censorship (both external and self-driven), whether "home" is where you live or where you're buried, and how she developed the mosaic mode of her new book. We also get into feminine writing vs. masculine writing, her distrust of the authority of words, the differences between American and Italian culture when she started exploring family history, her accidental career, and the experience of editing the "final" draft just as the pandemic began, and finding there was more to write. She also explains why she doesn't keep out-takes of her writing, why some experiences are too personal for social media, and what it meant to be a woman writer when she was coming up. • Listen to our 2013 and 2017 conversations • More info at our site • Support The Virtual Memories Show via Patreon or Paypal

Direct download: Episode_468_-_Wallis_Wilde-Menozzi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:38pm EDT

With his new book, When I Grow Up: The Lost Autobiographies of Six Yiddish Teens (Bloomsbury), cartoonist Ken Krimstein recreates a lost world, bringing to life the true stories of Jewish youth in 1930s Lithuania, preserved in anonymous submissions for a contest. We talk about the circuitous, perilous history of the stories he adapted, the role of the YIVO Institute in preserving Jewish & Yiddish culture, and how he tried to be faithful to the hopes & dreams of the anonymous writers while knowing that they & their world would perish in the Holocaust. We get into how he developed a visual storytelling language for this book, the new influences on his cartooning, the joy & spiciness of Yiddish language & culture, the research to recreate Vilnius and how uncomfortable he got when visiting Lithuania for the project. We also discuss the counterhistory that the Yiddish teens represent, the stories that didn't make the cut, the out-of-body experience of getting interviewed by CBS' Morning Show for the book, Hannah Arendt's notion of contingency and what the pandemic experience means to artists, and plenty more! Follow Ken on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and listen to our previous podcast • More info at our site • Support The Virtual Memories Show via Patreon or Paypal

Direct download: Episode_467_-_Ken_Krimstein.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:55am EDT