In this episode, the Spine Crackers read Nicholson Baker's 1988 short novel detailing one man's mental life during a ride up an escalator. Prefiguring some of the stylistic and thematic interests of more recent postmodern, encyclopedic novels, Baker's hyper-detailed "microhistory" is powerful and hilarious.
Author Nicholson Baker reads an excerpt of The Anthologist, and songwriter Rod Picott performs a song written in response called "Losing Faith." The two friends also discuss cross-arts explorations, self-doubt, and the importance of a good sandwich.
The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker (with Robin Parrish)
Cartoonist and consultant Robin Parrish drops by to chat with the P.U.L.C.H. pals about Nicholson Baker's brief stream-of-consciousness novel The Mezzanine, but they derail the conversation to discuss working from home, David Cronenberg, and David Foster Wallace's linguistic/mathematical deficiencies. Check out Robin's work at her website: https://reparrishcomics.com/ and follow her on Twitter @reparrish --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/pulch/support
Paul Holdengräber is joined by writer Nicholson Baker for this two-part episode 160 of The Quarantine Tapes. They talk about the changes and constants of daily life under the pandemic, card catalogs, and Defoe before turning to Nicholson’s recent work on the pandemic itself.Nicholson published a New York Magazine piece asking “Did the Coronavirus Escape From a Lab?,” examining the possible origins of the pandemic. He talks with Paul about what motivated him to write that piece and why he thinks we need a thorough investigation into the origins of the virus. Nicholson Baker is the author of seventeen books—his most recent is Baseless: My Search for Secrets Among the Ruins of the Freedom of Information Act. Baker and his wife Margaret Brentano have two children; they live on the Penobscot River in Maine.
Nicholson Baker is the author of 18 books of fiction and nonfiction. He has written for The New Yorker, Harper’s, and many other publications. His latest book is Baseless: My Search for Secrets in the Ruins of the Freedom of Information Act."In the end, I don’t care how famous you get, how widely read you are during your lifetime. You’re going to be forgotten. And you’re going to have five or six fans in the end. It’s going to be your grandchildren or your great-grandchildren are going to say, Oh, yeah, he was big. … So I think the key is, write what you actually care about. Because in the end, you’re only doing this for yourself. … So maybe do your best stuff for yourself and for the three, four, five people who know in the coming century that you ever existed. That’s all you need to do."Thanks to Mailchimp for sponsoring this week's episode.Show notes:@nicholsonbaker8nicholsonbaker.comThe Mezzanine (Grove Press • 1988)Baseless (Penguin Press • 2020)10:00 Human Smoke (Simon & Schuster • 2009)10:00 "Wrong Answer" (Harper's • Sept 2013)11:00 Room Temperature (Grove Press • 2010)11:00 U and I (Random House • 2000)11:00 The Fermata(2000)12:00 "The Projector" (New Yorker • Mar 1994)12:00 The Size of Thoughts (Vintage Contemporaries • 1996)13:00 "The Author vs. the Library" (New Yorker • Oct 1996)19:00 Double Fold (Vintage • 2002)30:00 Lab 257 (Michael Carroll • Willam Morrow Paperbacks • 2005)33:00 Longform Podcast #192: Seymour Hersh33:00 The Killing of Osama Bin Laden (Seymour Hersh • Verso • 2017)33:00 Longform Podcast #321: Nicholas Schmidle33:00 "Getting Bin Laden" (Nicholas Schmidle • New Yorker • Aug 2011)46:00 Baker's New Yorker archive Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Digging Deeper With Nicholson Baker, And A Song By Margin Zheng
World BEYOND War: a new podcast
Part Two with Nicholson Baker, author of "Baseless: My Search For Secrets In The Ruins Of The Information Act", talking about the CIA's unethical past, the Korean War, today's antiwar movements, psychological warfare against historians, gaslighting, Obama, Trump, the effectiveness of nonviolent protest. Also featuring the song "When I See You Cry" and a brief interview with the young peace activist composer Margin Zheng.
Nicholson Baker, prose writer beyond category, has a new book for COVID time, speaking directly to the dread of weaponized biology as only Nick Baker could treat it, in history and in his head. This is the same Nick Baker who wrote Vox, the phone-sex novel that Monica Lewinsky presented to Bill Clinton; the same Nick Baker who knocked Winston Churchill off a pedestal, and got away with it, in a pacifist’s retelling of World War 2 as an orgy of imperial killing: Human Smoke, he called it. It’s that Nick Baker, the historian of darkness, who’s back this summer, piecing the bio-war story together, not in Trump time, but Truman time, when the hard men of the security state fell in love with germs. His new book is about a mad lust for bio-weapons, germ warfare, at the top of the US government in the 1950s. He’s obsessive about extracting secret documents in the case, but his book about Project Baseless is only partly “documentary.” It’s equally a sort of writer’s diary: what a deep dive into the secret science of mass killing does to an ordinary man, himself. Nick Baker’s a novelist and then some. On the model of I. F. Stone or Sy Hersh, he’s relentless in the fine print of public archives. He’s got John Updike’s musical prose, E. B. White’s wry American whimsy, and a lot of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s eye, ever on his own day-to-day doings in the shadow of vast historical nightmares. The post Nicholson Baker Searches for Secrets appeared first on Open Source with Christopher Lydon.
Nicholson Baker: What Secrets Do the Freedom of Information Act Hold?
Nicholson Baker is the author of ten novels and six works of nonfiction, including The Anthologist, The Mezzanine, and Human Smoke. He has won a National Book Critics Circle Award, a Hermann Hesse Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, and a Katherine Anne Porter Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Maine with his wife, Margaret Brentano. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Great escape: Nicholson Baker lets YouTube take the wheel
When Nicholson Baker first fell in love with YouTube, it was for its “outpouring of human miscellany” and “first person journalism.” But when CJR asked him to write about YouTube as a purveyor of political information, he stumbled upon a different world—one that, in spite of recent algorithmic adjustments, makes radicalization a frictionless experience.On this week’s Kicker, Baker and Kyle Pope, editor and publisher of CJR, discuss Baker’s YouTube experience, as well as the extraordinary discoveries he made for his new book, Baseless: My Search for Secrets in the Ruins of the Freedom of Information Act.