Feelings Unicorn

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  1. I know that most people are enamored with 1Q84 and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, but I'd really love to see Murakami's more emotional stuff discussed - like Sputnik Sweetheart, Norwegian Wood, or his short fiction. By that same token, I think that Americana is my favorite DeLillo book. Not necessarily because it is his most penetrable, but because the heart beating at the center of it is so much more evident (with the exception of maybe the tail end of White Noise when everything starts coming together) So read that stuff maybe? For the podcast? OH ALSO wrt "genre fiction:" there is so much out there that plays at larger themes and social commentary and literary tropes that it would be worth embracing authors like Octavia Butler.
  2. Jonathan Safran Foer and Self-Inserts

    Just a quick note on Episode 0 and the thumbs-crew's uneasiness about Jonathan Safran Foer's main character in Everything Is Illuminated having the same name as the author: That one particular part of it isn't necessarily a cute modern trope like some of his other stylistic flourishes (which I love when they're done well but I agree that sometimes he crosses a line into cloying), but actually comes from his love of Bruno Schulz. Schulz's 1934 book The Street of Crocodiles, which is Foer's favorite book and is unlike anything I've ever read, is a collection of connected short stories starring a character named Bruno Schulz that may be based off of his life or may not be. You can really get a lot of Foer's DNA out of Schulz, most notably his sense of supernatural wonder surrounding mundane situations. It almost feels like the opposite of magical realism, where fantastical events are treated like they're no big deal. I really recommend any fan of Foer to read The Street of Crocodiles, or any fan of Kafka or Borges or people who like sometimes impenetrable short fiction. It's absolutely incredible stuff. SUPER excited about this podcast by the way.