Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 230 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and June Thomas by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:
And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook page here:
The sponsors of today’s show are Stamps.com and Audible.com. Go to Stamps.com and use the promo code “CULTUREFEST” for your no-risk free trial and bonus offer. Get a free audiobook from Audible’s collection of more than 100,000 titles and a subscription to a daily audio digest when you sign up for a 30-day free trial at www.audiblepodcast.com/culturefest.
Culturefest is on the radio! “Gabfest Radio” combines Slate’s Culture and Political Gabfests in one show—listen on Saturdays at 7 a.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m. on WNYC’s AM820.
On this week’s episode, Slate culture critic June Thomas joins the Culturefest to first discuss the current Broadway production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Edward Albee’s 1962 play about two married couples and their evening of sodden gamesmanship. The Gabfesters then discuss the life and legacy of Aaron Swartz, the freedom-of-information activist who, facing prosecution for computer fraud, committed suicide at the age of 26. Finally, our critics continue their Oscar season coverage by discussing Lincoln, Steven Spielberg’s historical drama about the final months of Abraham Lincoln’s life and his efforts during this time to outlaw slavery through passage of the Thirteenth Amendment.
- The New York Times review of the 1962 Broadway premiere of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.
- The writings of actor and playwright Tracy Letts.
- The 1966 film adaptation of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? directed by Mike Nichols.
- Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? director Pam MacKinnon on why directing that play is like mountain climbing.
- Jesse Green’s October 2012 profile of playwright Edward Albee for New York.
- Justin Peters for Slate on the idealism and suicide of Aaron Swartz.
- Wesley Yang for New York on the online response to Aaron Swartz’s death.
- Raw Thought, the blog of Aaron Swartz.
- Swartz’s father’s eulogy stating that Aaron was “killed by the government.”
- Slate’s Emily Bazelon on the prosecution of Aaron Swartz.
- The New York Times on the making of Lincoln.
- Possible Lincoln source material Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
- Aisha Harris for Slate on the mysterious origins of Tony Kushner's Lincoln script.
- Dana Stevens’ review of Lincoln for Slate.
- A.O. Scott’s review of Lincoln for the New York Times.
- The movie The Help.
- John Williams, the composer who scored Lincoln.
Here are some links to the things we discussed this week:
Dana’s pick: James F. English’s book The Economy of Prestige: Prizes, Awards, and the Circulation of Cultural Value, a cultural history of awards and prizes, which will revolutionize the way you think about the Oscars and awards in general.
June’s pick: From journalist-turned-fiction writer Alex Berenson, The Night Ranger (A John Wells Novel) about his hero John Wells, who in this latest installment must rescue kidnapped do-gooders in East Africa.
Stephen’s pick: The song “Rotten Love” by Levy.
Outro: “Rotten Love” by Levy
You can email us at email@example.com.
This podcast was produced by Julia Furlan. Our intern is Sally Tamarkin.