Has American Literary Criticism Gone Soft? Slate’s Culture Gabfest Weighs In.

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Oct. 2 2013 9:58 AM

The Culture Gabfest “Butchery and Bitchery” Edition

Slate’s podcast about Drake’s new album, hatchet job book reviews, and Apple’s new operating system iOS7.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 263 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook page here:

Advertisement

The sponsors of this week’s show are Stamps.com and 23andme.com. Go to Stamps.com and use the promo code “CULTUREFEST” for your no-risk free trial and bonus offer. Go to 23andme.com/Slate for your $99 personal genetic profile.

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, the critics discuss Drake’s new album Nothing Was the Same. With the help of New York magazine’s music critic Jody Rosen, they explore Drake’s wildly-popular brand of hip hop, in which authenticity is tied to emotional availability instead of street credibility. Next, the gabbers join in on a debate initiated by Clive James in the New York Times, lamenting the state of the American book review. Have American critics lost their bite? Finally, the critics take stock of Apple’s newest operating system iOS7, assessing its successes, controversies, and departures from a Jobs-approved aesthetic.

Links to some of the things we discussed this week:

Endorsements:

Julia: The unexpectedly delightful shelter magazine House Beautiful

Outro: “Started from the Bottom” by Drake

You can email us at culturefest@slate.com.

This podcast was produced by Sally Herships and engineered by Chris Wade. Our intern is Anna Shechtman.

Follow us on Twitter. And please Like the Culture Gabfest on Facebook

Stephen Metcalf is Slate's critic at large. He is working on a book about the 1980s.

Dana Stevens is Slate's movie critic.

Julia Turner is the editor in chief of Slate and a regular on Slate's Culture Gabfest podcast.

TODAY IN SLATE

War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.

Doublex

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

It’s Fine to Use Facebook to Serve People With Legal Papers, Court Rules

  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 23 2014 6:40 PM Coalition of the Presentable Don’t believe the official version. Meet America’s real allies in the fight against ISIS.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Outward
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 8:38 PM “No One in This World” Is One of Kutiman’s Best, Most Impressive Songs
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 23 2014 7:27 PM You’re Fired, Roger Goodell If the commissioner gets the ax, the NFL would still need a better justice system. What would that look like?