Were Textiles the Internet of the 16th Century?

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Dec. 11 2013 1:02 PM

The Culture Gabfest “All That Chintz” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on Inside Llewyn Davis, the threat of “smarm,” and “Interwoven Globe” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 273 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner with the audio player below.

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On this week’s episode, the critics discuss Inside Llewyn Davis, a new film from Ethan and Joel Coen, set in the Greenwich Village folk music scene of the early 1960s. With help from Carl Wilson, Slate’s music critic, the gabbers discuss the film’s soulful soundtrack and ambiguous relationship to both misanthropy and satire. Next, inspired by Tom Scocca’s anti-smarm polemic on Gawker, the critics discuss the threat of “smarm”:  What distinguishes it from “snark,” and which is more toxic? Finally, the critics talk to Amelia Peck, chief curator of “The Interwoven Globe,” an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that explores the 16th- to 19th-century textile trade to redefine globalization in pre-Internet terms.

Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:

Selected images from "The Interwoven Globe" are featured below.
Bedcover or Hanging, 17th century; Indian (Gujarat), for the Portuguese market.
Bedcover or Hanging, 17th century; Indian (Gujarat), for the Portuguese market.

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Hanging Depicting a European Conflict in South India, ca. 1740s-1750s; India (Coromandel Coast), for the English Market.
Hanging Depicting a European Conflict in South India, ca. 1740s-1750s; India (Coromandel Coast), for the English Market.

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Quilt depicting English Captain James Cook’s Third Voyage to the Hawaiian Islands, ca. 1790; British, probably.
Quilt depicting English Captain James Cook’s Third Voyage to the Hawaiian Islands, ca. 1790; British, probably.

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Traite des Nègres (The Slave Trade), early 19th century; French.
Traite des Nègres (The Slave Trade), early 19th century; French.

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Blue-Resist Panel, mid-18th century; Probably Indian, for the American market.
Blue-Resist Panel, mid-18th century; Probably Indian, for the American market.

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art



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You can email us at culturefest@slate.com.

This podcast was produced by Chris Wade. Our intern is Anna Shechtman.

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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.

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