Slate’s Culture Gabfest on While We’re Young, Genius, and the historical legacies of Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant.

Does Genius Democratize Close Reading or Reward Annoying Pedantry?

Does Genius Democratize Close Reading or Reward Annoying Pedantry?

Slate's weekly roundtable.
April 15 2015 11:42 AM

The Culture Gabfest “’Tates and Sass” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on While We’re Young, Genius, and the historical legacies of Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant.

ILLO_gabfest-podcast1

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 343 with Stephen Metcalf, Julia Turner, and Dana Stevens with the audio player below.

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

Advertisement

Go to slate.com/cultureplus to learn more about Slate Plus and join today. This week on Slate Plus, listen to Steve, Dana, and Julia grill the talented Ann Heppermann about what she does as a podcast producer.

On this week’s Slate Culture Gabfest, the critics weigh in on Noah Baumbach’s new film, While We’re Young. Is it an incisive satire or a claustrophobic bore that leaves no one to root for? Next up, Katy Waldman joins to talk about her new Slate piece on the annotation website Genius. Is the site making close reading more accessible or just sucking the joy out of interpretation? Finally, history has been paradoxically kinder to Robert E. Lee than it has to Ulysses S. Grant. Jamelle Bouie joins to discuss some of the reasons for this.  

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

Advertisement

Endorsements:

Dana: The audiobook of The Letters of Charlotte Brontë, narrated by Imogen Stubbs

Julia: H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

Steve: It Follows

Outro: “Killa Cam” by Cam’ron

You can email us at culturefest@slate.com.

This podcast was produced by Joel Meyer. Our intern is Lindsey Albracht.

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.