Slate’s Culture Gabfest on BPM, Babylon Berlin, and Shakespeare’s plagiarism.

William Shakespeare: Genius, Plagiarist, or Both?

William Shakespeare: Genius, Plagiarist, or Both?

Slate's weekly roundtable.
Feb. 14 2018 11:31 AM

The Culture Gabfest “Trundle-Tail Dog” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on BPM, Babylon Berlin, and Shakespeare’s plagiarism.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Thinkstock and Martin Droeshout/Wikipedia.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Thinkstock and Martin Droeshout/Wikipedia.

Listen to Culture Gabfest No. 491 with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Isaac Butler with the audio player below.

And join the lively conversation on the Culturefest Facebook page.

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On this week’s Slate Plus, Isaac, Dana, and Stephen talk about the Quincy Jones interview in New York magazine.

Go to slate.com/cultureplus to learn more about Slate Plus and join today.

This week, the critics discuss the French movie BPM, about the ACT UP movement working to fight AIDS in 1990s France. The film made many critics’ lists of the best movies of 2017, so why was it snubbed for an Oscar nomination? Then, the gabbers talk about the new Netflix series Babylon Berlin, a German drama set during the Weimar Republic in the 1920s. Finally, things get Shakespearean: Scholars have checked William Shakespeare’s work against plagiarism software and found multiple similarities with a 16th-century manuscript. Does this discovery threaten his reputation as a literary genius, or is it time for us to rethink the relationship between the artist and his influences?

Links to some of the things we discussed this week:

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Endorsements:

Dana: The Class

Isaac: “The Ecstasy of Influence” by Jonathan Lethem in Harpers, and the Danh Vo exhibit “Take My Breath Away” at the Guggenheim

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Stephen: “Desperados Under the Eaves” by Warren Zevon

Outro: “Desperados Under the Eaves” by Warren Zevon

You can email us at culturefest@slate.com.

This podcast was produced by Benjamin Frisch. The production assistant is Daniel Schroeder.

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

Isaac Butler is a writer and theater director, most recently of Real Enemies, which premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He is the co-author of The World Only Spins Forward, a history of Angels in America, with Dan Kois.

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

Dana Stevens is Slate’s movie critic.