The Spectator USA Life ‘n’ Arts podcast launches this week with fanfares, the popping of corks, and much coughing and wheezing into microphones. From now on, every week I’ll be casting a pod with artists, writers, thinkers, painters and even people who do something useful for a living too. First up is the novelist and essayist William Giraldi.
Author of the novels Busy Monsters and Hold the Dark, and The Hero’s Body, a memoir of misspent youth as a bodybuilder, Giraldi is one of the few contemporary American critics worth reading. This month, he publishes his first collection of essays, American Audacity: In Defense of Literary Daring (Norton).
We had a long and fascinating talk about what makes American literature American, what makes it daring, what the purpose of writing about writing is, and the relation between life and writing, entertainment and literature, and art and religion.