Matthew D'Abate continues his conversation with Douglas Kennedy about his latest fiction novel - The Great Wide Open.
Douglas Kennedy has just completed his new novel: The Great Wide Open. He takes a moment to sit down with Matthew D'Abate to discuss the trials and tribulations he faced during the writing of his 18th book.
Marcus Aurelius, the great philosopher and author of Meditations, wrote brilliant aphorisms on how to live a fortuitous life, and of the struggles we face in this mortal coil. Aurelius, the inspiration of our discussion, leads the conversation down some interesting paths. Douglas Kennedy and Matthew D'Abate sit down discuss the nature of time - and how finite that precious commodity is in our lives.
Every writer studies other writers - for inspiration, for consolation, and sometimes, for competition. Douglas Kennedy and Matthew D'Abate sit down to discuss the books they are reading, and what authors inspire them, and their writing, in the realm of fiction.
There is no one way to live a literary life. Authors are notorious for developing their own personal habits when it comes to writing books - each as different as the craftsmen themselves. Matthew D'Abate sat down with Douglas Kennedy for an insight into the writers process, and what it takes, to finish a novel.
Douglas Kennedy and Matthew D'Abate sit down to discuss the vital elements that make each city unique - and how by reading the journalists and writers of specific eras can transport our minds to the times they were documenting - outside of the history books. The first book discussed, Joseph Roth's "What I Saw: Reports from Berlin, 1920-1933," kicks off the discussion.
Sam Shepard was an American icon of the theater scene - a reluctant and talented actor who embodied the rugged, solitary nature of the west. His sudden passing shocked the literary world. Douglas Kennedy and Matthew D'Abate sit down to discuss the life of this lone wolf of the theater scene, and how his hard-boiled characters reflected much of his own personal struggles.
Thousand of artists have migrated to the city. Even more refugees have found a new home in this ever-changing metropolis. This is also a place that author Douglas Kennedy has called home for over a decade. We sit down to discuss the futuristic beauty, and the inglorious past, of Berlin; Europe's most diverse metropolitan landscape.
The ability to envision another person's consciousness is the high water mark of a talented fiction writer. Most people, in their daily lives, can barely escape their own trial and tribulations. Douglas Kennedy found much acclaim for his ability to inhabit female characters - and investigating the feminine experience. We sat down to discuss the current cultural wars raging in the United States and what it means to write in a voice quite different from ones own.
The short story is a powerful, compact method of literary ammunition. Masters such as Edgar Allen Poe and Flannery O'Connor have revolutionized the style, and today, modern readers are attracted to the short story for its lean and concise treaties, its accessibility, and of course, the ease of commitment. Douglas Kennedy used the medium of the short story to write his way into a future career, and explains to Matthew D'Abate how making this decision led to him from New York City, to Maine, and finally, across the Atlantic to Dublin, Ireland.
Everyone has to start somewhere. Douglas Kennedy found his Muse early on, traveling from the streets of Manhattan, to the rural countryside of Maine, to finally chasing the literary calling all the way across the Atlantic to Dublin, Ireland. Matthew D'Abate and the writer himself sit down to discuss this trajectory.
Accessibility is a key element in the appreciation of any art. Some critics disregard this alliance with the observer with distain. Is accessibility the 'scarlet letter' against the artist? Shouldn't facility be regarded as the highest form of communication in the arts? Douglas Kennedy and Matthew D'Abate sit down to discuss the different connections bridged between the artist and the observer.
Writers are notorious observers of the human theater -- and there is no greater drama than today's world stage. Douglas Kennedy and Matthew D'Abate sit down to discuss Britain's Brexit, the robust growth of China, the progressive social values of modern day Germany, and of course, the current U.S. President.
The culture wars in America couldn't be more divisive. Pundits and philosophers alike can't agree on who and what America, today, should be. Cable news channels turn on the rhetoric, while the average American feels more dissatisfied, confused, and down right hostile to its fellow citizens. How did we get to this tipping point? Matthew D'Abate and Douglas Kennedy sit down to discuss America, now.
Escapism has a bad ring to it, but it shouldn't. The art of leaving it all behind, even for just a brief respite; through books, the cinema, or music, can benefit us, and teach us more about who we are, and what we love. Douglas Kennedy and Matthew D'Abate sit down to discuss the beauty of letting it all go.
Education comes in many forms. It can be acquired from great literature, or reached with a simple library card. In this modern world of alternative facts, how can we trust media sources that only vie for our attention with click-bait? Douglas Kennedy and Matthew D'Abate discuss the state of education today.
No one can deny the transportive nature of the novel. For most of us, we couldn't live without those portable pieces of literary magic. Douglas Kennedy and Matthew D'Abate sit down to discuss the power of the written word, and what it can do.
Life is no fairy tale. Love is a struggle. In our modern world, we seem to have access to everything we want. But we cannot download happiness. The modern romance is an intricate dance, one, often times, fraught with confusion and anxiety. Douglas Kennedy and Matthew D'Abate sit down to discuss the state of modern relationships, and the dangers of the pursuit of happiness.
Nobody enjoys insomnia. Most people just suffer through. Douglas Kennedy turned it into fiction. Matthew D'Abate got a chance to sit down and discuss the perils of sleep deprivation, and the way people can turn misfortune into art.
Paris. It lives in the imagination of people from all over the world. To the outsider, it is the jewel of Western Europe. To the Parisian, it is something much more familiar. Douglas Kennedy and Matthew D'Abate discuss the 'other' side of The City Of Light.