A Conversation with Brock Clarke

Sometime ago I saw this article and thought: hey, that sounds like fun! So I slowly went about getting the equipment and software necessary. Soon I had all the tools to attempt my own podcast. But I was a little nervous about entering the territory of Bat Segundo and other masters of the form. Much time passed.

Eventually I summoned up the courage to try it. Inspired by an Brock Clarke’s essay in the Virginia Quarterly, The Novel is Dead, Long Live the Novel, I decided to venture into this uncharted territory. So I sent Brock an email.

He graciously agreed to be my guinea pig and we went about setting a date. Murphy’s Law intervened and as the date approached for our conversation I started having problems with my broadband connection at home. Rather than risk my connection futzing out in the middle of the interview I decided to add another layer of complexity to the whole thing. I actually conducted the interview at a local coffee house. So here I was talking on the phone and recording my first ever podcast using a free Wi-Fi connection on my laptop.

As I mention in the introduction, I would ask for your patience and charity as I attempt to get the hang of this new format. I have no real expertize or experience in this kind of thing so there is bound to be technical and aesthetic issues. My hope is that these will not overshadow the conversation with Brock. As always, feel free to send suggestions and comments my way.

By way of introduction, let me say that the conversation largely centers on Brock’s essay noted above which is in itself partly a reaction to Rachel Donadio’s NYTBR essay from last year entitled Truth Is Stronger Than Fiction. We also discuss a book that plays a prominent role in the essay Heidi Julavits’s 2003 book, The Effect of Living Backwards.

So without further ado, here is the first ever Collected Miscellany Podcast: Click on the graphic below to listen to a conversation with Brock Clarke.


Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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