- Podcasts in Family
- Stations in Family
Howard Jacobson reflects on his home city's response to the Manchester attack. What confronts the city now, he says, is dealing with the fact that the perpetrator came from within itself. "All our cities shelter the same boy", he writes, "studiously immersed in the same story. And if we didn't know it before, stories can kill". Producer: Adele Armstrong.
The Fearsome Nature of Literary Festivals
As the season of literary festivals gets underway, Howard Jacobson tells us not to be lured by their appearance of being civilized. "The prevailing tone of sweet concord shouldn't be allowed to disguise the violent nature of creativity", he says. They're a fiercely competitive business for writers, he believes. "To write is to reconceive the world and only a God, or someone acting like a God, can do that...You don't want some other two-bit deity coming along and bagging the credit for what you've done". Producer: Adele Armstrong.
In praise of the elite
Howard Jacobson speaks up in defense of the metropolitan liberal elite. He ponders why the word "elitist" has acquired such negative connotations in some fields - but not in others. "It makes no sense to me to love the best when they are footballers or the SAS, but not when they are thinkers or even politicians". Producer: Adele Armstrong.
Howard Jacobson argues that talk of the dangers of artificial intelligence is premature. "The idea that if we feed enough lines of literature into a computer it will eventually be able to write its own Iliad", he writes, "is as preposterous as the old fancy that if a sufficient number of monkeys were given a sufficient number of Olivettis they would eventually hammer out a monkey Macbeth". Producer: Adele Armstrong.
Trust in Voices
A L Kennedy commends paying attention to voices as a way to discern truth telling. "Listening to our media, our public voices, as if we're listening to people in our everyday lives, holding them to that standard and not their own can help us to know when we're being driven towards the sound of a faked emotion or spun a tale." Producer: Sheila Cook.