Thu, 13 April 2023
In this episode of the podcast, recorded live at BISR Central as part of our Occasional Evenings series, writer and critic Lucy Ives joins BISR’s Rebecca Ariel Porte, Lauren K. Wolfe, and special guest Sonia Werner for a reading and discussion of Lucy’s latest novel Life Is Everywhere (Graywolf Press, 2022)—an enormously capacious and, perhaps counterintuitively, characteristically “weak” novel. Starting with the question, implicit in Life Is Everywhere, as to what the novel can possibly contain (bodies and feelings? institutions and systems? historical events? speculative counterfactuals? emails and utility bills?), their conversation touches on genre—is it an organizing principle or an awkward limit?—how certain failures in writing are inadvertent strengths, the pleasures of “difficult” novels, unpromising premises, “strong” versus “weak” theory, thinking versus feeling protagonists, the disruptive power of affect, the kinds of knowledge that novels produce, the strangeness of the nearest things, Mrs. Dalloway, Henri Lefebvre, time travel, Aristotle’s poetics as high comedy, and much more.