Words To That Effect: Stories of the Fiction that Shapes Popular Culture.
WTTE is a narrative storytelling show that explores the intriguing places where fiction, history, science, and popular culture intersect and inspire. From the Victorian past to utopian futures, dinosaurs to detectives, zombies to mummies, how does literature shape our understanding of popular culture? Find out more at https://wttepodcast.com. Support the show and get bonus episodes and more by joining HeadStuff+ (https://headstuffpodcasts.com/show/words-to-that-effect) .
Fiction & Food
How do we use fiction in food? What does a character's choice of food reveal about them? Do you simply have to go and make a dish when it's described beautifully in a book?On this very special episode, a collaboration with the wonderful Spice Bags podcast, we discuss everything from 17th century Spanish literature to contemporary American horror, Italian detective novels to Japanese magical realism. Grab yourself a glass of Amarone and have a listen! Support the show and get lots of bonus content by becoming a member of HeadStuff+. Find out more at HeadStuffPodcasts.com
The forest is a place we have very mixed feelings about. Forests can be calm and peaceful, full of ancient and natural beauty.
Until they’re not. The forest, in so many ways, is a place we fear. They are dark and dense and overgrown, all too easy to get lost in. They hold secrets and mysteries, and creatures we’d rather not meet alone, far from home.
And if the monsters of the forest don’t get us, then the forest itself will. The strange, malevolent powers of the trees themselves.
The forest can be a terrifying place. On this week's episode I'm joined by Dr Elizabeth Parker, who guides us through the deep dark woods.
How do we imagine and portray the desert? And what does it say about us and our relationship to each other and, crucially, to the planet we live on?In this, the second in a loosely connected series on places in fiction and popular culture, I chat to Dr Aidan Tynan about deserts in fiction and philosophy, from Mad Max to Burning Man, Nietzsche to Baudrillard, Cormac McCarthy to China Miéville.
In 1905 in Paris, the publisher Pierre Laffite had an idea. His new journal Je Sais Tout had just launched and he was looking for an author who could do for his magazine, what Arthur Conan Doyle’s phenomenally popular Sherlock Holmes had done for The Strand magazine, in London. He turned to the writer Maurice Leblanc and one of the most memorable and successful characters in French popular fiction was born: the gentleman thief Arsène Lupin. Lupin is cunning, sophisticated, quick-witted, a master of disguise, always one step ahead of the police, and a thief of humble origins who steals only from the wealthy upper classes. But why did this gentleman thief achieve such instant and lasting renown? How does he fit into popular crime fiction more widely and how, you may be wondering, did he end up as the basis for one of the most popular shows Netflix has ever made?
Robots as high-tech labour-saving devices, and as usurpers of human jobs. Robots as distinctly Other and as dangerously indistinguishable from humans. Robots as a means of questioning what it is to be human, and highlighting the ethics behind the creation of artificial life.
To help me explore all of this I chatted to a roboticist who also writes about literature, and a literature professor who has worked and published extensively on robotics.
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For links, references, full transcripts and more head to wttepodcast.com
Announcement: WTTE & HeadStuff+
A quick update episode on the new HeadStuff membership platform, HeadStuff+Have a listen to find out more about what's on it and how you can join (although the joining bit is very straightforward - just click here). I'm really excited to be a part of this and I hope if you are a regular listener and would like to support the show, and the network it is a part of, you'll consider becoming a member. Plus you get a load of extra stuff so it's win-win really!
Perfect bitesized fascinations!
I had never listened to a podcast before so I downloaded a few different recommendations to listen to on a flight and Words To That Effect was definitely my favourite. Excellently researched, written and edited, no rambling ego trips into the microphone. Each episode deals with fascinating ideas in areas I would never have thought to look.
Keep up the Good work!
Great podcast! Really informative and the perfect length.