Episode 210 – Tony Tulathimutte

Virtual Memories Show 210: Tony Tulathimutte

“There’s no way to write about millennials without adopting a comic tone.”

I get over my insecurity about younger authors and talk with Tony Tulathmiutte about his debut novel, Private Citizens! We discuss his critique of the idea of voice-of-a-generation novels, the heavy and weird expectations of being an Asian-American writer, the impossibility of satire, what he got out of his years working in Silicon Valley, writing good bad sex scenes, and his discovery that Jonathan Franzen thinks he uses “overly interesting verbs”. Give it a listen! And go buy Private Citizens!

“I don’t think of writing as a therapeutic activity. It’s more like exhibitionist wallowing.”

“It’s not fair to castigate David Foster Wallace for the purposes to which other people put his writing.”

Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great episodes!

Lots of ways to follow The Virtual Memories Show! iTunes, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud, Facebook, Tumblr, and RSS!

About our Guest

From tonytula.com: “I’ve written for The New York Times, VICE, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, N+1, Playboy, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. I come from the Pioneer Valley in the Bay State, and used to work in Silicon Valley in the Bay Area. For some reason I’ve received an O. Henry Award and a MacDowell Fellowship, and I appeared as a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers. I work in New York.” His new novel is Private Citizens.

Credits: This episode’s music is Nothing’s Gonna Bring Me Down by David Baerwald, used with permission from the artist. The conversation was recorded at Tony’s apartment on a pair of Blue enCORE 200 Microphones feeding into a Zoom H5 digital recorder. I recorded the intro and outro on a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Cloudlifter CL-1 and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack 2×2 USB Recording Interface. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Photo of Mr. Tulathimutte by me. It’s on my instagram.

Episode 135 – Irvine Welsh / Dmitry Samarov

Virtual Memories Show #135:
Irvine Welsh / Dmitry Samarov

“What would young, pre-Trainspotting Irvine Welsh think of you now?”

“He’d think I was a total wanker.”

19879284434_c2b6b7e214_zIrvine Welsh has created unforgettable characters in his novels, beginning with the cast of Trainspotting in 1993. We caught up in his Chicago home and talked about writing, boxing, the art world, the White Sox, the creative flourish that’s seen him publish three novels in four years, the perils of success and exhausting your autobiography, the periods of life he’s interested in writing about, his first meeting with Iggy Pop, his childhood and the school-days’ balance of being a reader and being a jock, the narcissism of online living, Trainspotting over the years, Edinburgh’s failed gentrification, the ways that America’s friendlier than Scotland, and more! Give it a listen!

“I think it’s good for me as a writer not to be hanging out with writers all the time.”

We also talk about his critique of global capitalism, the problems with permanent austerity, American and UK tabloid culture, standing up David Bowie (twice), returning to Ulysses every few years, the ways William S. Burroughs helps rewire his brain, and the great anonymous allure of the first-time novelist.

“Instagram is like Methodone to Twitter’s heroin”

dmitrybw

Then Dmitry Samarov rejoins the show to talk about his memoir-in-progress, his paintings, his latest readings, and his decision to jump off the social network treadmill. This episode also includes my justification for being a New York Yankees fan, as well as my problematic relationship with superhero comics. Give it a listen!

We mention quite a few books in this episode. Here’s they are:

Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great episodes! You might like:

Follow The Virtual Memories Show on iTunes, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and RSS!

About our Guests

Irvine Welsh is the author of Trainspotting, Ecstasy, Filth (adapted for film in 2013), Glue, and Crime, among other works. His latest novel is A Decent Ride. Welsh is also producing movies and writing screenplays. A native of Edinburgh, he lives in Chicago and Miami. You can find a more extensive bio at his website.

Dmitry Samarov was born in Moscow, USSR, in 1970. He emigrated to the United States with his family in 1978. He got in trouble in first grade for doodling on his Lenin Red Star pin and hasn’t stopped doodling since. He graduated with a BFA in painting at printmaking from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993. Upon graduation he promptly began driving a cab — first in Boston, then after a time, in Chicago. He is the author of two books, Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab, and Where To?: A Hack Memoir. Go check out his paintings, and maybe buy some.

Credits: This episode’s music is Nothing’s Gonna Bring Me Down by David Baerwald. The conversations were recorded in the homes of Irvine Welsh and Dmitry Samarov on a pair of Blue enCORE 200 microphones feeding into a Zoom H5 digital recorder. I recorded the intro and outro on the same equipment in a hotel room in Washington, DC. Processing was done in Audacity and Logic Pro.

Unrequired Reading: MARCH!

It’s time for another month’s worth of tweets and funny links, dear readers! Remember, you can keep up with these more easily by following my feed at twitter.com/groth18!

The Things He Carried (he being @acontinuouslean)

* * *

Even in @ArcadiaBroadway I am. yfrog.com/gy1r6hvj

* * *

Great @michaelbierut piece on 15 years of design-work for United.

* * *

EVERYONE has trouble finding their way around #neworleans

* * *

Wisdom from #TomFord: (I still wear shorts, but I’m in the ‘burbs, so hey.)

* * *

NYC: dancing in the ’70s wasn’t all Soul Train

* * *

@jeremoss lays a palimpsest over 7th Ave. bet. 47 & 48: #vanishingNY

* * *

The Arab world’s greatest contribution to society? #Coffee! #justmyopinion

* * *

My top symptom of depression is when I’m convinced I’d fail a #TuringTest. Spambots have it easier than I do

* * *

Kindasorta pet sounds (via @bldgblog) #bringthenoise

* * *

@thebookslut (whom I’m hoping to interview soon for my podcast) on writers and their politics: #KnutthePolarNazi

* * *

I gotta get around to reading #Lanark sometime, since a trusted pal gave it to me a while ago: #andIshouldvisitGlasgow

* * *

Good thing they didn’t goof on @DeadliestCatch: #nabokov

* * *

Explaining the Northern Lights: #auroraborealis (make sure you watch this time-lapse video that shows up at the end)

The Aurora from Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.

* * *

Why do people get angry? #theydriveinNJ #iwouldhaveaskedforHappyGilmore

* * *

Cutest thing ever: greyhound puppy edition #greyhound #sickeninglycute

* * *

Mallrats of 1990: I was no great shakes back then either: #napoleondynamite

* * *

RT @radleybalko – Prosecutor: “You bet your ass I ain’t gonna be mean to Willie Nelson.”

* * *

I did a #screenhijack of the electronic billboard at the Annapolis Mall in ’94 and posted some @danielclowes messages.

* * *

I’m loving me these Out of Print t-shirts: #nakedlunch #mobydick

* * *

“Militant” bombing of bus stop in #Jerusalem: #goodthingitsnotterrorism

* * *

GREAT piece on the big problem with Big Idea books: #jointheclub #iwouldntjoinanyclubthatwouldtakemeasamember

* * *

Holi isn’t the same without #karlpilkington #anidiotabroad

* * *

The (Frank) King of Gift Shops: #gasolinealley

* * *

Fear & Loathing in LV, 40 years later. #hst

* * *

I really gotta get to re-reading #thucydides sometime. http://bit.ly/i6mQmJ

* * *

Coincidentally, I have #Impromptu coming in from @netflix tomorrow: #chopin #liszt

* * *

Cheech & Chong should sue for royalties: #nicedreams

* * *

How to kill a zombie: #themoreyouknow

* * *

No pic of Spencer Tracy playing Ultimate Frisbee? (thanks, @kottke!) #katherinehepburn

* * *

Hey, @kottke! I see your #katherinehepburn and raise you a #farrahfawcett!#sk8ergirl

* * *

Swaziland’s king faces strikes! He should name Richard E. Grant as his successor! #withnailandswazis #wahwah

* * *

Speaking of #richardegrant, let’s have lunch! #whenisthenextbookcomingout

* * *

Is @gsk about to relive #officespace? #ibelieveyouhavemystapler

* * *

Neoconservatives: advocates of a new managerial state. Also, kindasorta fascist?

* * *

@simondoonan on the flattering adjacent and the $12k jacket: #pythonsareexpensive

* * *

@nytimes to conduct digital experiment on Canadians! #greatwhitepaywall #blamecanada

* * *

@gregbeato offers an ode to the mall: #somehowradioshackisstillinbusiness

* * *

Who watches the watch, man? #bespokewatch

* * *

George Michael’s beard: Iron and Wine covers “One More Try”

* * *

My cholesterol dropped 60 points within a year after I got a dog (who needed regular walkies) #gogreyhound

* * *

The bank is closed, bitch! #bankshot #hoopitup #timduncan

* * *

I was so hoping @therealshockg was part of this article on the N. Korean Digital Underground. #humptyhump

* * *

Henry Miller: Brooklynite #tropicofhipster

* * *

Should I take my #coffee more seriously? done and done! #pourover #caffeinedreams

* * *

Unreal City #dubai #moneychangeseverything

* * *

Before/Ater palimpsest pictures of earthquake & tsunami damage in Japan. #disastersunday

* * *

Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, 25 years later. #disastersunday #atomicsafari

* * *

Louisiana gulf coast ecology, post-Katrina & BP: #disastersunday

* * *

Awesome Sam Lipsyte piece on cheating and the new #Monopoly. #goreadTheAsk #nownownow #SamLipsyte

* * *

I’m very happy that there’s a Montaigne renaissance going on. #nowforplutarch

* * *

Via @AlexBalk of @theawl, an encomium for Local Hero, one of the most wonderful movies ever.

* * *

Whither the big box? Wither, the big box!

* * *

Chuck Person had something to do with DEFENSE? I call shenanigans. #firsttimeforeverything #nba #lalakers

* * *

My God, it’s full of stars” #afghanair (whole set here)

* * *

The Torah is wheat, the Bible is not Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. #itrynottodiscussreligiontoooften

* * *

What happens to the Aerotropolises that fail? #justwondering

* * *

New Orleans documentaries, in black and white. #mardigras

* * *

Financial Times = Scientology: “every time you reach one level, you realize there’s another, more expensive level awaiting you.”

* * *

100 Days of Designitude: via @designobserver

* * *

V5 Precise is my office-pen of choice, but I use Pilot G-2 05 for travel: retractable, less leak-prone. #mypenishuge

* * *

Who needs therapy? Here and here – #iprobablydo #drugsandvideogames

* * *

The bottom of the world: beautiful pictures from Antarctica! thx, @in_focus!

* * *

I wondered what became of Mats Wilander: #havegamewilltravel #bywinnebago

* * *

I gotta get out west to In-N-Out and hit up that secret menu. #bestburgerever

* * *

I’ve pretty much bailed on contempo fiction. Does it still suck?

* * *

NYer interview with Tom Stoppard about @arcadiabroadway. #whatiscarnalembrace

* * *

Yay! Drugs cost nil to discover! No wonder R&D productivity is falling apart and FDA approvals are at record lows!

* * *

How To End A Conversation“: I usually feign death.

* * *

I guess I have to catch up on those American Masters docs, huh? #pbs #americanmasters #lovedLOVEDtheschultzone

* * *

“This could be the greatest critical roundtable in Comics Journal history.” #dilbert #noseriouslydilbert

* * *

Ron Rosenbaum on the man who questioned the bomb. #youdroppedabombonme

* * *

#charliesheen via #wittgenstein via @walterkirn

* * *

I used to play the Journey vid just so I could kill #steveperry. #videogamedeaths #nosinistar?