The author of such great novels as A Brief History of Seven Killings will let his readers become his listeners. As the New York Times reports, he and his editor at Riverside Books, Jake Morrisey, will make available the first two episodes of their new spoken word podcast on Monday, January 27.
The series will be called Marlon and Jake Read Dead People, and as the NYT reporter Petr Libbey says, the duo will “strive to breathe life into the literature of the past.”
According to Marlon and his editor, they have been discussing the current podcast idea for a few years now. “People kept walking in on me and Jake having arguments about books,” James said in an interview. “The thing they noticed was that we were always arguing about no-longer-living authors as if they just wrote a book last week.”
The idea behind the podcast is to make the ‘dead’ writers ‘alive’ again. As Morrisey explains, him and James don’t really want to hold an academic discussion about literature in front of microphones, but more so as if two friends are “sitting at a bar talking about their favorite football teams over beers.”
For Marlon, the idea is to avoid “the pitfalls associated with both sides of the ever-churning debate about the status of the literary canon. “Too often the canon means ‘these books are untouchable and let’s talk about them in that way,’” he said. “People fought about Moby-Dick in the 1800s. Why can’t we fight about it now?”