Sunday, October 22, 2006

Spiegelman, Mouly & Milt

Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly appeared on today's installment of the WNYC radio show "Selected Shorts." This weekly program "features some of the finest artists of the American theater reading contemporary and classic short fiction"; and this episode, entitled "Extreme Writing," focused on "unusual selections." For the first twenty minutes, it featured Spiegelman and Mouly, and their chosen author, Milt Gross. Here's the official description of this segment:
Many of the stories we’ve featured have involved courtship and marriage, but this may be the first occasion on which they played a role in story selection. Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly met when Mouly — a French émigré — started reading graphic novels as a way to learn English, and their courtship involved much reading aloud. Eventually they started their own graphic journal, Raw, from which some of their story selections derived, and their joint sense of the outsize and absurd is evident in the two stories featured on this program.

Milt Gross was a successful cartoonist whose career spanned the period between 1915 and 1950, and was also the author of comic stories written in a sort of fractured Yiddish. (His book titles include Dunk Esk, Famous Fimmales, and Nize Baby). His style is vividly represented by "De Smot Billy Gut," a favorite of host Isaiah Sheffer’s, who reads it.
The show also features a lengthy and hilarious piece written by Dalton Trumbo and read by James Naughton; and Jorge Luis Borges' "Dream Tigers," selected by Jonathan Lethem and read by host Isaiah Sheffer.

You can listen to the entire episode here.

Top: From Gross' Hiawatta witt No Odder Poems, a portion of which was also read on the show. Image from BPIB.

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