After about 50 episodes I ran out of steam with this format. I think what I was after was biblioconnection, maybe even bibliotherapy of a sort, and that perhaps needs a different approach.
So the way it works now is that every couple of weeks I choose a short story that speaks to me in a manner that I can’t fully (consciously) comprehend. Stories as koans if you like.
I then read the story for the podcast, and maybe start writing about it a little for myself. At the same time chatting in a kind of freely-associative way with anyone who finds that maybe this particular story speaks to them too.
I guess I’m interested in using literature as ways of meeting people I wouldn’t normally meet and having the kinds of conversations I don’t normally have. The text is a very rich and resonant launchpad for this.
I have always loved conversations where readers use literature in a Rorschach-y way to reveal something new or interesting to themselves. I am very much inspired by something called Reader Response Criticism, which was big in the 60s and 70s, but is not practiced that much anymore.
I first found out about this kind of reading by participating and then leading Get Into Reading groups: a deeply personal and person-centred way of engaging with literary texts and other people.
I really do believe that this is the best way to get the most interesting & fun stuff out of a text as well as each other, and that’s what I continue to try and do with this project.
To contact me: stevewasserman AT gmail.com
Or on Twitter: stevewasserman_
When I’m not reading/writing/making podcasts, you can find me here: http://stevewasserman.co.uk/