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Hosted by Whitney Terrell and V.V. Ganeshananthan, fiction/non/fiction interprets current events through the lens of literature, and features conversations with writers of all stripes, from novelists and poets to journalists and essayists.Read more »
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23: James Traub and Margot Livesey on Decency vs. Moral Weakness
In this episode of the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast, writers James Traub and Margot Livesey discuss the idea of morally weak characters with hosts V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell. In part one, Traub talks moral weakness, the concept of decency in the public sphere, and his recent Atlantic article about the Strzok hearing. Livesey explores the morally weak character in her novel Mercury, fiction and moral failings in the private sphere, and famously flawed characters in literary history.
Readings • “[Decency Loses Its Moral Force](https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/07/have-they-no-sense-of-decency/565415/)” by James Traub • “[Selfishness Is Killing Liberalism](https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/liberalism-trump-era/553553/)” by James Traub • [John Quincy Adams: Militant Spirit](https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780465093830) by James Traub • [The Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing](https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781941040683) and [Mercury](https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062437501) by Margot Livesey • 12 Angry Men by Sidney Lumet • [On Liberty](https://www.gutenberg.org/files/34901/34901-h/34901-h.htm) by John Stuart Mill • [All The King’s Men](https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780156004800?aff=PublishersWeekly) by Robert Penn Warren • [Put Out More Flags](https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781619698611?aff=) by Evelyn Waugh • [Homage to Catalonia](https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780156421171) by George Orwell • (https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/326569/1984-by-george-orwell-with-a-foreword-by-thomas-pynchon/9780452284234/) by George Orwell • Moby-Dick by Herman Melville • [The Good Soldier](https://www.gutenberg.org/files/2775/2775-h/2775-h.htm) by Ford Madox Ford • The criticism of F. R. Leavis • “[The Interview](https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1957/07/27/the-interview-4)” by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala • [Giovanni’s Room](https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781101907740) by James Baldwin • [All the Kings Men](https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780156004800?aff=PublishersWeekly) by Robert Penn Warren • [Things Fall Apart](https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780385474542) by Chinua Achebe • [Invisible Man](https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780679732761) by Ralph Ellison • “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor • “[Drinking Coffee Elsewhere](https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2000/06/19/drinking-coffee-elsewhere)” by ZZ Packer • [Rebecca](https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780380730407) by Daphne du Maurier • [A Passage to India](https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780156711425) by E. M. Forster • Magneto from The X-Men • [The Stanford prison experiment](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment)Read more »