148. Jonathan Lethem (writer) – Batman's Greatest Enemy

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There’s a famous line from a Bob Dylan song that goes “she’s got everything she needs...she’s an artist...she don’t look back.”
As a person who loves art—music and literature especially—I’ve always been haunted by that line. Does an artist really not look back? Is looking back somehow a threat to creativity? What about Proust? Did he ever look anywhere but back?
My guest today is Jonathan Lethem, one of my very favorite writers since I read his early novel Fortress of Solitude. He’s also the author of Motherless Brooklyn, Dissident Gardens and much more. Lethem is an artist who experiments and explores, playing with forms and genres and trying on new masks, but he also spends a lot of time rummaging through the stacks, unearthing things that are lost or forgotten. His latest book is More Alive and Less Lonely, a collection of essays about books and reading.
Surprise conversation-starter clips in this episode:
Henry Rollins: what is punk?

Michelle Thaller on human cyber-evolution

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