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A Completely Unpretentious Literary Podcast

Episode 47 – Rebecca Coffey, Plus How To Waste Time On The Internet

November 25, 2014 by karenshimmin
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Rebecca-Coffey-297x300Today’s guest, Rebecca Coffey, is a novelist, science journalist, and humorist. She contributes regularly to Scientific American and Discover magazines. She blogs on assorted subjects including sexuality, relationships, social media, and psychology for Psychology Today, and is a frequent contributor to Vermont Public Radio’s drive-time commentary series. Her humor has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Rumpus and other literary magazines. Rebecca lives in Vermont.

Hysterical-cover-72dpiRebecca was in Chicago promoting her novel, Hysterical: Anna Freud’s Story, and stopped by for a chat on her way to Women & Children First Bookstore. We chatted about breaking the rules of journalism, Sigmund Freud’s favorite punch lines, and how she found a niche writing bizarre science stories.

In Rebecca’s words:

“Science writing is fun because the story isn’t always obvious. When you get an assignment, if you were just to come back with the facts, you wouldn’t get a second assignment. You really have to find the story that runs around the assignment.”

Plus, we get the show started by talking about Kenneth Goldsmith’s new college course, titled “Wasting Time on the Internet.” Goldsmith and his students will spend three hours each week in silence, getting lost on the Web. Goldsmith’s aim is to recast the way we view our internet time – to see it as creative, even productive, rather than a waste. But if Web surfing is, as Goldsmith claims, a form of self-expression, we’re not sure we want to know what our Internet browser history has to say about us.

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One Response to “Episode 47 – Rebecca Coffey, Plus How To Waste Time On The Internet”

  1. James J. Niss says:

    wonderful interview! Coffey continues to crack me up and make me think even further outside of any box. The book being discussed (Hysterical) is, not so simply, brilliant.