Author Archives: Robert Cutforth

About Robert Cutforth

Columnist for LeftLion magazine Freelance writer, urban cyclist, geek, Cannuckian prisoner of Mother England. Hateful of all things James Martin.

The End of The End of All Things

Hello dear listener,

I suppose one or two of you have noticed that there hasn’t been a new podcast in, like, four months which is a bit suspect for a monthly podcast. Let me tell you why, but first, a bit of boring background.

As many of you will know from listening to the podcast itself, The End of All Things literary podcast was created as part of my MA and is solely responsible for the Distinction I received. Goddamn this podcast got a good mark. I cannot remember exactly what the mark was, but my god it was amazing. Like, an A star or whatever they call it in Britain. Thank fuck as well considering how shatteringly shit I did on the actual dissertation (aka my novel).

Speaking of which…

After sprucing up the novel a bit, I sent it around to agents and have had a teensy bit of interest from a few who’ve asked me to “revise and resubmit”. Have a guess how much of that revising I have done? And guess again why the reason the answer to that first question is “very little”? The answer to that second question is, obviously, this podcast.

So this is The End of The End of All Things.

I have met so many great people doing this podcast, not least the listeners who’ve stopped me in the street to tell me how much they like it. And yes, I know that sounds precisely like something Orangehead prickface presidentcunt would say so I feel the need to give full disclosure and say that this has happened exactly six times. Which may not sound like a lot, but it is six more than I had anticipated. Thank you End of All Things SUPERFANS. You know who you are and you are just the best.

The guests have been great as well and it would be unfair to pick a favourite, but it is so obviously Kit de Waal that it almost doesn’t need to be mentioned. Steve Dearden might be second. Oops. Oh well, who cares if other guests are offended, the podcast is over. DEAL WITH IT.

You might be asking… Robert Cutforth why in the hell are you giving up the thing you did well to pursue the thing you are only moderately good at? This is a very good question and one I’ve given a right good ponder, but the truth is…I just like writing better. Scheduling, dealing with Publicists (seriously, what a bunch of gross ego zombies), Interviewing, Editing, Recording the intro, Editing that and Updating the website all take up a huge amount of time, not to mention the time spent updating social media. Oh god, social media. I am the—what is the opposite of “Social Media King”? I just hate twitter and facebook, could you tell? I feel like you could tell. “Social” and “Media” are, like, two of my least favourite things in the world, why would anyone think putting them together would be a good idea? I would have to try really hard to think of two things I hate more than “social” and “media”, but I can’t even be bothered to do that, so you can have what just popped into my head: Racist beetroot.

In all seriousness (here’s the mushy part), it has been mostly a pleasure doing it and thank you to all who gave up their time to come on the podcast, not least my trusty co-host Kate Feld, and more importantly to you, the person who listened to it. I have still got two interviews (Saskia Vogel and the famous Matt Holness interview that I’ve had for months) that I shall release at some point… maybe on the one year anniversary of the Matt Holness interview? That really can’t be that far away, actually.

I know it’s a bit sad when a podcast you kinda like finishes, but hey, there are one or two other literary podcasts out there that are almost as good as this one. I believe you can find them on the internet.

With love,

Rob

PS If you happen to be a publisher or some literary org who wants to set up a podcast and want to helicopter me in to do an amazing interview and then let me bugger off while you do the boring technical bits, I am your huckleberry. My rates are very reasonable.

 

Episode 45 – Live while I’m alive, sleep when I’m dead with Sean O’Brien

In this episode, Rob chats to celebrated polymath writer, Sean O’Brien about short stories, cold spots in houses, postwar bomb sites as playgrounds, ghost stories and Hull. Rob and Kate come to you from the infamous pod yet again after a long break to talk Piers Morgan (gross, we hate him), British winters, park running, bad habits in writing, poetrypoetrypoetry, getting old and sports massages.

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Namechecks:

Piers Morgan (yuck), Comma Press, John Godberg, Elizabeth Bowen, Tony Harrison, Ted Hughes, David Storey, Penguin Random House, Bloodaxe books, Picador, Liverpool University Press, Sidereal Press, Rosie Garland, Stephen King, Phillip Pullman, Waterside Arts, Joanne Harris and The Poetry School

Episode 44 – Letting the light in with Clare Fisher

In this episode, Rob chats to novelist and short story writer, Clare Fisher about writing things that won’t sell, PhDs in failure, Lydia Davis, and being a southern softie living in Leeds (Leeds Leeds). Rob and Kate again come to you live from the infamous Salford pod in the even more infamous Media City. They chat about experimental fiction, Irish writers (again!), famous writers working shit jobs, that awful Rose Tremain interview in the TLS and writing the impossible.

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Links to stuff mentioned in the podcast:

Namechecks:

Eimear McBride, Ian Maleney, Kevin Barry, Claire Louise-Bennett, Mike McCormack, Influx Press, Comma Press, Rosie Garland, Will Self (again, sorry), Rose Tremain, Sandeep Parmar, Lionel Shriver, Kate Tempest, Hollie McNish, Lydia Davis, Sophie Mackintosh, Matthew Holness, Donald Trump (ugh), Jeremy Corbyn (double ugh), Theresa May (oh fuck) and Brexshit.

Episode 43 – Unknown Pleasures with Sophie Mackintosh

In this episode, Rob chats to Booker longlisted novelist and short story writer, Sophie Mackintosh about Joy Division, distrust of technology, the Booker prize (obvs) and being a bit goth. Rob and Kate come to you live from the infamous Salford pod. They chat about the US election, the art of grumbling, the Wu Tang Clan, quantum physics (I know!), the end of hip hop and the crazy government PREVENT policy keeping us from reading revolutionary literature.

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Links to stuff mentioned in the podcast:

The Breakfast Club morning show on Youtube

The powerful force that is Maxine Waters

Namechecks:

Joy Division, JB Priestley, Richard V Hirst, Anna Burns, Maxine Waters, Wu Tang Clan, Will Ashon, Daisy Johnson, John Gribbin, Tania Hershman, Trump (ugh), Norman Geras, Clare Fisher and Megan Hunter

Episode 42 – Literary fiction is an illusion with Joanne Harris

In this episode, Rob chats to Joanne Harris about Norse myths, Child ballads, video games, graphic novels and the perils and joy of having your book optioned by Hollywood. Joanne also talks about the “illusion” of literary fiction. “Plot is the engine that drives the car” (we like her). Rob and Kate have a silly conversation about Canadian sketch comedy, Ramsbottom, gothic tales and AFC Wimbledon. Rob sings a stupid song.

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Links to stuff mentioned in the podcast:

The Terrier Song as it is meant to sound

Lost in Vegas review Holy Wars by Megadeth

Namechecks:

Bruce McCulloch, Kevin Duffy, Northern Lights WRITERS Conference, Adam Farrer, Sophie Mackintosh, Richard V Hirst, The Portico Library, First Draft Cabaret nights, Doctor Who, The Delightful Sausage, Gorilla Nightclub, AFC Wimbledon, Orion Publishing, Gollancz Publishing, Francis Child, Neil Gaiman, Marvel Comics, Harvey Weinstein (ugh), Hugh Howey, Anouchka Harris, Kit Golden and David Brown

Episode 41 – The Blancmange Antidote with Kevin Duffy from Bluemoose Books

In this episode, Rob chats to Kevin Duffy from Bluemoose Books about the trials of independent publishing, the effects of Brexit on writers, the problem with agents, getting your authors pinched, assemby line blancmange books pumped out by big publishing and Hebden Bridge. Rob and Kate talk about Not the Not the Booker prize, Jacob Rees-Mogg, William Shatner singing O Canada, Feminism and Jeremy Clarkson. Rob forgets to edit out the bit where he wishes Boris Johnson dead (I don’t really).

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Links to stuff mentioned in the podcast:

William Shatner sings O Canada

Namechecks:

Grayson Perry, Eley Williams, Eimear McBride, Michael Stewart, Ronan Hession, Benjamin Myers, Alastair Sutcliffe, Jenn Ashworth (again), Deborah Levy, Hamish Hamilton, Stefan Tobler at And Other Stories, Dead Ink, William Shatner, Lara Feigel, Doris Lessing, Jeremy Clarkson, Phillip Pullman, Joanne Harris

Episode 40 – Mixing it up with Joanna Walsh

In this episode, Rob chats to Joanna Walsh about mixing narrative forms, autofiction, the perils of using material from your own life in your work, hardback fetishes, Kafka’s letters, the beauty of the online relationship, and, oddly, Airbnb. Rob and Kate talk about the joy of quitting, going native, Janeane Garofalo, sex shops and douchbag commercials. Yes, you read that right.

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Links to stuff mentioned in the podcast:

The Seinfeld episode the much maligned jazz voice added to the theme song

The infamous Summer’s Eve douche commercial

Namechecks:

AM Holmes, Janeane Garofalo, Claire Louise Bennett, Anne Carson, FC United, Sharon Olds, Jon McGregor (again), Chris Kraus, Anne Boyer, Vahni Capideo, Tony White, Andre Breton and Will Self (again)

Episode 39 – Too funny and Too Irish with Caimh McDonnell

In this episode, Rob chats to the very successful self-published novelist Caimh McDonnell about (surprise surprise) self-publishing, stand-up comedy, agent merry-go-rounds, MAs in Creative Writing (yes, again) and his very funny quadrilogy of comic Crime novels. Rob and Kate talk Writers’ Mental Health (or lack thereof), Good literary agencies, death studies, the corporate elite and (just for a change) working class writers.

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Links to stuff mentioned in the podcast:

Namechecks:

Nikesh Shukla, Julia Kingsford, David Hayden, Adam O’Riordon, Nicholas Royle, Ben Myers, Stephen King, Scott Pack, Rick O’Shea

Episode 38 – Living in a Dystopia with Danny Denton

In this episode, Rob chats to Danny Denton about Non-spaces, reviews, experimental fiction, Irish writers and his incredible debut novel The Earlie King and the Kid in Yellow. Rob and Kate talk personal attacks in reviews, London-centric publishing, Masterclasses v Workshops, working class writers, being broke and vaping.

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Links to stuff mentioned in the podcast:

 

Namechecks:

Julie Myerson, Sharlene Teo, Rebecca Watts, Hollie McNish, Rupi Kaur, Kate Tempest, Picador, Don Paterson, The Castle courses, PN Review, Northern Short Story Festival, LitReactor, The Poetry School, Max Porter, Cheetham library, Megan Hunter, Joanna Walsh, Becky Thomas, And Other Stories, Tilted Axis, Dead Ink, Comma,

Episode 37 – Half Overheard Secrets with Rosie Garland

In this episode, Rob chats to Rosie Garland about family secrets, Morning Pages, Vampire Queens, Time-travelling Suffragettes, Rock and roll stardom and her latest novel The Night Brother. Rob and Kate talk Gopher museums, Rainbow unicorns, Curmudgeonly bitches and, oh yeah, writing stuff. Special appearances by Very Loud Music Man and Reversing Lorry.

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Links to stuff mentioned in the podcast:

Namechecks:

Sharon Olds,  Julia Cameron, Maria Fusco, Rachel Genn, May Lan Tan, Joanna Walsh, Dmitra Xidous, Stella Duffy, Kate Bornstein, Rose Collis, Mari Lloyd, The March Violets, Eddie Cantor