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TMR 12.4: “Never More Than Two Hundred” [FOUR BY FOUR]

This week’s episode kicks off the four-week discussion of Four by Four by Sara Mesa, translated from the Spanish by Katie Whittemore. A great book for our time (for all times) in relationship to power structures and their systems. And whether it’s better to be “free and vulnerable or protected but under control.” In this first episode, Max Besora (Adventures and Misadventures of the Extraordinary and Admirable Joan Orpí, Conquistador and Founder of New Catalonia) talks with Chad about campus novels, the various power relationships in the first section of the novel, the difficulties of translating “culo,” the precision of Mesa’s prose, the way Celia’s and Ignacio’s storylines run in parallel, the two timelines of this section, and much more. Solid ground-setting episode for what promises to be an amazing season.

This week’s music is a little gem from Miley Cyrus called “4×4.”

If you’d prefer to watch the conversation, you can find it on YouTube along with all our past episodes. The next broadcast will be on July 1st. We’ll be talking about pages 87-156 of Four by Four, which is available in bookstores everywhere. (And as an audiobook via Tantor Media!)

Derek Maine will be the special guest next week, and produced this amazing review of the book for his channel. Check it out!

Follow Open Letter, Chad Post, and Brian Wood for random thoughts and information about upcoming guests.

Be sure to order Brian’s book, Joytime Killbox, which is now officially available at better bookstores everywhere thanks to BOA Editions. And you can get 20% off Four by Four by using the code 2MONTH at checkout. (Offer only good in the U.S., since we can’t ship overseas, but to be honest, we can’t ship right now! Order it from Bookshop.org.)

You can also support this podcast and all of Open Letter’s activities by making a tax-deductible donation through the University of Rochester.



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