Disaster Artist writer Tom Bissell on bogus authenticity and violence in art

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“If you go through your life expecting moral purity from every artist you love, you’re going to have a very lonely life, aesthetically.” – Tom Bissell

Tom Bissell is an American author, journalist, and critic. He co-authored the book The Disaster Artist, which has been adapted into a movie starring James Franco, Seth Rogen, Dave Franco, and Alison Brie.

In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Tom discuss Metallica and thrash metal (5:25); violence in music and video games (23:30); how one’s relationship to one’s own writing transforms over time (28:10); the shallowness of cultural criticism in social-media (33:55); the dubious concept of “authenticity” as applied to food, music, and travel (42:00); co-writingThe Disaster Artist with actor Greg Sestero, and making sense of The Room (58:50); and finding joy and contentment within the creative process (1:06:00).

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Bands, songs, and albums mentioned

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Tom Bissell’s favorite Metallica albums:

Other books by Tom Bissell:

This episode was sponsored by the Paris Writing Workshop, an intensive one-month course in the artistic heart of Europe.

The Deviate theme music comes from the title track of Cedar Van Tassel’s 2017 album Lumber.

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