In this episode, Jonathan and the Circe Institute’s David Kern reminisce about the work of the recently deceased Charles Portis. They discuss the connections between fiction and flim-flammery, the role of the ridiculous in comic storytelling, the importance of leaving some work for the reader to do, the world’s smallest perfect man, and one of the world’s most perfect opening sentences.

David Kern heads up the Circe Institute’s Podcast Network. He hosts the Close Reads podcast, The Daily Poem podcast, and the Libromania podcast. A shortened version of this conversation will be posted as an episode of Libromania.