300 Cultural Icons: Great Artists, Writers & Thinkers in Their Own Words



Great writers, dazzling filmmakers and musicians, brilliant philosophers and scientists — you can now hear and see them in their own words. Here we present audio and video that captures the words of our greatest cultural icons.

  • Allen, WoodyVideo – The neurotic New York filmmaker hosts the Reverend Billy Graham in an unlikely conversation.
  • Apollinaire, GuillaumeAudio – Reads his famous poem “Le pont Mirabeau” from Alcools. 1913.
  • Ashbery, JohnAudio – The American Pulitzer Prize-winning poet reads a number of his poems from the 1950s to 1970s.
  • Asimov, IsaacVideo – Sci-fi writer shares insights on science, computing, religion, population growth and the universe.
  • Auden, W.H.Audio – Reads lines from his poems at the 92nd Street Y in NYC. 1972.
  • Auster, PaulAudio – Reads from his novel Book of Illusions at The University of Pennsylvania.
  • Baez, Joan - Video – One of our great folk singers filmed in 1958, when only 17, playing at Club 47 in Cambridge, Mass.
  • Baldwin, James - Video – One of America’s best writers declares independence from some of the more troubling assumptions embedded in the English language.
  • Bartók, BélaAudio – Interview recorded in 1944 as part of the “Ask the Composers” series.
  • Bass, Saul - Video – Iconic designer on money, quality work & his creative legacy.
  • Bradbury, Ray - Video – The author of Fahrenheit 451 talks about why literature is the safety valve of all civilization.
  • Brando, Marlon - Video – Talks about Civil Rights with James Baldwin, Harry Belafonte, Charlton Heston, Joseph L. Mankiewicz and Sidney Poitier.
  • Brando, Marlon - Video – A 23 year old Brando screen tests for an early and eventually abandoned version of Rebel Without a Cause. 1947.
  • Beckett, SamuelVideo – Rare footage of the avant-garde Irish writer.
  • Bellow, SaulAudi0 – The Nobel Prize-winning author reads from Humboldt’s Gift (1988).
  • Bergman, Ingmar - Video – The Swedish director makes a lengthy appearance on The Dick Cavett Show in 1971.
  • Bernstein, Leonard - Video – The American conductor breaks down the making of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony on the mid-1950s television program Omnibus.
  • Bloom, Harold - Audio – The esteemed Yale literary critic talks in interview about the Ghastly Decline of the Humanities and Obama’s poetry.
  • BonoVideo – Lead singer of U2/philanthropist tells UPenn graduates “To pick a fight, Get in it.” (2004)
  • BonoAudio/iTunes – A lengthy interview conducted by Jann Wenner, founder of Rolling Stone magazine.
  • Borges, Jorge LuisVideo – Argentina’s favorite son featured in documentary called Jorge Luis Borges: The Mirror Man.
  • Botton, Alain de - Video – A 38 minute look at why pessimism could be a useful approach to living life, from one of the best popularizers of philosophy.
  • Bowie, David - Video – Sings “Little Drummer Boy” with Bing Crosby in 1977. Unexpected pairing.
  • Bowie, David - Video - Original music video for Space Oddity from Bowie’s promotional film, ‘Love You Till Tuesday’, released in 1969.
  • Boyle  T. CoraghessanAudio – Reads the short story “Bullet in the Brain” by Tobias Wolff.
  • Brown, JamesVideo – The Godfather of Soul adapts “Sex Machine” to sell miso soup in a Japanese commercial. (1992)
  • Buckley, William F. - Video – Conservative doyen William F. Buckley says he flogged himself to get through Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.
  • Buckley, William F.Video – Threatens to smash Noam Chomsky in the face. 1969.
  • Bukowski, CharlesAudio – Reads his poem “Something For The Touts, The Nuns, The Grocery Clerks, And You.”
  • Buñuel, Luis - Video – Surrealist filmmaker speaks about his collaboration with Salvador Dali on Chien andalou.
  • Burroughs, William S. - Video – The great beat writer, 81 years old in this video, resists literary convention and shoots Shakespeare.
  • Burroughs, William S.Video – The creator of experimental novels demonstrates his art of cut-up writing.
  • Byrne, David - Video – Talking Heads singer tells TED audience how architecture helped music evolve.
  • Capote, TrumanAudio – Reads from his 1958 novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
  • Carlin, George - Video – The master riffs through his “Modern Man” routine during his last appearance on The Tonight Show.
  • Chandler, Raymond - Audio - America’s foremost writer of hard-boiled detective fiction in conversation with Ian Fleming, James Bond author. 1958.
  • Chomsky, NoamAudio/Video – A vast media collection focused on Chomsky and his views on political issues.
  • Chomsky, Noam - Video – The MIT prof talks linguistics with Ali G. Good for a big laugh.
  • Clapton, EricVideo – Back in 1968, a young Eric Clapton explains the elements of his sound.
  • Clarke, Sir Arthur C.Video – The futurist presents a film about Benoît B. Mandelbrot, the father of fractals.
  • Clarke, Sir Arthur C.Video – The author predicts the future in 1964, and nails it.
  • Cleese, JohnVideo – One of the founding members of Monty Python talks about the origin of creativity.
  • Coelho, PauloVideo – The author of The Alchemist, a massive bestseller, says why the road to success runs right through failure.
  • Cohen, Leonard - Audio – Great singer/songwriter reads several poems and performs one song that would become an all-time classic. 1966.
  • Cohen, Leonard - Video – Reads “The Future” at the beginning of a 20 minute interview.
  • Colbert, Stephen - Video – Speaking at Book Expo America, Colbert pumps his book, I Am America (And So Can You!), and spars with Khaled Hosseini.
  • Colbert, StephenVideo – The real Colbert dishes out wisdom & laughs at Northwestern graduation.
  • C0ltrane, John - Video - Trane performs “My Favorite Things,” literally and figuratively breathing new life into the soprano saxophone. 1961.
  • Conan Doyle, ArthurVideo – Revisits the backstory to Sherlock Holmes (1910).
  • Coppola, Francis Ford - Video – The director recounts how The Godfather was almost made without Marlon Brando.
  • Costell0, ElvisVideo – Sings “Penny Lane” for Paul McCartney and President Obama. Love the version.
  • Cummings, EE - Audio – The poet reads “Somewhere I Have Never Travelled” and also “Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town.”
  • Czikszentmihalyi, Mihaly - Video – The famed psychologist talks about creativity, flow and the source of happiness.
  • Dalai Lama - Video – The Tibetan spiritual leader offers an Introduction to Buddhism at Emory University.
  • Dali, Salvador - Video – Surrealist artist appears on “What’s My Line?” (1952)
  • Dali, SalvadorVideo – The surrealist artist gets surreal on a younger Mike Wallace. TV interview was recorded in 1958.
  • Davis, Miles - Video - Davis and John Coltrane playing a nice rendition of “So What,” the leadoff tune from Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue (1959).
  • Dawkins, RichardVideo – The Oxford biologist debates atheism with Christian mathematician John Lennox.
  • Dawkins, RichardVideo – Talks about the awe of life and science in a great lecture from 1991.
  • Dawkins, Richard - Video – Debates Alister McGrath, Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford University, about the existence (or non-existence) of God.
  • Dean, James - Video – Clashes with Ronald Reagan in newly discovered footage from 1954.
  • Depp, Johnny - Video – The versatile actor reads letter from Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.
  • Diamond, Jared - Video – The author of Guns, Germs & Steel offers a lecture at USC on the Evolution of Religion.
  • Diaz, Junot -Vide0 – Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao speaks about his book at Google.
  • Didion, Joan – Audio – Didion talks about her influential memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking.
  • Dietrich, MarleneVideo – The German star screen tests for The Blue Angel in 1929, right before becoming an international star.
  • Disney, Walt - Video – The father of Mickey Mouse introduces the “super cartoon camera” that revolutionized animation.
  • Dylan, BobVideo – Performs “The Times They Are A-Changin” at the White House.
  • Edison, ThomasAudio – The inventor recites “Mary Had a Little Lamb” in the late 1870s. One of the early recordings of the human voice.
  • Egan, Jennifer - Video – Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist talks about A Visit from the Goon Squad at Google.
  • Einstein, Albert – Video – The great physicist gives a speech. The occasion is unknown.
  • Einstein, AlbertAudio – Explains the meaning of E=mc².
  • Eliot, T.S. – Audio – Reads his 1922 poem, “The Waste Land,” considered a modernist masterpiece.
  • Eliot, T.S.Audio – Reads “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” accompanied by Portishead.
  • Ellington, DukeVideo – The jazz legend appears in a video explaining how records were actually recorded, plated and pressed.
  • Ellroy, James - Video – The crime writer tells you how he goes about writing historical fiction.
  • Eugenides, Jeffrey - Audio – The Pulitzer Prize-winning author reads “Spring Fugue” by Harold Brodkey.
  • Faulkner, WilliamAudio – 28 hours of Faulkner recordings from the University of Virginia.
  • Faulkner, WilliamAudio – Reads from As I Lay Dying.
  • Fey, TinaVideo – SNL star and 30 Rock creator brings her Bossypants book tour to Google.
  • Feynman, RichardVideo – The Nobel Prize-winning physicist gives lectures at Cornell in 1964. Bill Gates posts them online.
  • Feynman, Richard - Video – The physicist hosts the BBC program Fun to Imagine, which uses physics to explain how the everyday world works. (1983)
  • Feynman, Richard - Video - Produced in 1981 by the BBC and PBS, the show features Feynman talking in a very personal way about the joys of scientific discovery.
  • Feynman, RichardVideo – Now he plays the bongos and sings praise to orange juice.
  • Fitzgerald, F. Scott - Reads lines from Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale and Shakespeare’s Othello.
  • Ford, RichardAudio – The author of Independence Day reads “The Reunion” by John Cheever.
  • Frank, Anne - Video – It is the only known footage of Anne Frank, author of the world’s most famous diary, and it’s now online.
  • Franklin, Aretha - Video – An American treasure sings “My Country, Tis of Thee” at President Obama’s Inauguration.
  • Frankl, Victor - Video - Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor on Man’s Search for Meaning.
  • Franzen, JonathanAudio – One of America’s hottest writers reads “Love Trouble Is My Business” by Veronica Geng.
  • Freud, SigmundAudio - The Only Known Recording of His Voice, 1938
  • Freud, SigmundVideo - Home movies provide a rare glimpse of Freud’s private life.
  • Friedman, MiltonVideo – Influential economist offers defense of capitalism and greed in 1979 on Phil Donahue Show.
  • Fry, StephenVideo – British writer and actor offers some pearls of wisdom in “What I Wish I Had Known When I Was 18.”
  • Fry, Stephen Video – Gets animated about language.
  • Fry, Stephen - Video – Tells us his thoughts on philosophy and unbelief.
  • Gaiman, Neil - Video – The British writer offers a New Year’s Benediction in January 2010. Recorded at Symphony Hall in Boston.
  • Gandhi, MahatmaVideo - The first recorded video (with sound) of Mahatma Gandhi. Shot sometime before 1947.
  • Gehry, FrankVideo/Audio – Two towering California artists, the architect Frank Gehry and the composer/conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, discuss their work.
  • Gibson, William - Video – The Father of Cyberpunk reads from his novel Spook Country in Second Life.
  • Gilbert, Elizabeth - Video – Author of Eat, Pray, Love talks about writers, their “genius,” and the expectations that we place on it.
  • Gilliam, Terry - Video - Monty Python animator/cast member shows you how to make your own cutout animation.
  • Ginsberg, AllenAudio – Multiple readings by the Beat writer spanning several decades.
  • Ginsberg, Allen -Video – The Beat poet takes a tugboat ride, 1969.
  • Ginsberg, AllenVideo – Face to Face with Jeremy Isaacs in 1995.
  • Glass, Ira - Video – The host of This American Life talks about the art of storytelling.
  • Godard- Jean-Luc -Video – One of the driving forces behind La Nouvelle Vague cinema in conversation with Woody Allen.
  • Gould, GlennVideo – A young Gould plays Bach movingly.
  • Gould, GlennVideo – An older Gould performs Bach’s Goldberg Variations in 1981.
  • Greenaway, Peter -Video – The film director presents a lecture “Nine Classic Paintings Revisited” at UC Berkeley.
  • Havel, Václav - Audio – Speaks at Columbia; Revisits the Velvet Revolution.
  • Hawking, StephenAudio – The physicist tells us to abandon Earth or face extinction.
  • Hemingway, ErnestAudio – The great American novelist reads from his work “In Harry’s Bar in Venice.”
  • Hemingway, ErnestAudio – The novelist records his Nobel Prize acceptance speech from Havana, Cuba. 1954
  • Hendrix, Jimi - Video – Guitar hero plays Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in June, 1967, right after the album came out.
  • Henson, Jim - Video – The legendary puppeteer shows you how to make your own puppets. A 15 minute primer. (1969)
  • Hersh, Seymour - Video – The famed investigative journalist on Abu Ghraib, My Lai, and Beyond.
  • Herzog, WernerVideo – The great filmmaker in conversation with another one, Errol Morris. At Brandeis University, 2007.
  • Herzog, WernerAudio – Herzog in conversation with Cormac McCarthy. High point: Herzog reads a passage from McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses.
  • Hitchcock, AlfredAudio – Francois Truffaut, legendary French director, conducted 12 hours of interviews with Hitchcock in 1962.
  • Hitchcock, Alfred - Video – The director recalls working with Salvador Dali on Spellbound, and Dali’s memorable dream sequence.
  • Hitchcock, Alfred - Video – Rare interview conducted with the filmmaker by Tom Snyder in 1973.
  • Hitchens, Christopher - Video – The essayist/journalist/critic responds to Reddit user questions.
  • Hitchens, Christopher - Video –  Revises the Ten Commandments.
  • Hitchens, Christopher - Video – A well known supporter of the Iraq War gets water boarded to decide whether it is torture or not.
  • Hitchens, Christopher - Video – Goes head to head with Dinesh D’Souza in a debate about religion/atheism.
  • Holiday, Billie - Video – The great jazz vocalist sings “Strange Fruit.” TIME called it the song of the century in 1999.
  • Holly, BuddyAudio – His first recording at age 12.
  • Hopkins, AnthonyVideo - The great actor is well versed in the work of fellow Welshman Dylan Thomas. Reads “Do not go gentle into that good night.”
  • Hopper, DennisVideoEasy Rider star reads Rudyard Kipling on Johnny Cash Show. 1970.
  • Horne, Lena - Video – The actress appears on “What’s My Line?” in 1958.
  • Horowitz, Vladimir Vide0 – The great Russian pianist returns to Moscow in 1986. Plays Mozart.
  • Hurston, Zora Neale - Video – The author sings ‘Uncle Bud,’ a popular song in the South in 1939.
  • Huston, John - Video – The filmmaker (The Maltese Falcon, The Asphalt Jungle) lives the good life in his Irish castle. 1966.
  • Huxley, AldousAudio – The author himself narrates a dramatized version of his novel Brave New World.
  • Huxley, Aldous - Video – The author warns of dictatorship in America.
  • Huxley, AldousVideo – Presents “The Ultimate Revolution” at UC Berkeley, 1962. Warns of those who will terrorism and pharmaceuticals to create willing slaves out of the population.
  • Ionesco, Eugène Video - French absurdist playwright interviewed in 1961.
  • Irving, JohnVideo – The bestselling writer gives advice to aspiring novelists.
  • Jobs, SteveVideo – In one of our favorite graduation speeches, the Apple CEO tells Stanford students about his philosophy of life. Stay hungry, stay foolish.
  • Jobs, Steve - Video – The Apple founder demos the first Mac in 1984.
  • Jobs, Steve - Video – Talking about what it was like to work with iconic designer Paul Rand.
  • Jones, James EarlAudio - Jones reads passages from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” in 1973. From 92nd St. Y in NYC.
  • Jones, James EarlVideo – Also reads Othello at White House Poetry Jam.
  • Joyce, JamesAudio – A rare audio recording of James Joyce reading from Finnegans Wake.
  • Joyce, James - Video – Rare footage of James in Paris during 1920s.
  • Jung, Carl -Video – The famous psychologist tells us why death is a fulfillment, rather than a negation, of life.
  • Karajan, Herbert von - Video – The conductor leads the Berlin Philharmonic through Beethoven’s masterpiece circa 1966.
  • Kasparov, GarryVideo –  Talks Chess, Technology and a Little Life at Google
  • Kaufmann, Walter - Audio – Eminent philosopher lectures on Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Sartre (1960)
  • Keller, Helen - Video - Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan appear in a rare piece of footage from the 1930s.
  • Kerouac, JackVideo – Meets up with the infant terrible of the conservative movement, William F. Buckley. (1962)
  • Kerouac, Jack - Video – Reads from his generation-defining novel On the Road.
  • Kesey, KenAudio/Video – Animated video features audio from Kesey’s first acid trip at government sponsored research trial.
  • Kiefer, AnselmVideo – The German painter creates his world of ruination before your eyes.
  • Lacan, Jacques - Video – The psychoanalysis rock star gives a public lecture at The Catholic University of Louvain in 1972.
  • Lang, FritzVideo - Director Fritz Lang discusses violence in film.
  • Leary, Timothy - Video – The Harvard psychologist, LSD proponent gets interviewed from prison during the 1970s.
  • Lee, Bruce - Video – Martial arts star Bruce Lee auditions for The Green Hornet (1964).
  • Lee, BruceVideo – The young actor appears in his first and only TV interview in December 1971.
  • Lee, SpikeVideo/Audio – In conversation with Paul Holdengräber at The New York Public Library.
  • Lennon, JohnAudio – Shortly after The Beatles broke up, John Lennon conducted a 3 hour interview with Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner.
  • Lennon, JohnVideo – The Beatle and Yoko Ono appear on The Dick Cavett Show in 1971.
  • Lennon, John -Video – Footage recaptures the “bed-ins” that John and Yoko famously staged in Montreal and Amsterdam in 1969 to protest the Vietnam War.
  • Lessing, Doris - Video – Reacts to winning the Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • Lévy, Bernard-HenriAudio/Video - France’s “rock-star philosopher” debates Slavoj Žižek, the Slovanian “Elvis of cultural theory.
  • Lynch, David - Video – The filmmaker interviews Paul McCartney. The subject? Meditation.
  • Lynch, David - Video – Lists his favorite movies and filmmakers.
  • Mailer, NormanVideo – The controversial writer in conversation with another controversial writer, Martin Amis. 1991.
  • Mailer, NormanVideo – Famously feuds with Gore Vidal on The Dick Cavett Show in 1971.
  • Mailer, Norman - Video – The great writer and boxing enthusiast revisits the Rumble in the Jungle: Muhammad Ali v. George Foreman.
  • Mandela, Nelson - Video – His first interview ever on TV. Recorded May, 1961.
  • Martin, Steve - Video – Brilliant comedian writes song for hymn-deprived atheists.
  • McFerrin, BobbyVideo – The singer shows the power of the pentatonic scale in a fun video.
  • McLuhan, Marshall - Video – Debates the meaning of the Digital Age with Norman Mailer in 1968.
  • McLuhan, MarshallVideo -  The World is a Global Village.
  • Miller, Arthur - Video – The playwright (Death of a Salesman, The Crucible) talks about his experience with McCarthyism/anti-communism in America. 1971.
  • Miller, HenryVideo – The novelist Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn), then 81 years old, reminisces about his difficult early life in New York.
  • Morrison, ToniVideo - Nobel Prize winning novelist Toni Morrison expands on the themes in her novel Love.
  • Morrison, ToniVideo/Audio – In conversation with Fran Lebowitz at the New York Public Library.
  • Morris, ErrolVideo/Audio – Filmmaker talks with Philip Gourevitch about what actually happened at Abu Ghraib prison.
  • Murray, BillVideo – The funny man reads poetry, including Billy Collins, at a construction site.
  • Murray, Bill - Video – Reads more Collins poetry (“Forgetfulness”) at the 16th Annual Poets House Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • Nabokov, Vladimir - Video – The Russian author marvels over different Lolita book covers.
  • Nabokov, VladimirAudio – In a series of BBC interviews from 1969, Nabokov talks about his view of other writers and the difference between genius and talent.
  • Nabokov, Vladimir - Video – A mid 1950s interview with Vladimir Nabokov and Lionel Trilling conducted soon after the publication of Lolita (1955).
  • Nabokov, VladimirAudio - Nabokov reads at The 92nd Street Y. Includes selections from Lolita and Pale Fire.
  • Newman, Paul - Video – Screentests for role in East of Eden with James Dean.
  • Newman, PaulVideo – The star hangs out with other iconic stars (Natalie Wood, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, and Rock Hudson) at the beach in Malibu, 1965.
  • Nicholson, Jack - Video – The actor puts his money and star power behind hydrogen powered Chevys in 1978. And he drives one too.
  • O’Brien, Conan - Video – The red-headed comedian pays a hilarious visit to Google.
  • O’Brien, ConanVideo – Now delivers the Dartmouth commencement address, 2011. The best address of the year.
  • O’Connor,  FlanneryAudio - Reads “A Good Man is Hard to Find” at Vanderbilt University, 1959.
  • O’Keeffe, Georgia - Video –  Footage of the 92 year old Georgia O’Keeffe taken in and around her home in New Mexico.
  • Page, JimmyVideo - Jimmy Page, 13, Plays Guitar on BBC Talent Show (1957). Later becomes Led Zeppelin guitarist.
  • Page, Larry - Video – Google co-founder/CEO returns to U. Michigan to give 2009 commencement speech.
  • Pamuk, OrhanAudio – The Nobel Prize-winning author from Turkey reads “My Russian Education” by Vladimir Nabokov.
  • Pavarotti, LucianoVideo – Sings “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” with the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Check it.
  • Pennebaker, DA - Video – The director of the classic 1967 Bob Dylan documentary Don’t Look Back talks with music critic Greil Marcus.
  • Picasso, Pabl0 - Video - Picasso at his home in Vallauris, painting on glass with a camera rolling on the other side. (1950)
  • Pinker, Steven - Video – Harvard linguist and cognitive scientist explains how innuendo makes the world work.
  • Plath, SylviaVideo – Reads her poem “Daddy,” written on October 12, 1962, shortly before her death, and published posthumously in Ariel in 1965.
  • Plath, Sylvia - Video – Reads “Ariel.”
  • Polanski, Roman - Video – On making his classic 70s film Chinatown.
  • Pollock, JacksonVideo – The short film Jackson Pollock 51 features the abstract expressionist painter up close, painting on glass.
  • Power, Samantha - Video – Harvard prof and Pulitzer Prize-winning author gives graduation speech at Pitzer, 2008.
  • Pound, EzraAudio – A rich collection of audio recordings of Ezra Pound is now online thanks to U. Pennsylvania.
  • Rand, AynVideo – Early in his career, Mike Wallace sits down and interviews the author of Atlas Shrugged. (1959)
  • Rand, AynVideo – Circa 1979, Rand tells talk show host Phil Donahue all about her atheist views.
  • Rauschenberg, Robert -Video – Tells of how he knocked on Willem De Kooning’s door and flat-out asked the master for an original drawing – so he could erase it.
  • Reed, Lou - Video - Between 1964 and 1966, Andy Warhol shot close to 500 short movies of friends, celebrities, models. Along with Reed, you will find Nico, Dennis Hopper, and others.
  • Reed, LouVideo – A very hip and blonde Lou Reed sings Sweet Jane in Paris, 1974.
  • Reinhardt, Django - Video - Django, the great jazz guitarist, performs “J’Attendrai” (I Will Wait) in 1939.
  • Richards, KeithVideo – The Rolling Stones’ guitarist interviewed in a less usual setting, The New York Public Library.
  • Rogers, Mr.Video – The children’s television icon goes to Washington to explain the importance of funding for public television. 1964.
  • Roth, PhilipVideo – The author of Portnoy’s Complaint dispels myths about aging.
  • Roth, PhilipVideo – The celebrated American novelist talks about the myths of aging.
  • Rowling, JK - Video – Author of the Harry Potter series imparts wisdom to Harvard’s graduating class in 2008.
  • Rowling, JK - Video – Gives a public reading of the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
  • Rushdie, SalmanVideo – A wide-ranging conversation with the Indian-British novelist best known for Midnight’s Children and Satanic Verses.
  • Rushdie, Salman - Video – Talks at Google about how he wrote his novel, The Enchantress of Florence: A Novel.
  • Rushdie, SalmanAudioVideo – In conversation with Jeffrey Eugenides, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist.
  • Russell, Bertrand - Video – The British philosopher sends a message to people living 1,000 years from now.
  • Russell, Bertrand Video – Explains why he doesn’t believe in God.
  • Russell, Kurt - Video – Auditions for the role of Han Solo in Star Wars.
  • Sagan, Carl - Video – His last TV interview.
  • Sandel, Michael - Video – The Harvard philosopher on the lost art of democratic debate.
  • Sandel, MichaelVideo – One of the most popular Harvard courses, Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?, now appears online.
  • Sandburg, Carl - Video – The poet appears on “What’s My Line?” in 1960.
  • Sapolsky, Robert - Video – Leading biologist demystifies human behavior in free course.
  • Schoenberg, Arnold - Audio - The Austrian composer discusses art, music, etc.
  • Schnabel, JulianVideo – The artist/filmmaker explains how he overcomes creative ruts.
  • Scorsese, Martin - Video – The legendary filmmaker picks his favorite gangster films.
  • Sedaris, David - Audio/iTunes – The funny man reads his story “Of Mice and Men” from When You are Engulfed in Flames.
  • Sedaris, David - Audio – Reads “Solution to Saturday’s Puzzle” from When You Are Engulfed in Flames.
  • Searle, John Audio – The UC Berkeley philosopher offers three free courses online.
  • Seeger, Pete - Video – The great American folk singer talks about his classic song, Turn! Turn! Turn!.
  • Seeger, Pete - Video – The folk giant, at 91, performs BP protest song.
  • Segovia, Andrés - Video - Father of classical guitar plays one of his favorites, “The Legend of Asturias.”
  • Sellers, Peter - Video – The British comedian reads lyrics from The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night in Shakespearean mode. (1964)
  • Serling, RodVideo – The host/creator of The Twilight Zone tells students where ideas come from.
  • Shakespeare, William - Video - 20 minute video features Prof. Stanley Wells talking about the Cobbe portrait, and why it’s believed to present the real Shakespeare.
  • Silverstein, ShelVideo – The children’s author narrates a short film based on his famous book, The Giving Tree. (1964)
  • Simon, David - Video – The creator of The Wire sits down to talk with Bill Moyers.
  • Singer, Peter - Video – The Australian philosopher explains how greed drives us, and how it gave rise to the Wall Street meltdown.
  • Smith, PattiVideo – The “godmother of punk” recalls her friendship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe.
  • Spacey, KevinVideo – Spacey does nine impersonations in six minutes. Jimmy Stewart, Katharine Hepburn, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, etc.
  • Stein, Gertrude - Video - A home movie that gives you a glimpse of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. 1927.
  • Steinbeck, JohnVideo – The great American author delivers his Nobel Address in 1962.
  • Stevens, WallaceAudio – Extensive number of poetry readings from the 1950s.
  • Strauss, LeoAudio – A father of modern conservatism presents 15 seminars at U. Chicago.
  • Streep, Meryl - Video – Oscar-winning actress gives commencement speech at Barnard/Columbia. An inspiration on screen and off.
  • Talese, GayVideo – Drinking at New York Times put Mad Men to Shame.
  • Tan, Amy -Video –  The author of The Joy Luck Club locates the source of her own creativity in her family history and big existential questions.
  • Tarantino, Quentin - VideoPulp Fiction director lists his favorites films since 1992.
  • Taylor, ElizabethVideo – The young star appears on the long-running TV show, What’s My Line?, in 1954.
  • Tchaikovsky, PyotrAudio – The Russian composer’s voice captured on an Edison Cylinder (1890).
  • Thompson, Hunter S.Video – Gonzo journalist interviews Keith Richards. Not entirely coherently.
  • Thompson, Hunter S.Video – Gets confronted by the Hell’s Angels on 1960s Canadian TV show.
  • Thomas, Michael Tilson- Video – Director of San Francisco Symphony on “How Mahler Changed My Life.”
  • Tolkien, J.R.R.Video – The author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings appears in a BBC documentary.
  • Tolstoy, LeoVideo – Great footage of the last days of the towering Russian novelist. 1910.
  • Toscanini, ArturoVideo – Conducts Beethoven’s 5th at Carnegie Hall in 1952.
  • Twain, MarkVideo – America’s fabled writer captured on film by Thomas Edison in 1909.
  • Updike, JohnVideo –  Appears on The Dick Cavett Show with John Cheever in 1981.
  • Updike, John - Video - Charles McGrath’s wide-ranging conversation with John Updike at the Times Center in New York on October 28, 2008.
  • Vidal, Gore - Video - Vidal and William F. Buckley going at it, almost coming to blows, during the contested presidential campaign of 1968.
  • Vonnegut, Kurt - Audio – Reads from his novel Slaughterhouse Five.
  • Vonnegut, Kurt - Video – The writer sketches some brilliant blueprints for envisioning the “shape” of a story, all in less than 4 minutes and 37 seconds.
  • Vonnegut, Kurt - Video – Conducts unconventional interview in Second Life.
  • Waits, Tom - Video – The singer reads “The Laughing Heart” by Charles Bukowski.
  • Walken, ChristopherVideo – The much loved actor reads lines oh-so-dramatically from Lady Gaga’s Poker Face. Hysterical.
  • Walken, Christopher - Video – And then he reads the children’s classic.
  • Walken, Christopher - Audio – Hosts radio show in NYC for a day.
  • Wallace, David FosterAudio - A good soul has pulled together a series of audio recordings by David Foster Wallace.
  • Wallace, Mike - Video – Before 60 Minutes, Wallace ran his own interview show, talking with many celebrities.
  • Warhol, Andy Video – In 1979, Warhol created public access television programs. In this episode, he chats with Bianca Jagger & Steven Spielberg.
  • Warhol, AndyVideo – The painter, who invented the expression “15 Minutes of Fame, “eats a hamburger in 4 minutes. (1982)
  • Waters, Muddy - Video – The blues legend sings “You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had” on The Blues & Gospel Train. (1964)
  • Wayne, JohnAudio – Great western star recites/interprets the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Welles, OrsonVideo – Great filmmaker appears on The Merv Griffin Show hours before he died of a heart attack at his Los Angeles home. (1985)
  • Welles, Orson - Video – Welles reads a short selection from Melville’s classic, Moby Dick.
  • Welles, OrsonAudio – Welles presents dramatized radio broadcasts during the 1930s, including famous Martian invasion episode.
  • Whitman, WaltAudio – An authentic wax cylinder recording of Whitman reading from his late poem ‘America’ that appeared in 1888.
  • Williams, William CarlosAudio – Abundant number of readings recorded during the 1940s and 50s.
  • Wonder, StevieVideo - Singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder premieres “Sketches of a Life,” a sprawling, hybrid pop-classical concerto, written between 1976 and 1994.
  • Wolff, TobiasVideo – The author/Stanford literature professor reads his short story “The Benefit of a Doubt.”
  • Wolff, TobiasVideo –  One of our best short story writers in conversation with Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried.
  • Woolf, VirginiaAudio - Recording comes from a 1937 BBC radio broadcast. The talk, entitled “Craftsmanship,” was part of a series called “Words Fail Me.” The only known recording of her voice.
  • Wright, Frank Lloyd - Video – The most important American architect of the last century appears on What’s My Line? in 1956.
  • X, MalcolmVideo – Debates at Oxford University in 1964 and makes great reference to Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
  • Zinn, Howard - Video – The people’s historian talks about wars and the role governments play in manufacturing them…
  • Zizek, Slavoj -Video – The influential philosopher/theorist explains the good karma of capitalism in an RSA animated video.
  • Zizek, SlavojVideo - Living in the End Times According to Slavoj Zizek.

More to come …


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