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

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

Here is a partial list of cultural icons featured on their blog:

Allen, Woody – Video – The neurotic New York filmmaker hosts the Reverend Billy Graham in an unlikely conversation.

Apollinaire, Guillaume – Audio – Reads his famous poem “Le pont Mirabeau” from Alcools. 1913.

Ashbery, John – Audio – The American Pulitzer Prize-winning poet reads a number of his poems from the 1950s to 1970s.

Asimov, Isaac – Video – Sci-fi writer shares insights on science, computing, religion, population growth and the universe.

Atwood, Margaret – Video – The Canadian novelist talks about her writing, tweeting and creative process.

Auden, W.H. – Audio – Reads lines from his poems at the 92nd Street Y in NYC. 1972.

Auster, Paul – Audio – 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.

Barenboim, Daniel – Audio – Virtuoso pianist and conductor in conversation with Paul Holdengräber at New York Public Library.

Bartók, Béla – Audio – 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.

To watch these videos, listen to these audios, and to view the complete list of cultural icons, go to OpenCulture

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

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