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Enthusiast Jacke Wilson journeys through the history of literature, from ancient epics to contemporary classics. Find out more at historyofliterature.com and facebook.com/historyofliterature.

Enthusiast Jacke Wilson journeys through the history of literature, from ancient epics to contemporary classics. Find out more at historyofliterature.com and facebook.com/historyofliterature.
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United States

Description:

Enthusiast Jacke Wilson journeys through the history of literature, from ancient epics to contemporary classics. Find out more at historyofliterature.com and facebook.com/historyofliterature.

Language:

English


Episodes

163 Gabriel Garcia Marquez (with Sarah Bird)

10/10/2018
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Jacke welcomes author Sarah Bird to the program to talk about her background, her writing, and her readerly passion for the fiction of the great twentieth-century novelist, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ (1927-2014) was one of the most revered and influential novelists of the twentieth century. Born in a small town in Colombia, which he later made famous as the fictionalized village "Macondo," he drew upon the stories and storytelling styles of his grandparents and parents...

Duration:01:26:20

162 Ernest Hemingway

10/3/2018
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Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) was one of the most famous American writers of the twentieth century. His plain, economical prose style--inspired by journalism and the King James Bible, with an assist from the Cezannes he viewed in Gertrude Stein’s apartment--became a hallmark of modernism and changed the course of American literature. In this episode, Jacke and Mike take a look at an author and novel, The Sun Also Rises (1927), they’ve been reading and discussing for decades. Want more...

Duration:01:04:36

161 Voltaire

9/26/2018
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Voltaire was born Francois Marie Arouet in 1694 in Paris, France, the son of a respectable but not particularly eminent lawyer. By the time he died at the age of 83, he was widely regarded as one of the greatest French writers in history, a distinction he still holds today. Astoundingly prolific, he is best known as the author of Candide - but the stories of his life, including the scrapes brought about by his fearless tongue, are perhaps at least as fascinating as anything his razor-sharp...

Duration:00:59:32

160 Ray Bradbury (with Carolyn Cohagan)

9/17/2018
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Special guest Carolyn Cohagan, author of the Time Zero trilogy and founder of the creative writing workshop Girls with Pens, joins Jacke for a discussion of her writing process, her origins in standup comedy and theater, and her early love for the fiction of Ray Bradbury (and her special appreciation for his short story "All Summer in a Day"). For another look at a twentieth-century giant who broke down genre barriers, try Episode 141 Kurt Vonnegut (with Mike Palindrome). Love pulp...

Duration:01:16:59

159 Herman Melville

9/10/2018
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Today, Herman Melville (1819-1891) is considered one of the greatest of American writers, and a leading candidate for THE American novelist thanks to his classic work, Moby-Dick. How did this unpromising student become one of the most inventive and observant writers of his time? What obstacles did he face, and what did he do to overcome them? What other works of his are worth reading? Jacke, Mike, and special guest Cristina, aka The Classics Slacker, who recently spent 24 hours aboard the...

Duration:01:24:40

159 Herman Melville

9/10/2018
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Today, Herman Melville (1819-1891) is considered one of the greatest of American writers, and a leading candidate for THE American novelist thanks to his classic work, Moby-Dick. How did this unpromising student become one of the most inventive and observant writers of his time? What obstacles did he face, and what did he do to overcome them? What other works of his are worth reading? Jacke, Mike, and special guest Cristina, aka The Classics Slacker, who recently spent 24 hours aboard the...

Duration:01:24:26

158 "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien

9/3/2018
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In the 1960s and '70s, the Vietnam War dominated the hearts and minds of a generation of Americans. In 1990, the American writer Tim O'Brien, himself a former soldier, published "The Things They Carried," a short story that became an instant classic. Through its depiction of the members of a platoon in Vietnam, told largely through the tangible and intangible things in their possession as they humped their way through the jungle, O'Brien's story captures the soul and psyches of young men...

Duration:02:02:48

157 Travel Books (with Mike Palindrome)

8/22/2018
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"The world is a book," said Augustine, "and those who do not travel read only one page." But what about books ABOUT traveling? Do they double the pleasure? Transport us to a different place? Inspire and enchant? Or are they more like a forced march through someone else's interminable photo album? Mike Palindrome, President of the Literature Supporters Club, joins us for a look at his literary journey to London and Stockholm, summer reading, and a draft of the greatest travel books of all...

Duration:01:09:44

156 The Sonnet

8/15/2018
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“A sonnet,” said the poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti, “is a moment’s monument.” But who invented the sonnet? Who brought it to prominence? How has it changed over the years? And why does this form continue to be so compelling? In this episode of the History of Literature, we take a brief look at one of literature's most enduring forms, from its invention in a Sicilian court to the wordless sonnet and other innovative uses. Professor Bill walked us through a sonnet by Robert Hayden in Episode 97...

Duration:00:55:16

155 Plato

8/9/2018
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“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition,” said Alfred North Whitehead, “is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.” We’ve all heard the name of Plato and his famous mentor Socrates, and most of us have encountered the dialogues, a literary-philosophical form he essentially invented. We know the themes he advanced, his general views of metaphysics, and his interest in knowledge and its importance as a virtue. But what do we know about Plato the...

Duration:00:51:41

154 John Milton

8/1/2018
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John Milton (1608 - 1674) was a revolutionary, a republican, an iconoclast, a reformer, and a brilliant polemicist, who fearlessly took on both church and king. And he ranks among the greatest poets of all time, a peer of Shakespeare and Homer. Philip Pullman, the author who named his trilogy (His Dark Materials) after a Miltonic phrase, said, “No one, not even Shakespeare, surpasses him in his command of the sound, the music, the weight and taste and texture of English words.” In this...

Duration:01:02:27

153 Charles Dickens

7/25/2018
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Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812-1870) was the greatest novelist of the Victorian age. In his 58 years he went from a hardscrabble childhood to a world-famous author, beloved and admired for his unforgettable characters, his powers of observation and empathy, and his championing of the lower classes. He wrote 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of articles and short stories - and also found time to edit a weekly periodical for over 20 years. But that wasn't all: he also wrote thousands of...

Duration:00:55:32

152 George Sand

7/18/2018
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George Sand wrote an astonishing number of novels and plays, and had friendships and affairs with an astonishing range of men and women. She dressed in men’s clothing, and she inspired a host of 19th century authors and artists, including Russian writers like Turgenev and Dostoevsky and British writers like Mary Ann Evans, who adopted the name George, as in George Eliot, out of tribute to her French predecessor. In this episode of the History of Literature, we travel to 19th Century France,...

Duration:01:08:28

151 Viking Poetry - The Voluspa (with Noah Tetzner)

7/11/2018
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The Vikings! Sure, they had helmets and hammers, but did they also have... poetry? Indeed they did! In this episode, we talk to Noah Tetzner, host of The History of Vikings Podcast, about the collection of Old Norse verses called the Poetic Edda - and in particular, we look at the first of these, the succinct poem known as The Völuspá. Dated to around 1250 A.D., the Völuspá recorded centuries of oral tradition. Today, it serves as one of our best introductions to Viking mythology, affording...

Duration:00:52:54

150 Chekhov's "The Lady with the Little Dog"

7/4/2018
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It's a deceptively simple story: a man and a woman meet, have an affair, are separated, and reunite. And yet, in writing about Anton Chekhov's story, "The Lady with the Little Dog" (1899), Vladimir Nabokov said, "All the traditional rules have been broken in this wonderful short story.... No problem, no regular climax, no point at the end. And it is one of the greatest stories ever written." What makes this story so good? How does it hold up today? In this episode, Jacke and Mike examine...

Duration:01:44:51

149 Raising Readers (aka The Power of Literature in an Imperfect World)

6/27/2018
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Jacke and Mike respond to an email from a listener who is about to become a father and wondering about the role of literature in the life of a young child. Works and authors discussed include J.K. Rowling, Phillip Pullman, Andrew Motion, Dr. Seuss, Sandra Boynton, The Great Brain series, Bedtime for Frances, Frog and Toad, Beatrix Potter, Martin Amis, James Mill, John Stuart Mill, The Beatles, Judy Blume, Roald Dahl, the Moomintroll books, Nick Hornby. Help support the show at...

Duration:01:19:52

148 Great Literary Hoaxes

6/20/2018
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What can we count on? What do we know is true? In this episode, host Jacke Wilson takes a look at a motley crew of inventive liars who set out to fool the literary world - and often did, at least for a while. From the ancient pseudo-Sappho to the escapee from a debauched convent, from the treasure trove of Shakespeare's lost works to the balloon fraud of Edgar Allen Poe, writers have been generating bogus works for centuries - and an gullible public has gobbled them up and come back for...

Duration:00:54:29

147 Leo Tolstoy

6/13/2018
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When asked to name the three greatest novels ever written, William Faulkner replied, “Anna Karenina, Anna Karenina, Anna Karenina.” Nabokov said, “When you are reading Turgenev, you know you are reading Turgenev. When you read Tolstoy, you are reading because you just cannot stop.” And finally, there's this compliment from author Isaac Babel: “If the world could write itself," he said, "it would write like Tolstoy.” But who was Leo Tolstoy? How did he become the person who could write War...

Duration:01:00:53

146 Power Ranking the Nobel Prize for Literature

6/7/2018
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The Nobel Prize for Literature has a special place in the literary landscape. We revere the prize and its winners - and yet we often find ourselves puzzled by the choices. The list of fantastic writers who never won a Nobel Prize is as long and distinguished as the list of those who did. In this episode, Jacke and Mike take a look at the Nobel Prizes by decade, attempting to determine which decade had the best (and worst) group of authors. Do we select your favorites? Overlook some hidden...

Duration:01:07:41

145 Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know - The Story of Lord Byron

5/31/2018
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The Later Romantic poet George Gordon Byron, once described by Lady Caroline Lamb as “mad, bad, and dangerous to know," lived 36 years and became world famous, his astonishing career as a poet matched only by his astonishing record as a breaker of norms, an insatiable lover, a bizarre hedonist, a restless exile, a head-scratching eccentric, a passionate friend, a determined athlete, an ardent revolutionary, and in general, one of the greatest embracers of life the world has ever seen. Works...

Duration:00:51:47