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The History of Literature

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Literature 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. Support the show by visiting patreon.com/literature or paypal.me/jackewilson.

Literature 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. Support the show by visiting patreon.com/literature or paypal.me/jackewilson.

Location:

United States

Description:

Literature 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. Support the show by visiting patreon.com/literature or paypal.me/jackewilson.

Language:

English


Episodes

286 JRR Tolkien

11/26/2020
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) was a professor, academic essay, and professional linguist - but the world knows him best as the author of The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-1955). In this episode, Jacke finishes his look at literary genres by exploring the life, lifelong interests, and fantasy worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, whose books sold over 150 million copies, inspired a highly successful movie trilogy, and essentially created the modern fantasy novel. Help support the...

Duration:01:13:23

285 Herodotus

11/23/2020
Herodotus (c. 484 - 425? BCE) has been called both "The Father of History" and "The Father of Lies." His accounts of the ancient world, including a deep dive into all aspects of geography, biology, and culture (among many other topics), are fascinating, indispensable, and - at times - confoundingly implausible. Who was Herodotus? What can we make of his work? And is it worth reading today? In this episode of The History of Literature, Mike Palindrome, the President of the Literature...

Duration:00:57:32

284 Westerns (with Anna North)

11/19/2020
Jacke continues the Thursday Theme for November with a look at a genre that began in the nineteenth century and nearly dominated the twentieth: the Western. What happened to western fiction? What was a "classic western" and why did it disappear? And what reinventions of the genre are happening now? Anna North, author of the forthcoming novel Outlawed, joins us to help sort through these questions, and to talk about a reimagined western she admires, C. Pam Zhang's How Much of These Hills Is...

Duration:00:42:04

283 Planes, Trains & Automobiles - Top 10 Literary Modes of Transportation

11/16/2020
From the dramatic trains of Anna Karenina to the wide-open roads of Jack Kerouac, getting around has always played a central role in literature. But not all means of transportation are equal! In this lighthearted episode of the History of Literature, Jacke and Mike attempt to determine the most literary forms of transportation. Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by...

Duration:00:55:11

282 Science Fiction

11/12/2020
In Part 2 of our look at great literary genres, Jacke probes the development of science fiction, from ancient Greek travels to the moon to the amazing stories of the twentieth century. Along the way, he chooses four candidates for the Mount Rushmore of Science Fiction, reads a passage from science fiction's O.G., and sees if there is a secret to science fiction that he can discover. Enjoy! Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!)...

Duration:01:01:16

281 The Great Gatsby

11/9/2020
Jacke takes a look at F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, The Great Gatsby (1925), which has been called by one newspaper "the American masterwork, the finest work of fiction by any of this country's writers." But what makes it so compelling? Is it enough to say that it's about the American dream and disillusionment? (Spoiler alert: Jacke doesn't think so!) Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at...

Duration:01:02:24

280 Romance Novels

11/5/2020
Jacke starts a new Thursday Theme with a look at genre fiction. First up: Romance novels! Every year, over a billion dollars are spent on these books about love and relationships and...well, what else do we consider fundamental to a romance novel? Sex? A happy ending? In this episode, Jacke takes a look at the history of the romance novel, the efforts to define the category, and some of the leading examples, both current and historical. Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or...

Duration:01:00:18

279 Jean Rhys

11/2/2020
Jacke takes a look at the life and works of Jean Rhys (1890-1979), whose masterpiece Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), reimagined Jane Eyre from the point of view of "the madwoman in the attic," and still stands as one of the seminal works of feminist and postcolonial studies. Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and...

Duration:00:46:33

278 The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe (with Evie Lee)

10/29/2020
In this special Halloween episode, Jacke and Evie take a look at Edgar Allan Poe's great revenge story, "The Cask of Amontillado" (1846), written when Poe was destitute and in the depths of despair. Enjoy! Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com....

Duration:00:51:58

277 George Orwell

10/26/2020
George Orwell (1903-1950) was one of the twentieth century's great literary figures. An English novelist, who also excelled at essays and journalism, he fought all his life against injustice, snobbery, hypocrisy, deception (including self-deception), and lazy prose. In this episode, Mike Palindrome, president of the Literature Supporters Club, joins Jacke to discuss Orwell's life and works, including 1984, Animal Farm, his lesser-known novels, his journalistic works like Down and Out in...

Duration:00:57:16

276 Edgar Allan Poe Invents the Detective Story | "The Purloined Letter"

10/22/2020
In 1965, the critic Joseph Wood Krutch studied the available evidence and came to a surprising conclusion. "Edgar Allan Poe," he wrote, "invented the detective story in order that he might not go mad." Arthur Conan Doyle, a man who knew a thing or two about detective stories, was quick to credit his boyhood hero with inspiring Sherlock Holmes and all the mysteries that came after. "Poe...was the father of the detective tale," he said, "and covered its limits so completely that I fail to see...

Duration:01:13:59

275 Hemingway and the Truth (with Richard Bradford)

10/19/2020
Professor Richard Bradford, author of the new biography The Man Who Wasn't There: A Life of Ernest Hemingway, joins Jacke to talk about Hemingway's uneasy relationship with the truth. RICHARD BRADFORD is Research Professor in English at Ulster University and Visiting Professor at the University of Avignon. He has published over 25 acclaimed books, including biographies of Philip Larkin, Alan Sillitoe, Kingsley Amis, and Martin Amis. Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or...

Duration:00:53:27

274 Baudelaire and the Flowers of Evil

10/15/2020
He was "the king of poets," said Rimbaud, "a true God." T. S. Eliot called him a deformed Dante and said, “I am an English poet of American origin who learnt his art under the aegis of Baudelaire and the Baudelairian lineage of poets.” In this episode, Jacke takes a look at Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), his masterwork Les Fleurs du Mal (Flowers of Evil), and his intense admiration for Edgar Allan Poe. Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We...

Duration:00:57:00

273 The Book for Book Lovers - The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book (with Stephanie Kent and Logan Smalley)

10/12/2020
Authors Stephanie Kent and Logan Smalley join Jacke to talk about their new book for book lovers, The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book: An Interactive Guide to Life-Changing Books. If you love books, and talking about books, and people who love books, and people who love talking about books...well, you get the idea. Listen to this episode, and then go check out the book! Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at...

Duration:00:55:51

272 "William Wilson" by Edgar Allan Poe (with Evie Lee)

10/8/2020
Evie Lee, a Vice President of the Literature Supporters Club, joins Jacke for a look at Poe's classic doppelgänger story, "William Wilson" (1839). Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com. New!!! Looking for an easy to way to buy Jacke a coffee? Now...

Duration:01:32:11

271 "Infinite Jest" by David Foster Wallace (A Mike Palindrome Solo Special!)

10/5/2020
It's another much-anticipated, often-requested Mike Palindrome Solo Episode! In this special installment of The History of Literature Podcast, Jacke turns the keys over to Mike Palindrome, President of the Literature Supporters Club, for a deep look at David Foster Wallace's magnum opus, Infinite Jest. Enjoy! Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and...

Duration:01:04:22

270 Edgar Allan Poe - "The Black Cat"

10/1/2020
In 1843, Edgar Allan Poe, desperate for money and terrified that his wife was about to die, "became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity." Fueled by alcohol and despair, he fell into "fits of absolute unconsciousness"--and yet managed to write some of his greatest masterpieces, including "The Black Cat," which has been shocking readers for more than 150 years. In this first installment of "Edgar Allan Poe Month," Jacke explores Poe's life leading up to "The Black Cat" before...

Duration:00:55:35

269 Shakespeare and the Generation of Genius - The Role of Performing Arts in Education (with Robin Lithgow)

9/28/2020
Robin Lithgow spent her life immersed in the performing arts, including a childhood in the theater and decades spent as an educator and arts administrator. But it wasn't until she read a little-known work by Erasmus that she fully realized the importance that performance had on Shakespeare and his generation--which mirrored the experiences she had had as an English and drama teacher in inner-city schools in Los Angeles. In this special episode, Robin joins Jacke to talk about her life in the...

Duration:01:15:07

268 Forgotten Women of Literature 4 - Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

9/24/2020
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695) was born in Mexico or, as it was known then, New Spain. She was a poet, a philosopher, a dramatist, a scholar, a poet, and a nun, known in her time as the "Tenth Muse" and to later generations as the "Mexican Phoenix," as her powerful body of work rose from the ashes of religious condemnation. Today, she is widely viewed as one of the earliest feminist advocates, one of Mexico’s first and greatest intellectual giants, and a poet whose talent has rarely...

Duration:00:48:12

267 Great Scot! The 6 Best Scottish Writers (with Margot Livesey)

9/21/2020
Fan favorite Margot Livesey returns to the History of Literature to discuss her new novel, The Boy in the Field, and to help Jacke choose the greatest writers in Scotland's history. MARGOT LIVESEY is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Flight of Gemma Hardy, The House on Fortune Street, Banishing Verona, Eva Moves the Furniture, The Missing World, Criminals, and Homework. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Vogue, and the Atlantic, and she is the recipient of grants...

Duration:01:11:39