Anthony Esolen on Magdalen College’s “From the Summit-logo

Anthony Esolen on Magdalen College’s “From the Summit

Education Podcasts

Engaging conversations with Anthony Esolen about culture, books, teaching, and the Catholic life.

Engaging conversations with Anthony Esolen about culture, books, teaching, and the Catholic life.

Location:

United States

Description:

Engaging conversations with Anthony Esolen about culture, books, teaching, and the Catholic life.

Language:

English


Episodes

On Teaching and Translating Dante (Anthony Esolen Episode 9)

3/24/2020
“Dante and Shakespeare divide the world. There is no third.”—T.S. Eliot In this conversation, Anthony Esolen discusses his experiences reading Dante as an undergraduate, translating the great poet, and teaching the Commedia to undergraduates in turn. What prompted him to begin translating Dante? What was the hierarchy of values that guided him in the work of translation? He also offers commentary on the great Princeton professor—a scholar of Dante and Boccaccio—Robert Hollander—and...

Duration:00:33:18

“The Power of the Powerless” (Anthony Esolen Episode 8)

3/23/2020
"The human things come first." Anthony Esolen discusses his reading and teaching of Václav Havel's Power of the Powerless (with asides on Hannah Arendt and C.S. Lewis) and the dangers of "political knitting clubs." He also considers the parallels between excellent brewing and excellent teaching while also noting how the Catholic faith and liberal education be taken up for ideological reasons. Finally, he introduces and reads his dramatic-epistolary monologue "Saint Paul to Gamaliel" from his...

Duration:00:40:47

"He doesn't want our contentment but our joy and salvation" (Anthony Esolen Episode 7)

2/25/2020
Anthony Esolen discusses an upcoming essay in First Things on hymn texts and an article for Chronicles Magazine on fascist imagery in American federal art and sculpture. He also considers the Vipers' Tangle by Francois Mauriac, a book he is currently teaching in his Honors Colloquium, "The Literature of Spiritual Crisis." How might such a book shape how we see marriage and the world, directing our decisions? Finally, he introduces and reads his surprising dramatic monologue "The Demoniac...

Duration:00:39:37

"Benedict, Boethius, and Bosco" (Anthony Esolen Episode 6)

2/25/2020
Anthony Esolen discusses his recent lecture "The Boethius Option" elaborating on Boethius as a model for cultural and political engagement as well as the examples of St. Benedict and St. John Bosco. He also takes up the critical role that imagination, literature, and song play in the formation of our character and the character of our children. Finally, he introduces and reads a new hymn-poem "I shall arise, and seek my Father's house" (to be sung to the tune "Old 124th") from his poem The...

Duration:00:35:35

"The eyes, the eyes!" (Anthony Esolen Episode 5)

12/16/2019
Anthony Esolen discusses a forthcoming book—Unreal City—and the stirrings of what might become a commentary on the Gospel of John. He also takes up four great novels that have been overlooked too often by too many: The Betrothed, Vipers’ Tangle, The Clown, and Barrabas. Finally, he introduces and reads the dramatic monologue “Pontius Pilate to Claudius” from his poem “The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord.” Links of potential interest: The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord Manzonoi's novel...

Duration:00:30:08

“Smelling Salts in the Thurible" (Anthony Esolen Episode 4)

12/16/2019
In this conversation, Anthony Esolen takes up that unique Biblical language known as “NAB-ish” and considers what vandals have wrought upon our classic hymns. He takes us through his teaching of “The Literature of Spiritual Crisis”—Cicero, Boethius, and Shakespeare—and renders his judgement on what he considers to be the greatest play ever written. Dr. Esolen also gives us an unforgettable reading of his dramatic monologue, “Saint Peter,” from his poem "The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord"...

Duration:00:31:37

"It is like the difference between filet mignon and cardboard." (Anthony Esolen Episode 3)

12/8/2019
A conversation with Anthony Esolen about the vibrancy and life-giving power of the classroom and the hope that today's Catholic students can give us for the future of the Church and society. Dr. Esolen also discusses and reads two lyrics from his poem, "The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord" (16 and 29), considers the diversity of blessedness, and suggests New Jersey's role in inspiring Dante's great poem. Links of potential interest: The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord by Anthony...

Duration:00:25:11

"We can't get through the day without telling a lie to ourselves." (Anthony Esolen Episode 2)

12/8/2019
A conversation with Anthony Esolen about Sigrid Undset and how her life and work teach us not only about the past and ourselves but also how it indicates a way forward in our current moment. He also takes up the categories of Catholic literature and overlooked authors such as Henryk Sienkiewicz. Esolen concludes by discussing and reading a dramatic monologue from his poem, "The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord" (Bartimaeus) and reflects on the forgotten purpose of poetry and art. The...

Duration:00:38:20

"It is broken metrically to describe a civilization in rubble." (Anthony Esolen Episode 1)

12/8/2019
"To heck with college professors," he says halfway through. In this conversation, Anthony Esolen discusses reading and teaching Whitman and Eliot and considers the paradox of classically trained revolutionaries in the arts. Dr. Esolen also introduces and discusses his poem The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord and reads a hymn from that poem (17). Be sure not to miss his impersonation of Marlon Brando. Links of potential interest: The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord by Anthony Esolen T.S....

Duration:00:25:35