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The History of Literature Podcast

The History of Literature Podcast

Amateur enthusiast Jacke Wilson journeys through the history of literature, from ancient epics to contemporary classics. (Episodes are not in chronological order - feel free to jump in wherever you'd like!)

Recent Episodes

482 Moby Dick - 10 Essential Questions (Part Two)

Jan. 30, 2023

Is Moby-Dick truly the Great American Novel? How did contemporary critics miss it? When (and how) was the book rediscovered? Jacke goes through all this and more, as he continues the countdown of Top 10 Essential Questions a…

481 Moby Dick - 10 Essential Questions (Part One)

Jan. 26, 2023

Here we go! Moby-Dick; or, the Whale (1851) by Herman Melville is one of the greatest - and strangest - novels you will ever read. Call it what you will - a literary leviathan, an intellectual chowder, an early entry in the …

480 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (with Ritchie Robertson)

Jan. 23, 2023

In 1878, critic Matthew Arnold wrote, "Goethe is the greatest poet of modern times... because having a very considerable gift for poetry, he was at the same time, in the width, depth, and richness of his criticism of life, b…

479 Auden and the Muse of History (with Susannah Young-ah Gottlieb)

Jan. 19, 2023

W.H. Auden (1907-1973) was one of the twentieth-century's greatest poets - and also one of the most engaged. As he struggled to make sense of the rise of fascism, two world wars, and industrialized murder, his focus turned t…

478 The Diaries of Franz Kafka (with Ross Benjamin)

Jan. 16, 2023

Kafka! The avatar of anxiety! He's long been one of our favorites here at the History of Literature Podcast. In this episode, Jacke talks to translator Ross Benjamin about the new edition of The Diaries of Franz Kafka , publ…

477 Does Edith Wharton Hate You? (Part 2 - "The Vice of Reading")

Jan. 12, 2023

Does Edith Wharton hate us? That's a provocative question - but perhaps one that Wharton herself provoked, with her essay on the readers who damaged literature and her fiction satirizing the same. In this two-part series, Ja…