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Episodes

March 7, 2022

388 Sense and Sensibility

"I am never too busy to think of S&S," Jane Austen wrote to her sister, referring to her 1811 novel by its initials, "I can no more forget it, than a mother can forget her suckling child." Sense & Sensibility …

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March 3, 2022

387 Loving Virginia Woolf | Fashion in Literature (with Lauren S. Car…

What's it like to be in love with a genius? How does one express oneself? Jacke takes a look at a beautiful 1926 love letter that Vita Sackville-West sent to Virginia Woolf. Then Professor Lauren S. Cardon, author of FASHIONI...

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Feb. 28, 2022

386 Gogol's Ukrainian Nights | HOL Presents "Mysteries of a Merlin Ma…

Jacke takes a look at Nikolai Gogol's early stories about his native Ukraine, including two famous descriptions of Ukrainian nights. Then Jacke turns things over to Eve and Julie from the Book Dreams Podcast , as they intervi...

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Feb. 24, 2022

385 The Gettysburg Address

In November of 1863, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln boarded a train for Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His heart was heavy with the cost of two years of a bitter civil war, his body fatigued and feverish from what was likely the o...

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Feb. 21, 2022

384 A Writer's Tools - Top 10 Literary Terms and Devices | PLUS F. Sc…

Mike Palindrome, the President of the Literature Supporters' Club, joins Jacke to select the top 10 literary terms and devices of all time. PLUS Jacke reads a letter to a young writer from F. Scott Fitzgerald. Additional list...

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Feb. 17, 2022

383 The Radical Woman Who Wrote 'Goodnight Moon' - The Story of Marga…

"Goodnight comb and goodnight brush...And goodnight to the old lady whispering hush...Goodnight moon.." Telling the "story" of a darkening room at bedtime, Goodnight Moon (1947) has gone from near obscurity to selling close t...

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Feb. 14, 2022

382 Forbidden Victorian Love (with Mimi Matthews) | The Poet Who Hate…

Love is all around! On podcasts as well as holidays... In this episode, Jacke talks to USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews about her love for the Victorian era and how that fueled her latest work, the historical romanc...

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Feb. 10, 2022

381 C Subramania Bharati (with Mira T Sundara Rajan)

C. Subramania Bharati (1882-1923) is one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. Known to his fellow Tamils as the "Mahakavi" ("Supreme Poet"), his works modernized and rejuvenated Tamil literature. Bharati, who knew ...

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Feb. 7, 2022

380 Ian Fleming | PLUS The Black James Bond

Ian Fleming (1908-1964) always wanted to be a writer . Not an "author," as he put it, and not someone in the "Shakespeare stakes," but someone who wrote for money and pleasure. In developing his enduring character James Bond,...

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Feb. 3, 2022

379 Gwendolyn Brooks | Bharati Preview 2 (with Mira Sundara Rajan)

When the poet Gwendolyn Brooks "writes out of her heart, out of her rich and living background, out of her very real talent," said The New York Times , "she induces almost unbearable excitement." From her "headquarters" in Ch...

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Jan. 31, 2022

378 Liu Xinwu and the "Scar Literature" of China (with Jeremy Tiang) …

In this episode, Jacke talks to Jeremy Tiang about his new translation of The Wedding Party , a Chinese classic contemporary novel written in the early 1980s by Liu Xinwu, one of the originators of what has been termed "scar …

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Jan. 27, 2022

377 The Brothers Grimm | Jeremy Tiang Sneak Preview

Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Snow White, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood... sure we know the stories, but do we know their origins? What do they tell us about the "Germans" of the nineteenth century - and how do they compare...

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Jan. 24, 2022

376 Why John Milton? (with Joe Moshenska)

Yes, John Milton was important, and yes, Paradise Lost has been part of the canon since the 17th century - but why should we read anything by John Milton today? Do we imbibe his poetry like medicine? Is it a …

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Jan. 20, 2022

375 The Power of Literature | PLUS Reading Boswell's Life of Johnson …

Jacke had big plans to make this episode all about the poetry of William Butler Yeats...and then listener feedback to the last episode overtook him. So instead of lazing about on the Lake Isle of Innisfree, he returns to the …

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Jan. 17, 2022

374 Ancient Plays and Contemporary Theater - A New Version of Sophocl…

As the Artistic Director of Theater of War Productions , Bryan Doerries has joined his colleagues in using dramatic readings and community conversations to confront topics such as combat-related psychological injury, end-of-l...

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Jan. 13, 2022

373 Roald Dahl

Born in Wales to parents of Norwegian descent, Roald Dahl (1916-1990) grew up to become one of England's most famous writers. Although Dahl was an accomplished writer of short stories for grownups, he is today known best for ...

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Jan. 6, 2022

372 Dragons! (with Scott G. Bruce)

Dragons! From ancient civilizations to modern-day movies, humans have spent millions of hours imagining these popular mythological creatures - and millions of words describing them. Jacke's guest, Scott G. Bruce has compiled ...

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Jan. 3, 2022

371 Robert Hayden and the Nature of Freedom | PLUS Literary Zombies (…

Poet Robert Hayden (1913-1980) surprised Jacke with his description of freedom in his sonnet "Frederick Douglass"; in this episode, Jacke considers the nature of freedom and attempts to determine exactly what Hayden meant. PL...

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Dec. 30, 2021

370 Oscar Wilde - A Life (with Matthew Sturgis) | PLUS A Glimpse of L…

In this episode, Professor Scott G. Bruce shares one of his favorite passages about the underworld from The Penguin Book of Hell , which he edited. Then Jacke talks to author Matthew Sturgis about his new biography, Oscar Wil...

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Dec. 23, 2021

369 Rilke and the Search for God

Following Jacke's discussion with Stephen Mitchell about the first Christmas, Jacke takes a look at a special letter by Rainer Maria Rilke (which Stephen Mitchell translated). In this letter, written in Rome on December 23, 1...

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Dec. 20, 2021

368 The Story of the Nativity (with Stephen Mitchell)

Stephen Mitchell has translated or adapted some of the world's most beautiful and spiritually rich texts, including The Gospel According to Jesus, The Book of Job, Gilgamesh, Tao Te Ching, Bhagavad Gita, The Iliad, The Odysse...

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Dec. 16, 2021

367 The Beatles and the Power of Narrative | Tolstoy on Twitter

Jacke talks to Mike Palindrome about his work on the "Tolstoy Together" project sponsored by Yiyun Li and A Public Space, along with some other thoughts about reading great books on Twitter. THEN Jacke responds to the incredi...

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Dec. 13, 2021

366 Evelyn Waugh (with Phil Klay)

The English novelist Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966) was regarded by many as the most brilliant satirical novelist of his time. A self-proclaimed curmudgeon, for whom the Conservative Party was not conservative enough, Waugh convert...

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Dec. 9, 2021

365 Moby Dick, All Quiet on the Western Front, and The Odyssey (A Bob…

Your humble podcaster-squirrel is back! Jacke considers the legacy of Charles M. Schulz, creator of Charlie Brown and Peanuts , and reflects on the difference between being "best known for" and "known for" an artistic endeavo...

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