Literature

The Lives of Beowulf

Stephen Mitchell— It’s something of a miracle that any of our ancient literary masterpieces survived the downfall or shift of civilizations, since they all might easily have been lost. Of Heraclitus’s profound insights, we have only tantalizing fragments. Of Sappho’s nine books, there remain just four poems and scattered verses

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Ep. 61 – On Color

We’re talking about color this week—where it comes from, how we see it, and its role in our lives.   Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify

Political Cartoons in the Digital Age

David Francis Taylor— In 2004 Morten Morland published a cartoon in the Times that took aim at Anglo-American attempts to broker peace between Israel and Palestine. He did so by adapting a much older image: James Gillray’s “Sin, Death, and the Devil” of 1792. Gillray’s caricature responded to the sacking

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George Sand’s Search for Spirituality

Thomas Kselman— “Since no one was instructing me in religion, it occurred to me I needed one, and I made one for myself. ” – George Sand, History of My Life George Sand (1804-1876) is known to modern readers as a symbol of feminism, a woman who challenged patriarchal values through

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Ep. 47 – A Cultural History of Extraordinary Bodies

How have we used size to judge people over time? What is the history of size in popular culture? Lynne Vallone discusses how bodies both big and small influence our perception. Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | Soundcloud

Stephen Mitchell on Translation and Beowulf

Stephen Mitchell— I backed into translation. As a young man at Yale Graduate School, dealing with a first heartbreak, I became fascinated with the Book of Job. What thrilled and perplexed me was a feeling that the poet who wrote it had seen something, had actually experienced the secret of

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The Skin of Chaos —The Letters of Adonis and Adel Abdessemed (part 3)

This is part three of a three-part series. Read part one and two. World-renowned poet Adonis and award-winning artist Adel Abdessemed present a record of their passionate conversations in Paris in this collection of letters written between June 2013 and February 2015.  Presented exclusively for the first time here in anticipation

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The Skin of Chaos —The Letters of Adonis and Adel Abdessemed (part 2)

This is part two of a three-part series. Read part one and three. World-renowned poet Adonis and award-winning artist Adel Abdessemed present a record of their passionate conversations in Paris in this collection of letters written between June 2013 and February 2015.  Presented exclusively for the first time here in anticipation

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Decoding the Voynich Manuscript

In this popular episode of the podcast, we try to unlock the secrets of the Voynich Manuscript with Raymond Clemens from the Beinecke Library and Joseph Calamia, senior editor at Yale University Press.

The Skin of Chaos —The Letters of Adonis and Adel Abdessemed (part 1)

This is part one of a three-part series. Read part two and three. World-renowned poet Adonis and award-winning artist Adel Abdessemed present a record of their passionate conversations in Paris in this collection of letters written between June 2013 and February 2015.  Presented exclusively for the first time here in anticipation of

Continue reading…