In this episode, we discuss Ernest Hemingway’s last published work in his lifetime: The Old Man and the Sea. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and contributed to his being awarded the Nobel Prize in 1954.
In this episode, we work through and analyze Point Omega by Don Delillo, a short oblique and arresting novel wrestling with the meaning and effect of human perception, consciousness, space and time.
In this episode we discuss EM Forster’s novel Howard’s End as well as take a look at the 1992 movie of the novel starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.
“Death destroys a man, but the idea of death saves him—”
The story revolves around three families: the Schlegels–– half-German siblings Margaret, Helen, and Tibby whose cultural pursuits have much in common with the Bloomsbury Group (in which Forster was a member); the Wilcoxes—headed by Henry––a group of unsympathetic rich capitalists with a fortune made in the colonies; and the Basts, a sad and struggling young couple from a lower-class background. Each reflects a different and almost conflicting part of society–a tale of striking class warfare.
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Thanks to Christopher Nolen for our music.
Thanks to Allan Bowley for Audio and editing help.
In this episode we struggle, spin and madly rub our eyes as we work through the puzzling and enigmatic beauty of William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury”.
In this episode, we are discussing the Pardoner’s Tale from the Canterbury Tales, a book of stories by the Late Medieval poet Geoffrey Chaucer. This follows up on our last episode, where we discussed other selections from the book about a group of not-quite-pious pilgrims traveling to Canterbury Cathedral…telling each other stories.
Join us with Mark Linsenmeyer in a previous discussion on two short stories by James Baldwin: “This Morning, This Evening, So Soon” and “Sonny’s Blues.” Both are included in the collection Going to meet the Man (1965).
On selections from the Canterbury Tales by the 14th century English poet Geoffrey Chaucer. In this Part One of our readings, we discuss the General Prologue, the Miller’s Tale, and the Wife of Bath’s Tale.
Why read Chaucer? He wrote in a time that felt like it was falling apart and perhaps becoming something completely different. His world was hardly a static medieval idyll: it was marked by the Black Plague, a crisis of religious authority, and the breakdown of England’s political order. The Canterbury Tales is essentially an effort to come to terms with that complex reality.
We discuss a cautionary tale written in 1909—on the threat of ungoverned technology. The story follows two characters—Vashti and her son, Kuno, during a time of post-apocalyptic earth. Mankind has been forced to relocate and live underground because the air on the earth’s surface has apparently become unbreathable. As a result, people live in empty rooms—or pods—underground, surrounded by buttons which, when activated, determine their day.
The novel follows the emotional demise and world of Dick Diver. Diver, a Yale-educated psychiatrist, and his wife, Nicole—once his patient and a diagnosed schizophrenic—are extremely well-to-do (thanks to Nicole’s family), and are living as expats in the French Riviera. While there, Dick meets Rosemary Hoyt, a teenage movie actress phenom whose beauty and innocence attracts him despite his commitment to Nicole. He ends up having an affair with Rosemary, as his identity and sense of meaning fall apart. As Dick suffers, Nicole gets stronger and leaves him for another man. After they divorce, Diver returns the U.S.—to work in obscurity.
Because each had discovered years before that they were neither white nor male, and that all freedom and triumph was forbidden to them, they had set about creating something else to be.
We also discuss the themes which Nathan, Laura, Jennifer and Daniel each found to be what resonated most: the circularity of time, memory, loss, humanity, and the caution the novel leaves us with about living life.
Cezary Baraniecki, Laura Davis, Nathaniel Hanks, Daniel Johnson, and Jennifer Tejada. In this episode, we discuss the classic Latin American novel by Gabriel Garcia Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Join Cezary Baranieckli, Laura Davis, Nathaniel Hanks, Daniel Johnson, and Jennifer Tejada, as we all struggle with what is defined as truly “evil”.
I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong.
-A Clockwork Orange
Join Cezary Baranieckli, Laura Davis, Nathaniel Hanks, Daniel Johnson, and Jennifer Tejada, as we spend a very long (and with audio issues) episode deconstructing and being reshaped, by our reading of this unspeakably remarkable novel.
“I could not help feeling that they were evil things—mountains of madness whose farther slopes looked out over some accursed ultimate abyss.”
Join Nathan and Laura, with Mark Linsenmayer, Daniel Johnson, and Jennifer Tejada, as we follow H.P. Lovecraft up the Mountain and discover where true madness lies!
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Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves. –Ulysses
For our discussion of this historically difficult but wholly worthwhile classic, Nathan, Laura, and Daniel are joined by Phillip Cherny. It was recorded for our original Not School group, long before that group evolved into a podcast.
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Lights are gone, distant, dark. Crowds of anxious, beautiful, stylish, crazily costumed fans in bright purple, piercing pink, screaming yellow and orange chiffons—capes and crowns of diamonds, darkened eyes of sparkle and thick lashes–they dance, vibrate in unison—praying for that moment. Madison Square Garden. The Stage Blasts Bright. Station to Station roars through the speakers. There he is. Bowie. My Continue Reading …
Editor’s Note: Thanks for this submission from listener and long-time supporter Laura Davis, covering a story that we likely wouldn’t have gotten around to writing about here ourselves. I expect most have you have seen this article or some other about the renown philosopher Colin McGinn and his recent resignation from the University of Miami. The story has been covered and Continue Reading …