10 Indian Literature: A Cosmic Feast

Recalling his own long-ago transition from China to India, our host previews our journey’s next stop, where we will immerse ourselves in the literature of a spectacular culture. Marked by classics like the Rig Veda (1500 – 1200 B.C.) and the Upanishads (ca. 900 B.C.), the Ramayana (ca. 550 B.C.), and the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita (400 B.C. – 400), classic Indian literature is known for its deep engagement with universal questions like how the world was created, what our understanding of God is and can be, how we should treat one another, and what it means to be human. Jacke Wilson prepares our palate for a feast of Indian literature, one of the greatest achievements in the history of civilization.

You can find more literary discussion at jackewilson.com and more episodes of the series at historyofliterature.com.

Contact the host at jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com or by leaving a voicemail at 1-361-4WILSON (1-361-494-5766).

Further Reading:

The Ramayana: A Shortened Modern Prose Version of the Indian Epic (Penguin Classics) (tr. Narayan)

The Ramayana: A Modern Retelling of the Great Indian Epic (tr. Menon)

The Bhagavad Gita (Classics of Indian Spirituality) (tr. Easwaran)

Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation (tr. Mitchell)

The Upanishads (Classic of Indian Spirituality) (tr. Easwaran)

The Upanishads: Breath from the Eternal (tr. Prabhavanada)

Classic Indian Cooking (Julie Sahni)

The Norton Anthology of World Literature (Third Edition) (Vol. Package 1: Vols. A, B, C)

Music Credits:

Handel – Entrance to the Queen of Sheba” by Advent Chamber Orchestra (From the Free Music Archive / CC by SA).

“Jalandhar” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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9 Confucius

Perhaps the most influential teacher in the history of the world, Confucius (551-479 B.C.) left a literary legacy that continues to inspire and provoke. Jacke Wilson takes a look at the historical Confucius, the impact that the five works known as the “Confucian canon” has had on China, and the collection of sayings and anecdotes known as the Analects.

You can find more literary discussion at jackewilson.com and more episodes of the series at historyofliterature.com.

Contact the host at jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com or by leaving a voicemail at 1-361-4WILSON (1-361-494-5766).

Music Credits: “Handel – Entrance to the Queen of Sheba” by Advent Chamber Orchestra (From the Free Music Archive / CC by SA).

Translation of Confucius’ Analects by D.C. Lau (courtesy of the Norton Anthology of World Literature).

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A Jacke Wilson Holiday (RM10)

Jacke offers some holiday thoughts on loneliness, his failures with women and the theater, and a teary trip to the Nutcracker.

Visit the show’s main page [www.historyofliterature.com] and author page [www.jackewilson.com] for more.

Happy Holidays!

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8 The Shi Jing (Chinese Classical Poetry)

Our history of literature journey continues by traveling to the other side of the globe, where Chinese poets are busy recording ancient folk songs and verse that together convey a picture of life in ancient China, from peasants and farmers to soldiers and diplomats. Eventually a selection of these poems will be gathered into a single collection edited by Confucius. Jacke Wilson takes a look at the 305 ancient Chinese poems known as the Shi Jing (also known as the Classic of Poetry or Book of Songs).

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7A Proust, Pound, and Chinese Poetry

A young Jacke Wilson immerses himself in great books on his way from Taiwan to Tibet – and finds out what Ezra Pound, Marcel Proust, and Chinese poetry can teach him about literature and life.

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7 Greek Comedy – Aristophanes

Author Jacke Wilson examines the life and works of Aristophanes, whose comic plays included The Clouds, which pokes fun at philosophers such as Socrates, and Lysistrata, where the females of Athens and Sparta go on a sex strike in an attempt to end the war.

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RM9 Nietzsche’s Children

Continuing the discussion of Greek tragedy, Jacke takes a look at Nietzsche and the impact he has on eager young philosophers. This episode includes the Jacke Wilson story “My Roommate’s Books” from the History of Jacke in 100 Objects series.

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6 Greek Tragedy – Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides

Author Jacke Wilson examines the works of three great Greek tragedians, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides – and attempts to solve the mystery of why Friedrich Nietzsche admired two of the three and despised the other.

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RM8 My Inner Bleeping Bandit

Testing the Burt Reynolds method for avoiding cliches! Author Jacke Wilson takes a break from the history of literature to consider language and masculinity.

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5 Greek Tragedy (Part One)

How was tragedy invented? Why was it so popular in Ancient Greece, and what power does it have for us today? Using the discussion of tragedy in Aristotle’s Poetics, author Jacke Wilson takes a look at tragedies from ancient times to Breaking Bad.

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