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, 1903, the famed poet explores the difference between childlike wonder and grownup concerns, working his way toward a poetic vision of God. It is, quite simply, one of the most astounding letters in literature.
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Italian writer Natalia Ginzburg (1916-1991) lived a fascinating life full of politics, war, exile, tragedy, love, loss, and literature. In her novels, short stories, poetry, plays, and essays, she drew upon her experience and her keen capacity for observation and invention to create some of the twentieth century’s most arresting and enduring works. In this episode, Jacke takes a look at the political courage shown by Ginzburg and her family – and in particular her husband Leone Ginzburg, who at the tail end of World War II was tortured and killed in Rome’s famous Carcere di Regina Coeli (Queen of Heaven Prison) – and how it helped to shape Natalia Ginzburg’s life and career.
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The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.
What makes a city a great literary city? Having a tradition of famous authors? A culture of bookstores and cafes and publishing houses and universities? Inspiring great books? Host Jacke Wilson is joined by Mike Palindrome, President of the Literature Supporters Club, for a discussion of the cities where literature finds itself most at home – including their choices for the world’s ten greatest literary cities.
Contact the host at firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving a voicemail at 1-361-4WILSON (1-361-494-5766).
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On Twitter, you can follow Jacke Wilson at his handle @WriterJacke. You can also follow Mike and the Literature Supporters Club (and receive daily book recommendations) by looking for @literature SC.
“Handel – Entrance to the Queen of Sheba” by Advent Chamber Orchestra (From the Free Music Archive / CC by SA).
“The Secret of Tiki Island” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.