215 Kate Chopin

From within the quarantine, Jacke travels to 1893 and the Louisiana bayou, where he finds Kate Chopin, pioneering feminist and author of the classic novel The Awakening, writing her short story “Desiree’s Baby,” in which a woman in love struggles against the racial prejudice of the antebellum South.

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

Music Credits:

“DarxieLand” and “Piano Between” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

214 Kipling, Kingsley, and Conan Doyle – When Writers Go to War

In early 1900, the paths of three British writers – Rudyard Kipling, Mary Kingsley, and Arthur Conan Doyle – crossed in South Africa, during what has become known as Britain’s last imperial war. In this episode, Sarah LeFanu, author of the new book Something of Themselves: Kipling, Kingsley, Conan Doyle and the Anglo-Boer War, joins Jacke to talk about the experiences of these three writers. What did they expect? What did they find? And how did the experience change them as writers and people?

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

213 – Special Quarantine Edition – Gusev by Anton Chekhov

More bonus content! For those of you living in isolation (and those of you who aren’t), Jacke explores the depths of the human condition – as well as its ultimate beauty – with the help of Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) and his short story masterpiece, “Gusev.”

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

212 Special Quarantine Edition – Pale Horse, Pale Rider by Katherine Anne Porter

As the world deals with a pandemic, we turn to one of America’s greatest (and least appreciated) writers, Katherine Anne Porter, and her masterpiece, Pale Horse, Pale Rider, a short novel that tells the story of Miranda, a newspaper woman who falls ill during the 1918 flu pandemic (also known as the “Spanish flu”), and the love of her life, Adam, a soldier who is headed off to the Great War.

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

211 Edith Wharton

“There are only three or four American novelists who can be thought of as ‘major’,” said Gore Vidal. “And Edith Wharton is one.” In this episode, Jacke and Mike take a look at the life and works of Edith Wharton (1862-1937), author of The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth, with a special deep dive into her short story “Roman Fever.”

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

210 More John Keats!

John Keats (1795-1821) was born in humble circumstances, the son of a man who took care of horses at a London inn, and he died in near obscurity. We know him today as onen of a handful of the greatest poets who ever lived.

Part Two of our look at John Keats discusses his impact on Jorge Luis Borges; his poems On First Reading Chapman’s Homer; his passion for Shakespeare (including his invention of the concept of Negative Capability). Along the way we look at Shelley and Byron and their attitudes toward Keats; the savage reviews Keats received; his trip to Rome; his two great loves; his death; and what might be his greatest poem, “Ode to a Nightingale.”

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

Music Credits:

“Allemande Sting” and “Ersatz Bossa Sting” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

209 Conflict Literature (with Matt Gallagher)

Matt Gallagher is an American writer who served in the Iraq War as a U.S. Army captain. He first became known for his blog, which was shut down by the military, and his subsequent war memoir Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War. Since then he’s received an MFA from Columbia University and published several books of fiction and essays, proving himself to be a thoughtful contributor to a subspecies of literature known as conflict literature.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian writer who – although she is only 42 – has established herself as one of the world’s greatest authors. The Times Literary Supplement has called her the most prominent of a procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors who is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature. She too, is a contributor to conflict literature, particularly in her book Half of a Yellow Sun, which tells the story of the Biafran War through the perspective of multiple characters, including a professor, a British citizen, and a Nigerian houseboy.

In this episode, Matt Gallagher joins us to discuss his experiences as a reader, writer, and soldier in Iraq; his first encounter with Adichie’s masterwork Half of a Yellow Sun; and how his experience as a soldier informed his relationship with literature.

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

Music Credits:

“At the Shore” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

208 John Keats

“Keats is with Shakespeare,” wrote Matthew Arnold, and few would disagree. His life was short, but his poetry is deep and his legacy long enduring. Who was this man? How did he overcome his lowly origins and become one of the brightest stars in the poetic firmament? In this episode we take our first look at John Keats (1795-1821), including a deep analysis of his famous poem, “Ode on a Grecian Urn.”

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

Music Credits:

“Running Fanfare” and “Bluesy Vibes Sting” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

207 Agatha Christie (with Gillian Gill)

Agatha Christie is one of the most successful writers of all time – it’s often said that sales of Christie’s books are surpassed only by Shakespeare and the Bible. But who was Agatha Christie? What was she like before she became famous? And what exactly happened during those infamous two weeks, when she disappeared from view – perhaps suffering from amnesia, perhaps to spite her husband and his young lover, or perhaps even to frame him for the murder of his wife. In this episode of The History of Literature, Gillian Gill (author of Virginia Woolf and the Women Who Shaped Her World and Agatha Christie: The Woman and Her Mysteries) joins Jacke for a discussion of Agatha Christie’s mysteries and her, well, mysteries.

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

206 Karl Ove Knausgaard

Since the publication of the first volume of his massive novel Mein Kampf (or My Struggle) in 2009, Karl Ove Knausgaard (1968- ) has become a household name in his native Norway – and a loved and hated literary figure around the world. Thanks to that six-volume book, plus another four-volume work titled after the four seasons, Knausgaard has drawn comparisons ranging from Marcel Proust to a blogger on steroids. For some, he is the avatar of a new kind of writing, or a new kind of novel, a pioneer who has advanced the novel into territory perfectly suited for the twenty-first century. For others, he is a hack, a charlatan, a navel-gazing fraud who barely deserves the title of novelist, let alone the acclaim or esteem that many have accorded him.

What do we make of Karl Ove Knausgaard? Why should we give his books our time? What’s the best way to read him? And can we strip away the sturm und drang surrounding his books and see them with any kind of clarity? In this episode, Mike Palindrome, President of the Literature Supporter Club, joins Jacke to help sort through one of the most polarizing figures in contemporary world literature.

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com