384 A Writer’s Tools – Top 10 Literary Terms and Devices | PLUS F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Writing Advice

Mike Palindrome, the President of the Literature Supporters’ Club, joins Jacke to select the top 10 literary terms and devices of all time. PLUS Jacke reads a letter to a young writer from F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

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383 The Radical Woman Who Wrote ‘Goodnight Moon’ – The Story of Margaret Wise Brown (with the New Yorker’s Anna Holmes)

“Goodnight comb and goodnight brush…And goodnight to the old lady whispering hush…Goodnight moon..”

Telling the “story” of a darkening room at bedtime, Goodnight Moon (1947) has gone from near obscurity to selling close to a million copies a year. But if you thought – as Jacke did – that the author of this odd, quiet book was probably something of a quiet old lady whispering hush herself, you couldn’t be more wrong. Margaret Wise Brown was radical young woman who blew her money on furs and trips to Europe, had long-term relationships with both men and women, and spent her weekends hunting rabbits. In this episode, Anna Holmes, who wrote about Margaret Wise Brown for the New Yorker, joins Jacke to discuss the surprising story behind a beloved children’s classic.

Be sure to read Anna Holmes’s essay about Margaret Wise Brown’s life and works in the New Yorker.

Additional listening ideas:

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

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382 Forbidden Victorian Love (with Mimi Matthews) | The Poet Who Hated Love | Does Margot Still Love Boswell and Johnson

Love is all around! On podcasts as well as holidays… In this episode, Jacke talks to USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews about her love for the Victorian era and how that fueled her latest work, the historical romance The Siren of Sussex, in which an ambitious equestrienne teams up with a devastatingly handsome half-Indian dressmaker to take London society by storm – unless their professional plans are thwarted by their amorous propensities toward one another. Jacke also checks in with friend of the show Margot Livesey about her first reading of the classic biography Life of Johnson by her fellow Scot, James Boswell – does it still hold up? And finally, Jacke throws a bone to love’s wretched dogs, who might find some company in the misery of ancient Rome’s Catullus, whose love for “Lesbia” placed him on the knife edge between self-loathing and despair.

Additional listening suggestions:

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

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381 C Subramania Bharati (with Mira T Sundara Rajan)

C. Subramania Bharati (1882-1923) is one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. Known to his fellow Tamils as the “Mahakavi” (“Supreme Poet”), his works modernized and rejuvenated Tamil literature. Bharati, who knew several languages, also wrote in English, and it is in these writings that one can see and appreciate his range of interests, the depth of his thinking, and his passionate advocacy for social reform. In this episode, Jacke is joined by Bharati scholar Mira T. Sundara Rajan, editor of The Coming Age: Collected English Writings of C. Subramania Bharati, to discuss the poet’s life and legacy. Professor Rajan is also the host of the Bharati 100 Podcast, which explores the life and work of Bharati in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of his death.

Additional listening ideas:

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

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380 Ian Fleming | PLUS The Black James Bond

Ian Fleming (1908-1964) always wanted to be a writer. Not an “author,” as he put it, and not someone in the “Shakespeare stakes,” but someone who wrote for money and pleasure. In developing his enduring character James Bond, he managed to accomplish both. In this episode, Jacke takes a look at the life and career of the most famous spy novelist in history. PLUS we look at an American spy novel, Sam Greenlee’s The Spook Who Sat by the Door, which was poised for success – until some terrified authorities shut it down.

Additional listening ideas:

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

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379 Gwendolyn Brooks | Bharati Preview 2 (with Mira Sundara Rajan)

When the poet Gwendolyn Brooks “writes out of her heart, out of her rich and living background, out of her very real talent,” said The New York Times, “she induces almost unbearable excitement.” From her “headquarters” in Chicago, Brooks spent her life writing poems about the joys and struggles of the Black Americans on the streets around her. A consummate artist with full command of her craft, along with an insatiable curiosity and a deep well of empathy, Brooks produced more than 20 volumes of poetry and other works over the span of a 70-year publishing career. She was the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize (in any category); the first Black American woman to be inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters; a national poet laureate; the poet laureate of Illinois for 38 years–and those are just some of her many accomplishments and honors. In this episode, Jacke takes a look at the life and works of this indelible American poet. PLUS we get another visit from Professor Mira Sundara Rajan for a sneak preview of our forthcoming episode on the “Supreme Poet” C. Subramania Bharati.

Additional listening suggestions:

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

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376 Why John Milton? (with Joe Moshenska)

Yes, John Milton was important, and yes, Paradise Lost has been part of the canon since the 17th century – but why should we read anything by John Milton today? Do we imbibe his poetry like medicine? Is it a slog through cerebral but sterile prose? Or is there something wilder, more compelling, more alive? In this episode, Jacke talks to biographer Joe Moshenska, author of Making Darkness Light: A Life of John Milton, about the poet beloved by everyone from Virginia Woolf to Jorge Luis Borges to revolutionaries all over the world.

More listening ideas:

Want more Milton? We’ve got you covered in Episode #154 John Milton.
Ready for more wild poetic visions? Try our episode on William Blake.
Poetry not your thing? Check out our interview with Samantha Silva about the life of Mary Wollstonecraft.

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

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375 The Power of Literature | PLUS Reading Boswell’s Life of Johnson (with Margot Livesey)

Jacke had big plans to make this episode all about the poetry of William Butler Yeats…and then listener feedback to the last episode overtook him. So instead of lazing about on the Lake Isle of Innisfree, he returns to the subject of Sophocles and the power of literature, as introduced in the conversation with Bryan Doerries, the Artistic Director of Theater of War Productions. After checking in with Friend of the Show Margot Livesey as she reads Boswell’s Life of Johnson, Jacke turns to a special message from a longtime listener whose own life had been changed by the work that Bryan and his theater company do. We hope you enjoy this special episode devoted to the power of literature.

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

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374 Ancient Plays and Contemporary Theater – A New Version of Sophocles’ Oedipus Trilogy (with Bryan Doerries)

As the Artistic Director of Theater of War Productions, Bryan Doerries has joined his colleagues in using dramatic readings and community conversations to confront topics such as combat-related psychological injury, end-of-life care, radicalized violence, incarceration, gun violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, the refugee crisis, and addiction. In this episode, he joins Jacke to talk about his new translation of Sophocles’ Oedipus Trilogy, his vision for contemporary theater, and how classic texts and age-old approaches to literature can help individuals and communities heal from trauma and loss.

Interested in Theater of War Productions? Want to learn more? Learn about upcoming events and sign up for their mailing list at theaterofwar.com.

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

 

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373 Roald Dahl

Born in Wales to parents of Norwegian descent, Roald Dahl (1916-1990) grew up to become one of England’s most famous writers. Although Dahl was an accomplished writer of short stories for grownups, he is today known best for his well-loved children’s novels, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, BFG, Matilda, and Danny, the Champion of the World. Dahl also had a fascinating past as a WWII fighter pilot, an intelligence agent, and the husband of the Hollywood star (and Academy Award winner) Patricia Neal. What secrets were in his past? What do we find unsavory about him today? And what kind of impact do his books still have?

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

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