The History of Literature #395 – Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (A Best of HOL Episode)

Jacke plays a clip from Nabokov discussing his famous novel Lolita, in which the frantic narrator Humbert Humbert recounts his passionate (and illegal, immoral, and illicit) love for a young girl. After hearing from the author, Jacke plays clips from three History of Literature Podcast interviews: Jenny Minton Quigley, Jim Shepard,, and Joshua Ferris.

Additional listening:

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.

The History of Literature #394 – Freud and Fiction | PLUS An Assia Wevill Preview

What narrative techniques did Freud borrow and employ? What was the effect? And what did it mean for the literary critics who followed? Following his look at the life and major works of Sigmund Freud, Jacke describes Freud and his followers’ at-times fraught relationship with fiction and fiction writers, with a particularly close look at Freud’s famous work “Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria.” PLUS a preview of our upcoming episodes featuring Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and Assia Wevill.

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.

The History of Literature #389 – Thomas Pynchon (with Antoine Wilson)

389 Thomas Pynchon (with Antoine Wilson)

“A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.” Such is the opening of Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow (1973), the novel that won the National Book Award but repulsed the Pulitzer Prize Committee. Pynchon’s special blend of paranoia and postmodernism made him one of the hallmark authors of the Cold War era. In this episode, Jacke takes a look at Pynchon’s life and works, then is joined by a contemporary author, Antoine Wilson (Mouth to Mouth), for a discussion of his writing process and his recent trip to Pynchonland.

ANTOINE WILSON is the author of the novels Panorama City and The Interloper. His work has appeared in The Paris ReviewStoryQuarterlyBest New American Voices, and The Los Angeles Times, among other publications, and he is a contributing editor of A Public Space. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and recipient of a Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin, he lives in Los Angeles. His website is: AntoineWilson.com.

Additional listening suggestions:

The History of Literature #386 – Gogol’s Ukrainian Nights | HOL Presents “Mysteries of a Merlin Manuscript” (A Book Dreams Podcast)

386 Gogol’s Ukrainian Nights | HOL Presents “Mysteries of a Merlin Manuscript” (A Book Dreams Podcast)

Jacke takes a look at Nikolai Gogol’s early stories about his native Ukraine, including two famous descriptions of Ukrainian nights. Then Jacke turns things over to Eve and Julie from the Book Dreams Podcast, as they interview a scholar about a surprising find: in 2019, a librarian in Bristol discovered four scraps of parchment bearing the names “Merlin” and “Arthur.” Their guest, Dr. Laura Chuhan Campbell, was part of an interdisciplinary team working to determine the origins and significance of these medieval manuscripts.

Learn more about the Book Dreams Podcast at https://www.bookdreamspodcast.com/

Additional listening ideas:

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

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.

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.

The History of Literature #376 – Why John Milton? (with Joe Moshenska)

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 http://www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

The History of Literature #373 – Roald Dahl

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 http://www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

The History of Literature #372 Dragons! (with Scott G. Bruce)

372 Dragons! (with Scott G. Bruce)

Dragons! From ancient civilizations to modern-day movies, humans have spent millions of hours imagining these popular mythological creatures – and millions of words describing them. Jacke’s guest, Scott G. Bruce has compiled the best of these words, explaining how dragons have appeared in literature. Avatars of the Antichrist? Servants of Satan? Cuddly pets? Couriers of the damned? Loyal allies? In this episode, we look at two thousand years of dragons in literature from around the world.

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 http://www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

The History of Literature #371 – Robert Hayden and the Nature of Freedom | PLUS Literary Zombies (with Scott G. Bruce)

371 Robert Hayden and the Nature of Freedom | PLUS Literary Zombies (with Scott G. Bruce)

Poet Robert Hayden (1913-1980) surprised Jacke with his description of freedom in his sonnet “Frederick Douglass”; in this episode, Jacke considers the nature of freedom and attempts to determine exactly what Hayden meant. PLUS Professor Scott G. Bruce stops by to talk about his work editing The Penguin Book of the Undead: Fifteen Hundred Years of Spiritual Encounters.

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 http://www.thepodglomerate.com/historyofliterature.

The History of Literature #357 – Little Women Remixed (with Bethany C. Morrow) | Thomas Jefferson’s Gospel (with Scott Carter)

357 Little Women Remixed (with Bethany C. Morrow) | Thomas Jefferson’s Gospel (with Scott Carter)

It’s a literary feast! National bestselling author Bethany C. Morrow joins Jacke for a discussion of her novel So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix, in which four young Black sisters come of age during the American Civil War. PLUS playwright Scott Carter, author of Discord: The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, and Count Leo Tolstoy, returns to the podcast to tell Jacke about Jefferson’s efforts to write a new version of the New Testament. Enjoy!

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.