The History of Literature #228 – England vs France – A Literary Battle Royale

“Our dear enemies,” a French writer once said of the English. Englishman John Cleese called them “our natural enemies” and joked “if we have to fight anyone, I say let’s fight the French.” With the exception of a few big twentieth-century alliances, the French and the English have been at each others’ throats for a thousand years. Occasionally this has meant taking up arms and fighting for land or religion or rule. But what about culture? What if the battlefield were a literary one? What if supremacy was determined not by the sword but by the pen? In this episode, Jacke and Mike choose their sides and get ready to wage a literary battle between two proud, rivalrous, and highly literate nations.

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

The History of Literature #224 – Albert Camus

Albert Camus (1913-1960) was born in Algeria to French parents. After his father died in World War I, when Albert was still an infant, the family was reduced to impoverished circumstances, forced to move in with relatives in an apartment without electricity or running water.

From these humble beginnings, Camus went on to become one of the most famous and celebrated writers in the world, winning the Nobel Prize for Literature at the improbably young age of 44. In this episode of the History of Literature, we look at his works, including The Stranger and The Plague; his entanglement with the existentialists (a label he rejected); the analysis of his works by Jean-Paul Sartre; and the three possible philosophical responses to humanity’s essentially absurd condition.

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:

“Parisian” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

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

The History of Literature #220 – A Lost Spring (with Professor Mitchell Nathanson)

Professor Mitchell Nathanson, author of Jim Bouton: The Life of a Baseball Original, joins Jacke for a discussion of athletes, heroes, and A.E. Housman. Why do we celebrate athletes? How do we view them when their athleticism fades? And what does it all mean? We’ll look at the problems of male vulnerability, the groundbreaking work Ball Four by Jim Bouton, and the criticism of that book, most notably by esteemed sportswriter Roger Kahn. Close your eyes and imagine a world where the grass is green, the leaves are lush, and kids are outside playing without a care in the world. We’re celebrating spring at the History of Literature, even as we continue to stay indoors to avoid the coronavirus.

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.