The History of Literature #128 – Top 10 Animals in Literature

Continuing our look at animals in literature, we’re joined by Mike Palindrome, President of the Literature Supporters Club, for a discussion of the Top 10 Animals in Literature. Did your favorite make the list? Did we leave it out altogether? Let us know!

Authors, works, and animals discussed include William Shakespeare, Michael Chabon, Jack London, Rilke, C.S. Lewis, Edgar Allen Poe, Herman Melville, Christopher Smart, Master and Margarita, Charlotte’s Web, Beatrix Potter, Winnie the Pooh, Harry Potter, the Cheshire Cat, The Jungle Book, Roald Dahl, T.S. Eliot, Leo Tolstoy, Toto the Dog, Watership Down, Frog and Toad, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, William Blake, Franz Kafka, Ovid, Beverly Cleary, Jaws, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Carbonel: King of the Cats, Paddington, The Wind in the Willows, Ferdinand the Bull, and George Orwell.

Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. Learn more about the show at historyofliterature.com. Contact the host at jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com.

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The History of Literature #105 – Funny Women, Crimes Against Women, George Orwell, and More (with Kathy Cooperman)

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Kathy Cooperman, author of the new novel Crimes Against a Book Club, joins the show to discuss everything from the secret lives of book clubs to her own journey from improv to lawyering to becoming an author. She also tells Jacke about an inspiring Bette Davis movie, some books that she’s loved, and what a move from the East Coast to the West Coast taught her about the way men and women deal with the aging process.

Works discussed include:

Down and Out in Paris in London by George Orwell

The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman

The Sex Lives of Cannibals by Maarten Troost

A Shock to the System by Jeremy Brett

Mr. Skeffington (with Bette Davis)

Do you love literature and the arts?  Would you like to support the History of Literature Podcast? Please visit patreon.com/literature and consider making a modest monthly donation, which will help to keep the show up and running. Your contribution is greatly appreciated!

Show Notes:  Continue reading

The History of Literature Episode 39 – Reconsidering Graham Greene

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Jacke and Mike reconsider the life and works of the great twentieth-century British novelist Graham Greene.  Works discussed include The End of the Affair, The Power and the Glory,The Quiet American, Babbling April, and The Third Man.

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You can find more literary discussion at jackewilson.com and more episodes of the series at historyofliterature.com.

Contact the host at jackewilsonauthor@gmail.com or by leaving a voicemail at 1-361-4WILSON (1-361-494-5766).

Music Credits:

Handel – Entrance to the Queen of Sheba” by Advent Chamber Orchestra (From the Free Music Archive / CC by SA).

Top Ten Writers Laughing: The Very Best!

Okay, we already looked at numbers 10 through 6. Let’s take a look at the top five from our very popular Writers Laughing series. Away we go!

Number 5: Kurt Vonnegut and John Irving

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Number 4: Samuel Beckett

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Number 3: Flannery O’Connor

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Number 2: George Orwell (this was close – he was overtaken on the final day!)

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And the number 1 Writers Laughing are…

Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir!

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Congratulations, winners! Now everyone, let’s all try to make laughter part of our day today. Come on! We can do it!

Note: Commentary and image credits are on the original links.

Writers Laughing: George Orwell

Okay, the degree of difficulty is off the charts for this one. This is a man who agonized over politics and the English language. Who loved England and democracy but spent his life fighting against oppression and tyranny and the dangers of lazy thinking.

Laughing? George Orwell was shot in the throat while fighting in the Spanish Civil War. Come on, Jacke. You really think you can find a picture of him laughing?

Well, here we go:

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Laughing! Right? Okay, maybe it’s no Ray Bradbury…his life was harder, and…

Wait…you don’t believe me? You think that’s just a smile? What are you accusing me of, reader? You think I’m trying to sneak one past you?

Reader, we have a good thing going! Don’t you trust me?

Fine, fine. I’ll give you my evidence. That picture above is taken from THIS picture: Continue reading

Avoid Clichés. And Avoid Avoiding Clichés.

Look, John Jeremiah Sullivan gets a lot of praise for his prose style, and he deserves it. His 2009 piece on Michael Jackson is excellent. He’s a great writer!

So I’m not just shooting aqueous creatures in a barrel when I call attention to this passage: Continue reading