Money. Sex. Power. Family. Those are the conceits at the heart of Henry James’s late-period masterpiece, The Golden Bowl. In this episode, Jacke talks to author Dinitia Smith, whose new novel The Prince reinvigorates this classic story of a wealthy American widower, his doting daughter, her charismatic foreign husband, and the childhood friend whose secret love affairs threaten to jeopardize multiple marriages.
John Marcher has been waiting all his life for something rare and strange to happen to him – something that will leap out of the darkness and attack him like a Beast in a Jungle. His friend May Bartram has agreed to wait with him. Together, the pair have been analyzing and enduring this unusual life-situation for years…until finally the Beast appears, first to her, and then to him.
In this episode, Jacke concludes the three-part series on the Henry James masterpiece “The Beast in the Jungle,” reading the end of the story and relating the tantalizing connections to Henry James’s own relationship with fellow author and close friend Constance Fenimore Woolson. But don’t worry! If you missed the first two parts, you can find them in the archive or just start here – Jacke provides everything you need to know. Enjoy!
A man has lived his life convinced that something rare and strange lies in wait for him – a monumental catastrophe that has never happened to anyone before. He shares his secret apprehension with one person, until his fear begins to dominate her life as well. What will happen to him? To her? To them?
In this episode, Jacke continues his review of Henry James’s amazing novella “The Beast in the Jungle.” (Don’t worry if you haven’t listened to the first part – this one has everything you need!)
Squirrel-voiced waiter-host Jacke Wilson invites his listeners to a literary feast! In this episode, Jacke takes a look at Henry James’s long-short-story masterpiece, “The Beast in the Jungle.” (Don’t worry if you’ve never read the story or haven’t been able to find room in your heart for Henry James before–this episode is for anyone hungry enough to listen!)
In the immediate aftermath of her death at the age of 53, Constance Fenimore Woolson (1840-1894) was considered one of the greatest writers of her day, but her reputation soon faded. A hundred years later, she was little more than a footnote in her friend Henry James’s biography, until scholars began to rediscover her life and works. In this episode, Jacke takes a look at one of her most famous short stories, “Miss Grief,” in which an aspiring writer of artistic ambition seeks out the opinion and assistance of a more established author. The story, written after Woolson had tried unsuccessfully to meet James for the first time, is often viewed as anticipatory of the relationship that she and James went on to have.
When she died tragically at the age of 53, Constance Fenimore Woolson was ranked with the greatest female writers of all time, including Jane Austen, George Eliot, and the Brontes. What happened to her reputation after that? Did her friend Henry James sink her reputation as an author and a person? In this episode, Jacke takes a look at the hugely successful (and now often overlooked) nineteenth-century American author Constance Fenimore Woolson.
“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.”
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It’s the Halloween Episode! After some false starts (thanks, Gar!), Jacke settles in to discuss some ghost stories, including a few old chestnuts, a little Toni Morrison, a little Henry James, and a LOT of real-life phenomena. Along the way, he discusses how ghost stories work and what reasonable explanations might explain them. Because everything can ultimately be explained…. right…?
Life is short, and books are many. How many great books have you read? How many more have you NOT read? How to choose? Mike Palindrome, President of the Literature Supporters Club, joins Jacke for a discussion of overrated classics and the pleasures of shortening one’s list of must-reads.