History of Literature #78 – Jane Eyre, The Good Soldier, Giovanni’s Room (with Margot Livesey)

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Writing about the Scottish-born novelist Margot Livesey, the author Alice Sebold remarked, “Every novel of Margot Livesey’s is, for her readers, a joyous discovery. Her work radiates with compassion and intelligence and always, deliciously, mystery.”

How has Margot Livesey managed to create this suspense in novel after novel, including in contemporary classics such as The Flight of Gemma Hardy, The House on Fortune Street, and her most recent work, Mercury? Host Jacke Wilson is joined by the author for a conversation about her readerly passions and writerly inspirations, including Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier, and James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room.

Play

Show Notes:  Continue reading

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It’s the Jacke Wilson Show! Episode 1.1 – The Halloween Episode

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Here we go! Episode 1 of THE JACKE WILSON SHOW, an effort that has been seriously hindered by my complete lack of any knowledge about how any of this works. I had a lot of fun! And it’s yet another disaster! Ah well. Someone needs to take these tools away from me. (Or not! Who am I, Laura Miller, angry at the barbarians at the gate? Even the plebes deserve a few toys, don’t they? And a voice? They get to have their say, don’t they? Don’t they?)

Ahem.

Readers, I could use your help! Like I said, I have no idea how any of this works. Take a listen, and let me know what you think! Does it sound okay on your player? In your headphones? Honestly, I did my best. I hope you enjoy it!

Download the mp3 file: The Jacke Wilson Show 1.1 – The Halloween Episode.

Show Notes:

It’s the JACKE WILSON SHOW!

On this week’s show: lusty lizards in space, Leo Tolstoy, a lost scene from Macbeth, a new play for Bryan Cranston and Kate Winslet, Homer Simpson sings a Christmas Carol, a revised Edgar Allan Poe (with even MORE spookiness), and A History of Jacke Wilson in 100 Objects #13 – The Monster. Enjoy!

JACKE WILSON is the pen name of a writer whose books have been described as being “full of intrigue and expertly rendered deadpan comedy.” Born in Wisconsin, Jacke has since lived in Chicago, Bologna, Taiwan, Ann Arbor, Seattle, Mountain View, and New York City. Jacke now lives and works in the Washington D.C. area. Like his writings, the JACKE WILSON SHOW takes an affectionate look at the absurdities in literature, art, philosophy, great books, poetry, current events, hard news, politics, whatever passes for civilization these days, and the human condition (that dying animal). For more about Jacke and his books, visit Jacke at jackewilson.com.

Credits:

  • Danse Macabre Hook, Greta Sting, Fanfare for Space, Return of Lazarus by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
  • The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe, adapted by Marjorie P. Katz, read by Jacke Wilson Jr.
  • The Lost Scene of Macbeth, Lusty Lizards (excerpts), and A History of Jacke in 100 Objects #13 – The Monster  by Jacke Wilson

Today’s Comment of the Week

From Wonderful Reader lilolimon, commenting on A History of Jacke in 100 Objects #13 – The Monster:

Your story made me laugh. Since I am a mexican I can relate completely to this guy jajaja
Is it something in our blood that prevents us from “behaving properly”?
I have no idea, but I can tell you every time I go to Europe I shock everyone with my reactions to things.
And yes, I also screamed and jumped up and down when I saw snow for the first time and I can´t help laughing when all the rest (Europeans and North Americans) tell me as if they were talking to a little kid: “but you see, snow is a problem, specially in the mornings when you have left your car outside the whole night. Snow is not fun”
But the truth is that I love to scrap the frozen ice of the car’s window, and I love to leave my footprints on the snow, and I love the way it stays in the tree’s branches, and the way it piles on the windows but I’m sure that if I had to deal with snow everyday I would hate it as well, just as I hate Acapulco and Tequila! 🙂
Anyway, I like your writing, you are funny and I like sarcasm a lot.
Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

You’re welcome!

My thanks to WR lilolimon for reminding me of the great day I had with my exuberant Mexican friend, searching for Nessie.

You can find all the Objects stories at the 100 Objects home page.

A History of Jacke in 100 Objects #13 – The Monster

I was traveling through Scotland in the dead of winter. Most of my life was spent holed up in a guest house in Inverness, sitting by the fireplace and reading Ulysses. I was content, mostly, but every day I forced myself to get out and do at least one thing.

Typically this meant I made it all the way to the pub down the street, where I drank a pint of heavy and sat by the fireplace and read Ulysses.

After about a week of this, the owner of the guest house gave me a coupon for a bus tour around Loch Ness. The Monster Tour. A stop at the Monster Museum. Kitschy, of course, but free, thanks to the coupon. And scenic. And sort of interesting, maybe.

I knew I didn’t like monsters. But I liked deception, especially self-deception, and I loved a good myth in an anthropological sort of way. There was something childlike about belief in the Loch Ness Monster that appealed to me. Something historic. Something connected to the land.

I walked down the hill to the bus depot under a cloudy sky and presented my ticket. The tour was as bad as all guided tours everywhere: bad jokes told by a guide who mixed information with spooky sound effects that even he had a hard time putting any gusto behind. As usual I sat there thinking, He says this ten times a day, every single day. Is he insane? Will he be soon?

Naturally I was the only one under the age of sixty. Most of my fellow passengers were enjoying the tour, groaning at the puns and snapping pictures for their grandchildren.

I was sitting up front, by myself. The guide seemed to recognize my likely cynicism. “Don’t worry,” he said to me, off-mike, as the wheels started turning. “We get some really good views. And I’ll point out the Led Zeppelin house. They were into the occult.”

I nodded. Two hours. Two hours to burn. Then the pub, and the pint of heavy, and back into Ulysses. It was good to be out; I liked looking at the fog and rain and green. Someone said we’ll be going high enough to feel the cold. Not a problem: I was wearing the coat I had worn in Tibet. I would survive.

And then, as we’re pulling out of the lot onto the highway that circumnavigates the Loch, the bus suddenly jerks to a halt. The guide stops his patter in mid-sentence and whirls around. Grumbling, the driver points out his windshield.

On the road, a man stands in front of the bus, holding up both arms to force the bus to stop. The man wants to join the tour.

“What does he think this is?” the driver mutters as the guide opens the door. “Tiananmen Square?”  Continue reading

Small Press Shout-Out: Valancourt Books!

Here’s what I love about small presses: they’re quirky, they look for (and fill) niches that the big guys have missed, and they often appear to be as governed by personal passions as market research.

Today’s shout-out, Valancourt Books, is no exception. Their catalog sports many overlooked and forgotten gothic books. Because they’ve identified a missed opportunity? Maybe. Because they think there’s a readership out there who would love to see these books dusted off and brought out in new editions? Maybe.

Because they just plain love these books? Definitely.

Publisher and general editor James D. Jenkins has the story:

Continue reading

Small Press Shout-Out: Luath Press!

 

Our globetrotting search for good people putting out good books continues! Last week we journeyed to Australia for a visit to the kindhearted and energetic Pantera Press. Up this week: the land of mountains high-cover’d with snow, straths and green vallies, forests and wild-hanging woods, torrents and loud-pouring floods…that’s right! We’re going to visit the Land of Rabbie Burns… Continue reading