The History of Literature #375 – The Power of Literature | PLUS Reading Boswell’s Life of Johnson (with Margot Livesey)

375 The Power of Literature | PLUS Reading Boswell’s Life of Johnson (with Margot Livesey)

Jacke had big plans to make this episode all about the poetry of William Butler Yeats…and then listener feedback to the last episode overtook him. So instead of lazing about on the Lake Isle of Innisfree, he returns to the subject of Sophocles and the power of literature, as introduced in the conversation with Bryan Doerries, the Artistic Director of Theater of War Productions. After checking in with Friend of the Show Margot Livesey as she reads Boswell’s Life of Johnson, Jacke turns to a special message from a longtime listener whose own life had been changed by the work that Bryan and his theater company do. We hope you enjoy this special episode devoted to the power of literature.

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 #374 – Ancient Plays and Contemporary Theater – A New Version of Sophocles’ Oedipus Trilogy (with Bryan Doerries)

374 Ancient Plays and Contemporary Theater – A New Version of Sophocles’ Oedipus Trilogy (with Bryan Doerries)

As the Artistic Director of Theater of War Productions, Bryan Doerries has joined his colleagues in using dramatic readings and community conversations to confront topics such as combat-related psychological injury, end-of-life care, radicalized violence, incarceration, gun violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, the refugee crisis, and addiction. In this episode, he joins Jacke to talk about his new translation of Sophocles’ Oedipus Trilogy, his vision for contemporary theater, and how classic texts and age-old approaches to literature can help individuals and communities heal from trauma and loss.

Interested in Theater of War Productions? Want to learn more? Learn about upcoming events and sign up for their mailing list at theaterofwar.com.

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.

A Thank You from Jacke…

…to the wonderful listener G, who left me this message:

“…I loved how you managed to make a link between ancient greek authors and a modern philosopher. That’s why I enjoy your podcast so much: you never know which way the episode will go. There’s something about the way you talk about books that I really enjoy.”

Thank you! That’s exactly what I’m hoping will resonate with people. A little bit of literature or philosophy, a few unexpected turns, and above all, sharing some ideas about the greatest books ever written.

You can find Episode 6: Greek Tragedy (Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripedes), by following these links:

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History of Literature Episode 6 – Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides

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Author Jacke Wilson examines the works of three great Greek tragedians, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides – and attempts to solve the mystery of why Friedrich Nietzsche admired two of the three and despised the other.

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Sneak Preview: Nietzsche, Francis Ford Coppola, and the Greeks

Thanks to all of you who made last week the biggest one yet in the brief life of The History of Literature podcast. I’m not sure if Burt Reynolds or Aristotle deserves more credit. (Have you ever had the feeling that you’ve written a sentence that no one has ever, ever written? I just had that feeling.)

This week looks like a good one as well! Tomorrow, we’ll continue our journey through Greek tragedy by looking more closely at the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles (again), and Euripides. This time we’ll use the lens of the young Friedrich Nietzsche, writing his first book in his burgeoning philosopher/poet/madman way.

The trip through Nietzsche, Wagner, and the tragedians made me think of this unbelievably good sequence from Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now:

I don’t think Nietzsche would think much of most of our culture – but for what it’s worth, I do think he would have admired that sequence.

Onward and upward!

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