The History of Literature #393 – Writers in Odessa, Ukraine’s “Black Sea Pearl” | PLUS Margot Reads Boswell

Still recovering from his immersion in Sigmund Freud, Jacke looks instead to one of the world’s great literary cities: Odessa. More than 300 writers have lived in, traveled through, and/or written about Ukraine’s “pearl of the Black Sea” – what did they find so compelling? And what did they write about afterwards? PLUS we continue our conversation with Scottish novelist Margot Livesey, who has been reading Boswell’s Life of Johnson, generally considered one of the greatest biographies ever written (and one of Jacke’s favorite books).

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The History of Literature #386 – Gogol’s Ukrainian Nights | HOL Presents “Mysteries of a Merlin Manuscript” (A Book Dreams Podcast)

386 Gogol’s Ukrainian Nights | HOL Presents “Mysteries of a Merlin Manuscript” (A Book Dreams Podcast)

Jacke takes a look at Nikolai Gogol’s early stories about his native Ukraine, including two famous descriptions of Ukrainian nights. Then Jacke turns things over to Eve and Julie from the Book Dreams Podcast, as they interview a scholar about a surprising find: in 2019, a librarian in Bristol discovered four scraps of parchment bearing the names “Merlin” and “Arthur.” Their guest, Dr. Laura Chuhan Campbell, was part of an interdisciplinary team working to determine the origins and significance of these medieval manuscripts.

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