3 episodes

Literature podcast based in Madrid, Spain. We provide in-depth literary discussion without the pretence. Consulting secondary literature and unafraid to tackle great works and their ideas, we compress in-depth discussion of literature into a digestible format that won't cost you $60,000 and soul-crushing debt.

The Casual Academic: A Literary Podcast As I Lay Reading

    • Books

Literature podcast based in Madrid, Spain. We provide in-depth literary discussion without the pretence. Consulting secondary literature and unafraid to tackle great works and their ideas, we compress in-depth discussion of literature into a digestible format that won't cost you $60,000 and soul-crushing debt.

    Episode 36 - Structural Tricks, Disintegration & Ghosts in Valeria Luiselli's "Faces in the Crowd"

    Episode 36 - Structural Tricks, Disintegration & Ghosts in Valeria Luiselli's "Faces in the Crowd"

    Episode 36 features Valeria Luiselli's "Faces in the Crowd," a novella we loved and can't recommend enough. Our discussion includes a bit of her non-fiction, especially her essay "Relingos," as well as various interviews in which she shares her approach to writing and structure. Luiselli allows shifts in point of view and temporality to intermingle and eventually blend together in a story of a writer writing of her days obsessing over a poet in New York City.

    The novella is both dark and funny, and subtly deals with the way in which our pasts integrate and thus disintegrate our presents, and how identities shapeshift when lost in foreign lands and art.

    Episode 36 concludes our miniseries on Mexican authors, but rest assured it shall be continued! Let us know what you thought of the episode and the novella via social media, or email us at thecasualacademic@gmail.com.

    Stay casual,
    Alex & Jake

    • 43 min
    Episode 35 - Memory, Self & La Revolución in Carlos Fuentes' "The Death of Artemio Cruz"

    Episode 35 - Memory, Self & La Revolución in Carlos Fuentes' "The Death of Artemio Cruz"

    Rising out of the depths of a busy summer and unreliable internet, we're back to finally put out a miniseries on Mexican literature that's been long in the making. We hope you all have had a wonderful past couple months, and that you've been able to read a few good books.

    Speaking of good books, Episode 35 on Carlos Fuentes' "The Death of Artemio Cruz" is a discussion on Mexican identity via the writings on Fuentes and Octavio Paz; the good, the bad and the ugly of modernist formal experimentation, and a rehashing of how History as told by the victors is challenged in Latin American fiction. Fuente's novel is a modernist retelling of Mexican history through the life of a revolutionary turned robber baron.

    As always, we hope you enjoy the episode and be sure to let us know what you think about our discussion via whatever internet superhighway medium you deem your favorite.

    Thanks for listening and stay casual,
    Alex & Jake

    Music credits:
    "Laid Back Guitars" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

    • 51 min
    Traveler, Writer, Soldier, Spy: Lit & Context in Patrick L. Fermor's "The Violins of Saint-Jacques"

    Traveler, Writer, Soldier, Spy: Lit & Context in Patrick L. Fermor's "The Violins of Saint-Jacques"

    After several editing and technical hiccups, we're happy to present episode 34 on beloved travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor and his only novel. A soldier who led the resistance in Crete during WWII, a spy posing as a shepherd who captured a German general, an insatiable traveler (lest we forget heartthrob), Fermor was a jack-of-all-trades whose travel writing is known the world over. His novel "The Violins of Saint-Jacques," however, presents a West Indies that both gilds and destroys a European presence that reflects, perhaps, more the devastation caused by WWII than decolonization.
    Check out our discussion on art and context, WWII and British Literature, and the work travel writing does in the wake of quickly disappearing cultures.

    Happy Listening
    Alex & Jake

    Music credits for this episode:
    "Lost Frontier" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
    "Magic Forest" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    • 47 min

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