62 episodes

Close Readings is a new multi-series podcast subscription from the London Review of Books exploring different periods of literature through a selection of key works.

A new episode will appear every month from each of our Close Readings series running this year.

Listen to extracts and bonus episodes in the free version of Close Readings:
https://podcasts.apple.com/ug/podcast/close-readings/id1669485143

RUNNING IN 2024:

ON SATIRE with Colin Burrow and Clare Bucknell

Authors covered: Erasmus, John Donne, Ben Jonson, Earl of Rochester, John Gay, Alexander Pope, Laurence Sterne, Jane Austen, Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, Evelyn Waugh and Muriel Spark.

HUMAN CONDITIONS with Adam Shatz, Judith Butler, Pankaj Mishra and Brent Hayes Edwards

Authors covered: Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Frantz Fanon, Hannah Arendt, V. S. Naipaul, Ashis Nandy, Doris Lessing, Nadezhda Mandelstam, W. E. B. Du Bois, Aimé Césaire, Amiri Baraka and Audre Lorde.

AMONG THE ANCIENTS II with Emily Wilson and Thomas Jones

Authors covered: Hesiod, Aesop, Herodotus, Pindar, Plato, Lucian, Plautus, Terence, Lucan, Tacitus, Juvenal, Apuleius, Marcus Aurelius.

Plus two bonus series, ad free:

MEDIEVAL LOLs with Irina Dumitrescu and Mary Wellesley
POLITICAL POEMS with Mark Ford and Seamus Perry

Also part of the Close Readings subscription, the full series of:

MEDIEVAL BEGINNINGS with Irina Dumitrescu and Mary Wellesley

AMONG THE ANCIENTS with Emily Wilson and Thomas Jones

THE LONG AND SHORT with Mark Ford and Seamus Perry

MODERN-ISH POETS SERIES 1 with Mark Ford and Seamus Perry (originally featured on the LRB Podcast)

Get in touch: podcasts@lrb.co.uk

Close Readings (subscription‪)‬ London Review of Books

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 21 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

Close Readings is a new multi-series podcast subscription from the London Review of Books exploring different periods of literature through a selection of key works.

A new episode will appear every month from each of our Close Readings series running this year.

Listen to extracts and bonus episodes in the free version of Close Readings:
https://podcasts.apple.com/ug/podcast/close-readings/id1669485143

RUNNING IN 2024:

ON SATIRE with Colin Burrow and Clare Bucknell

Authors covered: Erasmus, John Donne, Ben Jonson, Earl of Rochester, John Gay, Alexander Pope, Laurence Sterne, Jane Austen, Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, Evelyn Waugh and Muriel Spark.

HUMAN CONDITIONS with Adam Shatz, Judith Butler, Pankaj Mishra and Brent Hayes Edwards

Authors covered: Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Frantz Fanon, Hannah Arendt, V. S. Naipaul, Ashis Nandy, Doris Lessing, Nadezhda Mandelstam, W. E. B. Du Bois, Aimé Césaire, Amiri Baraka and Audre Lorde.

AMONG THE ANCIENTS II with Emily Wilson and Thomas Jones

Authors covered: Hesiod, Aesop, Herodotus, Pindar, Plato, Lucian, Plautus, Terence, Lucan, Tacitus, Juvenal, Apuleius, Marcus Aurelius.

Plus two bonus series, ad free:

MEDIEVAL LOLs with Irina Dumitrescu and Mary Wellesley
POLITICAL POEMS with Mark Ford and Seamus Perry

Also part of the Close Readings subscription, the full series of:

MEDIEVAL BEGINNINGS with Irina Dumitrescu and Mary Wellesley

AMONG THE ANCIENTS with Emily Wilson and Thomas Jones

THE LONG AND SHORT with Mark Ford and Seamus Perry

MODERN-ISH POETS SERIES 1 with Mark Ford and Seamus Perry (originally featured on the LRB Podcast)

Get in touch: podcasts@lrb.co.uk

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Political Poems: W.H. Auden's 'Spain 1937'

    Political Poems: W.H. Auden's 'Spain 1937'

    In their second episode, Mark and Seamus look at W.H. Auden's ‘Spain’. Auden travelled to Spain in January 1937 to support the Republican efforts in the civil war, and composed the poem shortly after his return a few months later to raise money for Medical Aid for Spain. It became a rallying cry in the fight against fascism, but was also heavily criticised, not least by George Orwell, for the phrase (in its first version) of ‘necessary murder’. Mark and Seamus discuss the poem’s Marxist presentation of history, its distinctly non-Marxist language, and why Auden ultimately condemned it as ‘a lie’.

    Read more in the LRB:

    Seamus Heaney: Sounding Auden
    https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v09/n11/seamus-heaney/sounding-auden

    Alan Bennett: The Wrong Blond
    https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v07/n09/alan-bennett/the-wrong-blond

    Seamus Perry: That's what Wystan says
    https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v40/n09/seamus-perry/that-s-what-wystan-says

    Among the Ancients II: Aesop

    Among the Ancients II: Aesop

    Supposedly an enslaved man from sixth-century Samos, Aesop might not have ever really existed, but the fables attributed to him remain some of the most widely read examples of classical literature. A fascinating window into the ‘low’ culture of ancient Greece, the Fables and the figure of Aesop appear in the work of authors as diverse as Aristophanes, Plato and Phaedrus, serving new purposes in new contexts. Emily and Tom discuss how Aesop’s fables as we know them came to be, make sense of their moral contradictions and unpack some of the fables that are most opaque to modern readers.

    Buy Laura Gibbs’s translation: https://lrb.me/aesopcr
    Further reading: https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v33/n12/tim-whitmarsh/crashing-the-delphic-party

    Medieval LOLs: How to Swear in Latin

    Medieval LOLs: How to Swear in Latin

    All teachers know that the best way for students to learn a language is through swear words, and nobody knew this better than Aelfric Bata, a monk from Winchester whose Colloquies, compiled in around the year 1000, instructed pupils to swear in Latin with elaborate and vivid fluency. Mary and Irina work through some of Aelfric’s fruitier dialogues, and ask whether his examples can be taken purely in good humour.

    Read more in the LRB:
    https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/n09/irina-dumitrescu/making-my-moan

    Human Conditions: 'The Second Sex' by Simone de Beauvoir

    Human Conditions: 'The Second Sex' by Simone de Beauvoir

    Judith Butler joins Adam Shatz to discuss a landmark in feminist thought, Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (1949). Dazzling in its scope, The Second Sex incorporates anthropology, psychology, historiography, mythology and biology to ask an ‘impossible’ question: what is a woman? Focusing on three key chapters, Adam and Judith navigate this dense and dizzying book, exploring the nuances of Beauvoir’s original French phrasing and drawing on Judith’s own experiences teaching and writing about the text. They discuss the book’s startling relevance as well as its stark limitations for contemporary feminism, Beauvoir’s refusal to call herself a philosopher, and the radical possibilities released by her claim that one is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.

    Chapters in focus:
    Introduction
    Biological Data
    Myths

    Buy the book: https://lrb.me/beauvoircr

    On Satire: John Donne's Satires

    On Satire: John Donne's Satires

    In their second episode, Colin and Clare look at the dense, digressive and often dangerous satires of John Donne and other poets of the 1590s. It’s likely that Donne was the first Elizabethan author to attempt formal verse satires in the vein of the Roman satirists, and they mark not only the chronological start of his poetic career, but a foundation of his whole way of writing. Colin and Clare place the satires within Donne’s life and times, and explain why the secret to understanding their language lies in the poet's use of the ‘profoundly unruly parenthesis’.

    Read more on John Donne in the LRB:

    Catherine Nicholson: Who was John Donne?
    https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v45/n02/catherine-nicholson/batter-my-heart

    Blair Worden: Donne and Milton's Prose
    https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v36/n12/blair-worden/things-the-king-liked-to-hear

    Tobias Gregory: Lecherous Goates
    https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v38/n20/tobias-gregory/lecherous-goates

    Get in touch: podcasts@lrb.co.uk

    Political Poems: Andrew Marvell's 'An Horation Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland'

    Political Poems: Andrew Marvell's 'An Horation Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland'

    In the first episode of their new Close Readings series on political poetry, Seamus Perry and Mark Ford look at ‘An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland’ by Andrew Marvell, described by Frank Kermode as ‘braced against folly by the power and intelligence that make it possible to think it the greatest political poem in the language’.

    Read the poem
    https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44683/an-horatian-ode-upon-cromwells-return-from-ireland

    Further reading in the LRB:

    Blair Worden: Double Tongued
    https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v32/n22/blair-worden/double-tongued

    Frank Kermode: Hard Labour
    https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v25/n20/frank-kermode/hard-labour

    Tom Paulin: O brambles, chain me too
    https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v21/n23/tom-paulin/o-brambles-chain-me-too

    David Norbrook: Political Verse
    https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v08/n10/david-norbrook/public-works

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

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