Listen to an analysis of a book, film, play, or poem. A philosopher and poet discuss their meaning, themes, symbols, and motifs, with a view to co-creating an entertaining audio essay in real time.
Art and Action in Chekhov’s “The House with the Mezzanine”
In this story, there are two sisters: one introverted, frail, and bookish; the other dominant, opinionated, and politically active. In meeting them, an accomplished artist seems to be confronted with a dilemma. Should art subordinate itself to the project of creating a just society? Or should it focus on serving more spiritual needs? These questions make Chekhov’s “The House with the Mezzanine” an interesting meditation on the relationship between politics and the arts, and whether the windows of our proverbial dwellings are best used to illuminate a new path forward, or to articulate the beauty of the world as it is.
Nipped by Love in Chekhov’s “The Lady with the Little Dog”
Dmitri Gurov does not take love seriously. His wife annoys him, long-term relationships scare him, and his love life consists of brief affairs with women he meets at vacation resorts. In Anna, he finds someone who appears to be the usual victim—traveling alone, tired of her husband, and unlikely to make any effective demands for intimacy, something that seems to be revealed in the diminutive portability of her traveling companion. This time, however, he has met a match too powerful for his predatory ambitions. When is love’s bite bigger than its bark? Wes & Erin discuss Anton Chekhov’s “The Lady with a Little Dog.”
Love and Nostalgia in Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall”
Alvy Singer is not, he tells us, a depressive character. It’s just that as a child he always worried that the expanding universe would one day break apart; and as an adult that romantic relationships must always fall apart. With Annie Hall, he thought he had finally found something that would last, in part because she could -- like the audiences of Woody Allen -- endure and make sense of his fragmented neuroticism: by finding it, on occasion, funny, or endearing, or even informative. While Annie’s patient, quirky fatalism does not prevent her from outgrowing Alvy and leaving him behind, the nostalgic and wistful frame of Allen’s film does have something to say about what helps keep love alive, and people connected.
The book and film club I feel akin to
I love this podcast great insights on the literature and films that mean something discussions are fabulous and bring an intelligent perspective on complex works
Been waiting for a good literature podcast
I’m a big fan of partially examined life and always enjoyed the literature episodes of PEL, like on the idiot and no country for old men. I tend to look at literature with a philosophical lens so to me this podcast is just what I’m looking for. I’d love to hear them discuss Borges because I really struggle with him. By the way, both Erin and Wes have great radio voices.
To Pride and Prejudice
Very interesting and easy to listen to episode. I was interested from the beginning of the podcast and rarely lost interest through the episode. Both Wes and Erin clearly demonstrate that they know what the book is about and both share great points on the book. Podcast was so interesting I felt as if i was in the conversation myself and adding on to the main points. Very good podcast and production, going to go listen to another episode!!! 😁