65 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

    • Arts
    • 4.6 • 24 Ratings

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
    Episode 33 - Disembodiment, Structure & Millennial Existentialism in Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar"

    Episode 33 - Disembodiment, Structure & Millennial Existentialism in Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar"

    Good evening from Spain! Allow us to present the 2nd episode of our "Books Casually Left on the Shelf" series on Sylvia Plath's only and much-celebrated novel. Take a listen for some talk on the relevance of existential crises of the 1950's, Plath's style, the novel's structure, and of course two white dudes talking about the feminine experience in American society.

    Don't forget to join the discussion on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, or email us at thecasualcademic@gmail.com!

    Stay casual,
    Alex & Jake

    • 53 min
    The Arabesque, Orientalism & Unholy Trinities in Jan Potocki's "The Manuscript Found in Saragossa"

    The Arabesque, Orientalism & Unholy Trinities in Jan Potocki's "The Manuscript Found in Saragossa"

    Episode 32 inaugurates our new episode series "Books Casually Left on the Shelf" (working title). This book was a hidden gem for us, and we hope you enjoy as much as we did diving into the arabesque and unholy trinities with Jan Potocki's "The Manuscript Found in Saragossa." If you're a patron, make sure you've read up on the novel with the email we sent containing a multitude of sources that we used in preparation for the episode. If not, get a copy and get lost in the mind of a writer of the Renaissance who had a penchant for sexual daydreams involving two or more people, and who might have believed himself to be a werewolf. Come for the unpacking of a novel touching all areas of knowledge, stay for the 17th century sexual intrigue and lycanthropy.

    We've been receiving many emails from listeners, and it's been the strongest of winds in our sails to continue doing what we love. Thank you all who have written, thank you to our Patreon members and, as always, thanks for listening.

    Best,
    Alex & Jake

    • 52 min
    Aside #24 - Patreon Launch & Our Next Episode Series

    Aside #24 - Patreon Launch & Our Next Episode Series

    We are VERY excited to announce that our Patreon page has launched about....24 minutes ago! On this quick Aside we talk about Patreon membership, why we're starting on the website and what you'll get when you become a Casual Academic! Also, listen for the announcement of our new episode series "Books Casually Left on the Shelf" starting in December. We talk about the books we'll be reading, and how Patreon members can vote for the 4th book of the series!

    We are very grateful to all of you out there who support us and listen to our show, and we hope that through Patreon we can connect more with our listeners and, as always, stay casual.

    Here's the link to our Patreon page:
    https://www.patreon.com/thecasualacademic?alert=2

    And finally, don't forgot to find us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and at our email thecasualacademic@gmail.com

    Best,
    Alex & Jake

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

nycfluxster ,

I love the discussions but

I have a technical complaint. Please equalize the sound levels - either make the vocals as loud as the music, or reduce the level of the music to the vocals.

ARQ0001 ,

Great literary podcast

This is an exceptional literary podcast and hands down one of my most favorite podcasts (of which there are quite a few). The hosts and guests are knowledgeable about their subject matter and the choice of reads is varied and wonderful. I have been introduced to so many great authors and books and am eternally grateful. Keep up the great work!!

SuzyQ1324 ,

A bookish podcast that thinks deep

Finally there's a lit podcast that isn't afraid to sound "intellectual" and dive into literary criticism in their discussions. That being said, Jake and Alex make big and complicated ideas understandable and easy on the ears - they remind me of those teachers or professors whose enthusiasm in the classroom is infectious and inspiring. Keep it up guys!

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