"It is the honourable characteristic of Poetry that its materials are to be found in every subject which can interest the human mind." William Wordsworth The Troubadour Podcast invites you into a world where art is conversation and conversation is art. The conversations on this show will be with some living people and some dead writers of our past. I aim to make both equally entertaining and educational.In 1798 William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge published Lyrical Ballads, which Wordsworth called an experiment to discover how far the language of everyday conversation is adapted to the purpose of poetic pleasure. With this publication, he set in motion the formal movement called "Romanticism." 220 years later the experiment is continued on this podcast. This podcast seeks to reach those of us who wish to improve our inner world, increase our stores of happiness, and yet not succumb to the mystical or the subjective.Here, in this place of the imagination, you will find many conversation with those humans creating things that interest the human mind.
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie W/Guest Rucka
Today's guest is Rucka, and we will be discussing Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie and The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson.
We had a great discussion of the meaning of Peter Pan and why this is such a valuable story for children and adults.
What is the meaning of a boy who never grows up? What role does passion play in our lives, and do we have to give up our desires as we age? These and many other questions are ones that we discuss on this wide-ranging talk about these two great works of literary art and their role in our lives.
"Macbeth" by Shakespeare W/Guest Ann Ciccolella
Today we have some Shakespeare to discuss. I have as my guest Ann Ciccolella, artistic director of Austin Shakespeare. We will be exploring the play "Macbeth", Also known within the theatre community as "The Scottish Play."
Before digging into the play, Ann and I explain why it can be beneficial to read the play and even watch videos summing up the play before seeing a performance. Our conversation included a summary of Macbeth, why its themes are relevant to our lives today, and some tips on how to enjoy Shakespeare, even if his language is difficult to understand at first.
"Boule de Suif" by Guy de Maupassant W/Guest Chris DePretis
Film director & producer Chris DePretis joins Kirk to talk about the short story “Boule de Suif” by Guy de Maupassant.
It is said that Maupassant is the most adapted literary writer after Shakespeare. Though this is hard to prove, because often his short stories offer a broad brush by which film directors like John Ford will use to paint. Nevertheless, his impact on world cinema is impressive. Besides Ford, many directors have adapted stories from the French short story writer, such as D.W. Griffith, Orson Welles, Jean Renoir, Kenji Mizoguchi, Jean-Luc Goddard and many more. These directors, of course, are the most influential directors in cinema. By proxy, very few people can claim as much influence on world cinema as Guy de Maupassant.
In this episode, we summarize and discuss one short story in particular “Boule de Suif.” Then we discuss and compare the classic western movie Stagecoach (1939) starring John Wayne and directed by John Ford.
We will be talking about the themes of both of these works as well as the way in which Ford was inspired by Maupassant.
If you are a literary lover or a film buff, this episode is for you! Great art builds on great art.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury W/Luc Travers
Kirk and guest Luc Travers from http://www.literatureatourhouse.com/ discuss the dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury “Fahrenheit 451.” Together they give a synopsis (from memory) of the story. Then they leap into the flames of Bradbury’s tale.
In this episode, you’ll enjoy discussions on:
The main characters: Guy Montag, Chief Beatty, Clarise and Faber
Meaning of the story
Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold
Dover Beach and its meaning relative to the story
The prescience of the story
What is happiness, and how do we know if we are happy?
The importance of UNhappiness
And much more!
'Cyrano de Bergerac' by Edmond Rostand W/Guest Eric Robert Morse
Eric and I go over a synopsis of this play, first staged in 1897 to immense adulation. Then we discuss the meaning of the love triangle, the larger-than-life character of Cyrano and the meaning of the play.
Since 1897 there has been a variety of different projections of Cyrano’s looks. This is an important feature of the play. How ugly should Cyrano be?
What is it that Roxanne falls in love with?
Can a beautiful man also be bright and clever and witty?
What role does Cyrano’s nose play?
We analyze some specific passages in the play.
We take a look at the spiritual/body dichotomy in the play.
The role of “success” in Cyrano.
In the second half of the conversation, Eric, who is a Catholic, and I have a debate about Pride and the meaning of Cyrano’s Pride.
Eric Robert Morse (ericrobertmorse.com) is a writer, publisher, painter, illustrator, web programmer, philosopher, theologian, economist, and historian. His published works include a critique of Behavioral Economics (Psychonomics), a theory of political economy (Juggernaut), two novels (Monaco and Ricky Wills It), a psychology of storytelling (The 90-Minute Effect), a history of Feminism (The Economic Theory of Sex), and a sociology of postmodern America (Tearing at the Seams).
'The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass' W/Guest Jesse McCarthy
My guest today is Jesse McCarthy Founder of MontessoriEducation.com
Jesse McCarthy began his career as a young assistant at a small private school in California, and now 15+ years later he leads an organization that helps parents and teachers around the world to achieve inevitable success with children — happily and without stress.
We discussed The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave.
This book is described as a “dramatic autobiography,” and as Jesse and Kirk discuss, it is exactly that. It is not a long text. It can be read in a few hours. But it is an emotionally challenging text.
Jesse and Kirk discuss Douglass’ story, his courage and character as told within the narrative.
There are some ideas in this book that may be very challenging for people today to confront. Not in terms of slavery, everyone correctly abhors slavery, but rather some of the values and virtues that Douglass held as essential to the building of a good character.
Jesse and Kirk discussed:
the concept of “self-creation” as Douglass meant it. Slave MentalitySlave-holders mentalityFighting a system of ideasThe education of DouglassHow to educate childrenImportance of readingDifferent levels of readingAnd much much more.
Perfect for the poetry novice!
I’ve never been a fan of poetry. I found it confusing and boring. However, Kirk’s ability to make poems relevant and easy to understand helped me appreciate the true beauty behind poetic words. Great concept!
The Title Says It All...
Kirk is a natural and inspirational teacher. As an avid reader, and one who has learned more from”non-business” books than many business books, I’m thrilled to hear how Kirk related literature to life. This is a great podcast for anyone looking to live a better life.
Challenge Your Beliefs/Challenge Your Thinking
Thank you for challenging peoples thinking, Kirk…Great concept podcast!