In this episode of Literary Tales we unpack Virgil’s famous epic, the Aeneid, especially his use of history, historical consciousness, and historical imagery, in driving the epic onward to its conclusion. We learn, in this deconstruction, that the Aeneid is much more than a mytho-poetic epic; it relies on the very memory and experience of Roman history and is an […]
In this episode of Literary Tales we dig into the so-called “praise poetry” of Horace and deconstruct the claim that Horace was a propagadnist for Augustus. On the contrary, Horace’s traditionalism and praise of Augustus is tied to a greater concern in Horace: the romanticism of the agrarian idyll which was, in fact, the republican idyll before the Civil Wars. […]
In this episode of Literary Tales we explore Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the juxtapositional dialectic of love and violence relating to metamorphosis (change or transformation) in the great mytho-poetic masterpiece of one of Rome’s great sensual poets. This lecture, in particular, focuses on the stories of Perseus and Andromeda; Pygmalion and the Statue; and Acis and Galatea.
In this episode of Literary Tales, we read one of the great classics of the Western world from the man whom Robin Lane Fox called one of the smartest and most insightful men who ever lived: St. Augustine’s Confessions. In exploring the Confessions we concentrate on the so-called mystical visions of Augustine and how they are intimately tied to Augustine’s […]
In this episode of Literary Tales we explore the great Greek poet playwright Sophocles and offer a reading of some of his surviving plays (Oedipus Rex, Antigone, and Electra) and how they revolve around the themes of filial decadence, dissolution, and deliverance in the broader movement of “Tragedy.” Family loyalty and dissolution, I argue, is the context to Sophoclean tragedy […]
In this episode of Literary Tales we offer a reading of Euripides: The Bacchae and Medea. In Euripides we find very modern themes of power, feminism, and masculine domination. As such, we might go as far as to say that Euripides was the prophet of modernity and put his thumb on the very issues we are now grappling with.
In this episode of Literary Tales we continue from Homer’s Iliad to Homer’s Odyssey. In this lecture we explore the theme of marital fidelity in contradistinction to marital infidelity and how only human love, and not human-divine love (or vice versa) can bring healing and wholeness to human life. Love, the great theme of the Iliad, is again explored in […]
In our continued pilgrimage into the Epic of Gilgamesh we concentrate on the figure Enkidu and the spirit of love and sex in the foundation of civilization and how sex civilizes mankind in accord with Aristotle, Catholic sexual ethics, and Camille Paglia.
In the inaugural episode of Literary Tales we lay out the premise of the podcast and begin a two-part examination of the oldest work of extent literature: The Epic of Gilgamesh. Journeying through the epic we come to realize that the work contains the consciousness of the early human struggle for civilization. In this lecture, we discuss Gilgamesh as the […]