In this episode of Literary Tales, we conclude the tripartite journey into Heaven in Dante’s Divine Comedy by examining how Beatrice is Dante’s “in persona Christi” in Paradiso. At long last, having learned forgiveness in Hell, the goodness of friendship and poetry in Purgatory, Dante is ready to take his seat in the eternal choir of Heaven.
In this episode of Literary Tales, we begin the first of a three part 20 minute episode series covering Dante’s Divine Comedy. This episode focuses on The Inferno and the role of rediscovering love in the midst of Hell in order to escape its deadly clutches.
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 introduce the greatest of the Greek playwrights, Aeschylus, and his magisterial tripartite play: The Oresteia. In covering the Oresteia we provide some background to the Greek literary and cosmological world before Aeschylus and then proceed to see how Aeschylus moves the pathological cosmos of love (from Homer) to include justice.
In this episode of Literary Tales we fast forward to the great English poet, writer, and clergyman Jonathan Swift and examine his monumental and enduring satirical travel-book Gulliver’s Travels. Far from a fanciful and funny children’s story (which we have inherited due to several films very much detached from the work), we realize Swift’s profound criticism of the Enlightenment, modern philosophy, and emerging […]
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 this lecture of Literary Tales, before we can proceed into any substantial dealing with Greek literature and mythology, we must first begin with Hesiod’s Theogony to set the stage and establish the cornerstones of the Greek pathological cosmos. I’ve written extensively on Greek literature and history in the public square. You can you my associated essays and articles here: […]
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 […]