Tim O’Brien has been hailed as “the best American writer of his generation” (San Francisco Examiner). A Vietnam veteran, he is the author of eight books. He received the National Book Award in Fiction in 1979 for his novel Going After Cacciato. In 2005 The Things They Carried was named by The New York Times as one of the twenty best books of the last quarter century. It received the Chicago Tribune Heartland Award in fiction and was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
In this episode we join John Ward at the Jackson Memorial Library in Tenant’s Harbor for “Teach Me Now to Listen: A Retrospective on Seamus Heaney.” This talk was held on April 9, 2014 as a Taste of the Humanities event.
Scholar John Ward, formerly of Centre College and Kenyon College, discusses the Irish poet whose death in 2013 was a blow to poets and literature lovers alike. He explores Heaney’s ranging subjects and styles, from personal and familial to political and cultural.
“He’s gone, and I feel an obligation to keep his voice and music alive to the degree that we can,” Ward says.
This talk was delivered on March 8th as part of Winter Weekend 2014, Crime and Punishment. In it, Raymond Miller discusses the phenomenon of the superfluous man in Russian literature, and the ways in which Crime and Punishment’s Raskolnikov does and does not fit with his predecessors in that category.
Raymond Miller is recently retired from Bowdoin College, where he taught Russian language and literature for 30 years. He has lectured and written extensively on Pan-Slavism and the history of Romanticism in East Central Europe. His current projects include an intellectual biography of the Slovene scholar and Pan-Slav ideologue Jernej Kopitar and Dostoevsky’s relationship to his early inspiration, Nikolai Gogol. He holds a BA in Russian literature from Harvard and is president of the Society for Slovene Studies.
Raymond Miller: An “Unhappy Wanderer” on the Streets of St. Petersburg: Raskolnikov as Superfluous Man[ 49:00 ]Play Now | Play in Popup | Download (38)
In this talk, delivered on March 8 as part of Winter Weekend 2014, Buckler takes us on a tour through the historical and the literary city of St. Petersburg. She begins with its construction in the early 1700s, traces the forces that influenced its growth, and takes the listener through the centuries with both the city’s critics and its defenders.
“I’m very happy to share with you some of the history of St. Petersburg,” Buckler says, “which is neither a backdrop nor a setting for Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, but the medium of the novel—the air. The kind of petri dish, if you will, in which a creature like Raskolnikov grows.”
In this talk, delivered on March 8th as part of Winter Weekend 2014, Gregory Freeze presents Dostoevsky and Russian Orthodoxy. Freeze is a professor of history at Brandeis, where he teaches courses on 19th and 20th-century Russian and German history.
He is currently preparing two volumes, one a study of Church and Believers in Imperial Russia, 1750-1917, and a sequel for the Yale Series on the Annals of Communism, Bolsheviks and Believers, 1917-1941.
Freeze discusses the background of religious belief that surrounded Dostoevsky’s world, even when it does not appear directly in his novels. According to Freeze, “If you’re going to study the Russian people, that means you study the Russian Church.”
Welcome to another of the Maine Humanities Council’s Humanities on Demand podcasts. Here, Professor William Todd gives a talk during Winter Weekend 2014 entitled Literature as a Profession in Dostoevsky’s Russia.
Todd is Harry Tuchman Levin Professor of Literature at Harvard University, where he has taught Russian and Comparative Literature since 1988. His publications include The Familiar Letter as a Literary Genre in the Age of Pushkin, Fiction and Society in the Age of Pushkin, and Literature and Society in Imperial Russia.
Though the “professional” makes few positive appearances in Dostoevsky’s work, Todd argues that Dostoevsky himself “became a consummate professional in the course of his writing career. In so doing he not only participated in the transformation of Russian literary culture, but also took part in one of the salient phenomena of modernization, of post emancipation Russian society: the gradual rise of the professions.”
Please be aware that the content in these audio files does not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of the Maine Humanities Council or any organization with which the Maine Humanities Council is affiliated. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.