Brian sits down with St. John’s College alum Jennifer Wright, who is a writer and the author of several books including It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History. They talk about Ms. Wright’s informed and fun take on history, as well as her career path from SJC to professional writer.
What is the relationship between the natural world and the human world? In this belated Halloween episode, Lise, Jeff, and Brian discuss Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Fall of the House of Usher.”
What is slavery? What does slavery have to do with the household or the state? Brian, Lise, and Jeff dig deeper into the Politics in Part 3 of their discussion of this series.
How do human beings confront a crisis? Anne Kniggendorf and Matt Young join Brian for a conversation about Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Hills Like White Elephants.”
In case you missed it: Tune in to Brian’s interviews with Anne and Matt in previous episodes.
“Man is by nature a political animal.”
Lise, Jeff, and Brian continue their conversation about Book I of Aristotle’s Politics, in which that famous line appears. They address Aristotle’s discussion of how a city comes to be, and his assertion that humans reach their full potential by living in a city.
Brian interviews Matt Young, Marine Corps veteran, English professor, and author of Eat the Apple, an memoir that has been described as “The Iliad of the Iraq war.” They begin by discussing maintaining your humanity (or not) while serving in and returning from war. They go on to talk about the relationship between civilian and military citizens and how literature and writing can help veterans to manage anger and build empathy after military service.
Contains explicit language.
Jeff, Lise, and Brian roll up their sleeves and dig in to Aristotle’s Politics. How are this and other “Great Books” relevant to how we live our lives? What is good political rule? What does it mean to be “just” within a political system? What problems can politics solve? What problems can it not solve? The team tackles those questions and much more in this episode.
Douglas Lensing joins the show to talk about his path from the Navy to St. John’s College and his paper “Passion and Mind: Homer’s Formula for Victory in the Iliad.”
Doug joined the Navy on a Naval Special Warfare contract, but after failing to complete BUD/S went to Defense Language Institute, learned Farsi and worked at Fort Gordon, Georgia as a linguist.
Doug will be starting his Ph.D. at Baylor University in Political Science in the fall of 2018.
Is human life “nada” – nothing? In their discussion of Hemingway’s (very) short story, Brian, Lise, and Jeff examine the contrast between youth and old age and the states of being hurried versus unhurried. How are those distinctions related to the question of whether there is a difference between those who need a clean, well-lighted place and those who do not?
Can you simultaneously hate and love the same thing? What is the relationship between virtue and love? Lise, Jeff, and Brian tackle those questions and more in this episode on Jean Racine’s play Phedre.