Tag Archives | jenny attiyeh

Carol Bundy, Civil War biographer

Note: this ThoughtCast interview was broadcast on WCAI/WNAN on Nov. 12, 2006 in honor of Veterans Day.

At a time when the country’s attention is focused on the ever-expanding list of American war dead, Carol Bundy’s biography of a Union officer who sacrifices his life in the Civil War is eerily apt.

Carol’s book tells the story of the short, heroic life of Charles Russell Lowell, Jr., an elite young cavalryman who embodied the promise of his generation. An ardent abolitionist and reformer, Lowell was also a brilliant battlefield strategist, and he turned the tide at the Battle of Cedar Creek in the Shenandoah Valley, a crucial victory for the North just two weeks shy of Lincoln’s re-election. Shot twice during the fighting, Lowell died at dawn the following day.
Click here: to listen (28:30 mins).
Click here to listen to a lecture by Carol Bundy on her biography of Charles Russell Lowell, Jr. at the Harvard Book Store.

Posted on November 6, 2005 in Biography, History
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Virgil’s Georgics with award-winning Poet David Ferry

Note: This program was broadcast on April 8th 2007 on WGBH.

Click here to read a review of the interview on PRX.

Noted Cambridge poet David Ferry has recently translated Virgil’s Georgics, and on ThoughtCast he joins Virgil scholar Richard Thomas, the chair of Harvard’s Classics Dept., for a detailed examination of this beautiful and insufficiently known poem. It is said to have taken Virgil 7 years to write, from about 36 to 29 B.C.

 

As such, The Georgics was written during a period of political instability and chronic civil war, and inevitably reflects Virgil’s dark, often pessimistic outlook on human nature. But at the same time, The Georgics (which means “agriculture” in Greek), is a celebration of nature and its ceaseless beauty. As Virgil describes the cycles of crops, the seasons, the weather — the birth, death and rebirth that mark the natural world — he provides us with a complex, realistic, painful but enduringly uplifting poem.
Click here: to listen (29 minutes).


Click here  to listen to a lecture by David Ferry on his Georgics translation at the Harvard Book Store.

Posted on September 1, 2005 in Harvard Luminaries, History, Literature, Poetry
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Ilan Stavans: chameleon, critic

In honor of Hispanic History Month, WGBH radio, an NPR station in Boston, broadcast this ThoughtCast interview with Ilan Stavans twice. It was also picked up by KRZA, an NPR station in Alamosa, Colorado, and Georgia Public Broadcasting. And here’s a review of the program on PRX!
Ilan Stavans, the renowned critic of Latino and Latin American literature and culture, and the author of the controversial dictionary, “Spanglish,” is also a perpetual outsider. A Mexican-Jewish-American, Ilan lives simultaneously in many cultures, while truly belonging to none. He calls himself a chameleon, and perhaps this status is just what it takes to be a true critic.
Click here: to listen (30 mins).
Click here to listen to a lecture by Ilan Stavans on “Spanglish: The New American Language” on the WGBH Forum Network.

Posted on July 20, 2005 in Literature, Politics
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