Welcome to the final episode of our summer series on short stories and essays! Today your hosts Angelina Stanford and Cindy Rollins are joined once again by Thomas Banks for their discussion of Samuel Johnson’s essay “The Vulture.” Before getting into the meat of the essay, Angelina talks about why she disagrees with her own commonplace quote on the purpose of poetry. In the process, she gives us a brief history of literary periods from the classical to the neoclassical and enlightenment.
Thomas shares some more biographical information on Samuel Johnson and his work. Cindy highlights both the important place and the danger of satire, which is a popular neoclassical form and the one used in Johnson’s essay. The discussion ends with thoughts on why Johnson’s essay was finally not included with the others in The Idler collection, as well as what his purpose may have been in writing “The Vulture.”
Be sure to tune in again on September 17, 2019 for “The Literary Life of Greg Wilbur,” followed by three weeks of episodes on C. S. Lewis’ An Experiment in Criticism. Our fall novel will be Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.
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September 19: How to Love Poetry Webinar with Thomas Banks
A Farewell to Arms
by George Peele
His golden locks Time hath to silver turn’d;
O Time too swift, O swiftness never ceasing!
His youth ‘gainst time and age hath ever spurn’d,
But spurn’d in vain; youth waneth by increasing:
Beauty, strength, youth, are flowers but fading seen;
Duty, faith, love, are roots, and ever green.
His helmet now shall make a hive for bees;
And, lovers’ sonnets turn’d to holy psalms,
A man-at-arms must now serve on his knees,
And feed on prayers, which are Age his alms:
But though from court to cottage he depart,
His Saint is sure of his unspotted heart.
And when he saddest sits in homely cell,
He’ll teach his swains this carol for a song,–
‘Blest be the hearts that wish my sovereign well,
Curst be the souls that think her any wrong.’
Goddess, allow this aged man his right
To be your beadsman now that was your knight.
A Writer’s Notebook by W. Somerset Maugham
Little Britches by Ralph Moody
The History of Rasselas by Samuel Johnson
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathon Swift
Bird Life in Wington by John Calvin Reid
The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell
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