On The Literary Life Podcast this week, our hosts continue with part 2 of their series on Bram Stoker’s Dracula. After sharing their commonplace quotes, Angelina, Cindy and Thomas begin discussing how to properly read Dracula and other books written in this tradition. (Hint: It’s not the Freudian or psychoanalytical approach!) Angelina argues that Bram Stoker was trying, among other things, to reintroduce the traditional forms and metaphors into the modern era. Thomas shares the dark etymology of the name Dracula and how that relates to the image of Satan in this character. Cindy brings up Jonathan’s memory of Mina when he is in his darkest moments and the power of love against evil.
Now is the time to get your copy of Hallelujah: Cultivating Advent Traditions with Handel’s Messiah in time for celebrating Advent with your family. You can also get a recording of the Advent to Remember webinar at MorningTimeforMoms.com.
Thomas will be offering a webinar on Henry VIII and his times, which you can register for at HouseofHumaneLetters.com. Kelly Cumbee will also be teaching a course on The Chronicles of Narnia and medieval cosmology in February, and registration is now open.
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I never desire to converse with a man who has written more than he has read.Samuel Johnson
For, indeed, a change was coming upon the world, the meaning and direction of which even still is hidden from us, a change from era to era. The paths trodden by the footsteps of ages were broken up; old things were passing away, and the faith and the life of ten centuries were dissolving like a dream. Chivalry was dying; the abbey and the castle were soon together to crumble into ruins; and all the forms desires, beliefs, convictions of the old world were passing away, never to return. A new continent had risen up beyond the western sea. The floor of heaven, inlaid with stars, had sunk back into an infinite abyss of immeasurable space; and the firm earth itself, unfixed from its foundations, was seen to be but a small atom in the awful vastness the universe. In the fabric of habit in which they had so laboriously built for themselves, mankind were to remain no longer.
And now it is all gone–like an unsubstantial pageant faded; and between us and the old English there lies a gulf of mystery which the prose of the historian will never adequately bridge. They cannot come to us, and our imagination can but feebly penetrate to them. Only among the aisles of the cathedral, only as we gaze upon their silent figures sleeping on their tombs, some faint conceptions float before us of what these men were when they were alive; and perhaps in the sound of church bells, that peculiar creation of mediæval age, which falls upon the ear like the echo of a vanished world.James Anthony Froude
A man no more creates the forms of which he would reveal his thoughts, than he creates thoughts themselves. For what are the forms by means of which a man may reveal his thoughts? Are they not those of nature?…What springs there is the perception that this or that form is already an expression of this or that phase of thought or of feeling. For the world around him is an outward figuration of the condition of his mind; an inexhaustible storehouse of forms whence he may choose exponents…The meanings are in those forms already, else they could be no garment of unveiling.George MacDonald
A Selection from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide wide sea!
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.
The many men, so beautiful!
And they all dead did lie:
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.
I looked upon the rotting sea,
And drew my eyes away;
I looked upon the rotting deck,
And there the dead men lay.
I looked to heaven, and tried to pray;
But or ever a prayer had gusht,
A wicked whisper came, and made
My heart as dry as dust.
A Dish of Orts by George MacDonald
The History of England, from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth by James Anthony Froude
The Weight of Glory by C. S. Lewis
Studies in Words by C. S. Lewis
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