Interviews,  Show Notes

Episode 161: The Literary Life of Lia Techand

This week on The Literary Life podcast, we bring you another fun Literary Life of…episode. Angelina, Thomas, and Cindy’s guest today is Lia Techand, our first international guest on the podcast. Lia, a German born in Kyrgyzstan, currently serving with her husband as a missionary in Australia, along with their two book-loving children. We start off the interview hearing Lia tell about her young life and how she started loving English literature. She talks about her parents and grandparents’ reading lives and the legacy of loving books that they left for her. She also shares how literary analysis and symbolism teaching in high school and college challenged her enjoyment of literature. Lia tells about how she stopped reading in university because she was too busy but then started reading again once she became a mother.

Lia and Angelina share some examples of crazy literary theory that is taught in university programs, and how that confused and discouraged Lia so much. She also tells the story of finding The Literary Life podcast and taking classes with Angelina. They wrap up the conversation with some encouragement for readers looking for the meaning in the stories they read.

Join us next time for a discussion of Plato’s Ion, led by Mr. Banks!

Register now for our 5th Annual Literary Life Online Conference coming up April 12-15, 2023, Shakespeare: The Bard for All and for All Time. Get all the details and sign up today at

Listen Now:

Commonplace Quotes:

A story is a work of art. Its greatest use to the child is in the everlasting appeal of beauty by which the soul of man is constantly pricked to new hungers, quickened to new perceptions, and so given desire to grow…

The storyteller…has, in short, accomplished the one greatest aim of story-telling,–to enlarge and enrich the child’s spiritual experience, and stimulate healthy reaction upon it.

Of course this result cannot be seen and proved as easily and early as can the apprehension of a fact. The most one can hope to recognize is its promise, and this is found in the tokens of that genuine pleasure which is itself the means of accomplishment.

Sara Cone Bryant, from How to Tell Stories to Children

Every thirty years a new race comes into the world–a youngster that knows nothing about anything, and after summarily devouring in all haste the results of human knowledge as they have been accumulated for thousands of years, aspires to be thought cleverer than the whole of the past. For this purpose he goes to the university, and takes to reading books–new books, as being of his own age and standing. Everything he reads must be briefly put, must be new, as he is new himself. Then he falls to and criticizes.

Arthur Schopenhauer, “On Men of Learning”

What has drawn the modern world into being is a strange, almost occult yearning for the future. The modern mind longs for the future as the medieval mind longed for heaven.

Wendell Berry, from The Unsettling of America

In these days, when Mr. Bernard Shaw is becoming gradually, amid general applause, the Grand Old Man of English letters, it is perhaps ungracious to record that he did once say there was nobody, with the possible exception of Homer, whose intellect he despised to so much as Shakespeare’s. He has since said almost enough sensible things to outweigh even anything so silly as that. But I quote it because is exactly embodies the nineteenth-century notion of which I speak. Mr. Shaw had probably never read Home; and there were passages in his Shakespearean criticism that might well raise a doubt about whether he ever read Shakespeare. But the point was that he could not, in all sincerity, see what the world saw in Home and Shakespeare, because what the world saw was not what G. B. S. was then looking for. He was looking for that ghastly thing which Nonconformists call a Message.

G. K. Chesterton, from The Soul of Wit: G. K. Chesterton on William Shakespeare

Still ist de Nacht

by Heinrich Heine

Still is the night, and the streets are lone,
     My darling dwelt in this house of yore;
‘Tis years since she from the city has flown,
     Yet the house stands there as it did before.

There, too, stands a man, and aloft stares he,
     And for stress of anguish he wrings his hands;
My blood runs cold when his face I see,
     ‘Tis my own very self in the moonlight stands.

Thou double! Thou fetch, with the livid face!
     Why dust thou mimic my lovelorn mould,
That was racked and rent in this very place
     So many a night in the times of old?

Books Mentioned:

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Astrid Lindgren

Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Agatha Christie

Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers

Margery Allingham

The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Formation of Character by Charlotte Mason (section on Goethe)

Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

Beatrix Potter

Cautionary Tales for Children by Hilaire Belloc

Struwwelpeter in English Translation by Heinrich Hoffman

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at

Find Cindy at, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going!

Subscribe to The Lit Life:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *