Episode 20 The Place of Poetry in Reviving the Wasteland (Inner and Outer)

Doug is joined by poet and teacher Will Justice Drake for a discussion of the place of poetry in preserving the human and renewing our lives and communities.

Starting with Walker Percy’s analysis of the loss of language and viable selfhood, we consider the fundamental difference between true poetry and common language. How does poetry resist the devaluation of words and the evacuation of things (including people)? How is it a form of resistance to the disorder of the age?

Most important, we consider how the recovery of language through poetry can spark a renewal of our selves and the possibility of communion. We have poetry from Dickinson, Stevens, and Eliot scattered throughout, but our centerpiece is “Summer Storm (Circa 1916), and God’s Grace” from Robert Penn Warren’s book Promises.

Show notes and further reading:

Continue reading “Episode 20 The Place of Poetry in Reviving the Wasteland (Inner and Outer)”

Episode 9 Walker Percy: Lost in the Cosmos and the Dilemma of the Self

Doug and Caren talk Walker Percy and the vagaries of the self in our age. We focus our discussion on Percy’s immensely entertaining Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book after an epigraph from his novel The Moviegoer. We touch on what brought about our predicament, a few of Percy’s non-selves, and a glimpse of the way forward. Our discussion includes other novels and his essay “The Loss of the Creature” in passing. Lastly, our Top 10 Ways to Fight Malaise.

We’ll come back to Percy more than once. This episode just gets us started.

Show notes:

Continue reading “Episode 9 Walker Percy: Lost in the Cosmos and the Dilemma of the Self”

Episode 3 Stuff and Clutter: Reordering Our Relationship to Things

Doug and Caren talk about stuff and clutter, how it hinders our daily life and work, and ways to reorder our relationship to things. Our starting point is Thoreau’s Walden, the great experiment in testing the essentials. We touch on some popular methods of decluttering, but go a bit deeper into recovering the presence of things, following Walker Percy, and the sacramental significance of order in our lives.

Episode notes:

A good edition of Thoreau’s Walden with a useful introduction and annotations.

The Mission, directed by Roland Joffé (1986)

Marie Kondo, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying

Homer, The Odyssey. Translators are important.  Most on-line versions are from older translations (such as Lattimore’s classic). This is Robert Fitzgerald’s Bollingen Prize winning translation.

Walker Percy (who will probably be in the notes for most episodes), Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book

 

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