A discussion of the famous blasphemy case in Pakistan which led to an international debate. The uses that religious culture can make of rational secular judgment as a tempering device.
In a world of the 15-second cut and the phone text and the cats on YouTube, how do we learn to accept and master works of real deliberation? Can we watch Bergman's 14 minute dialogues in a film? Can we read a huge novel of the nineteenth century? Can we follow an elaborate argument of twenty-five parts? If not, what does this mean?
The classic album of the golden age of records was meant to be listened to as a whole - a unified statement. The effects of such a large composition is quite different from the hit parade of the '40's or the 45's of the '50's. It has some of the qualities of elaborate forms of literature (the play, the lyric sequence). In our day the iPod and other technologies have returned us to the age of the single song. Here I discuss the Beatles' Rubber Soul.
The Virgilian Triad: Heroic, Lyric, Georgic—the Centrality of the Ideas of War, Labor, and Meditation in Western Culture.
Here I ask the question whether the heroic, the practical, and the private (meditation/love etc.) are the three fundamental elements of Western culture, as they were at one time the divisions of Western literature. I hope to define and contrast each of these primary categories for the contemporary listener.
A discussion of how we sink easily into a habit and an atmosphere of lies in everyday experience. How we justify our acts of injustices even to our friends and colleagues. How the large institutions, corporations, governments, courts, and universities, are insulated from truth. How desperately we ask the question, "What is truth?"
An interview on the film Unforgiven, conducted by C. M. C. Wood. How does Unforgiven fit within the Western film canon? How does the film and genre express the "heroic code"?
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