In 1957 Stevie Smith published a poetry collection called Not Waving But Drowning – and its title poem gave us a phrase which has entered the language.
Its success has overshadowed her wider work as the author of more than half a dozen collections of poetry and three novels, mostly written while she worked as a secretary. Her poems, printed with her pen and ink sketches, can seem simple and comical, but often beneath the surface lurk themes of melancholy, loneliness, love and death.
With Jeremy Noel-Tod Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia
Noreen Masud Lecturer in Twentieth Century Literature at the University of Bristol
Will May Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literature at the University of Southampton
The photograph above shows Stevie Smith recording her story Sunday at Home, a finalist in the BBC Third Programme Short Story competition in 1949.
Weitere Episoden von „In Our Time: Culture“
51:39Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Emile Zola's greatest literary success, his thirteenth novel in a series exploring the extended Rougon-Macquart family. The relative here is Etienne Lantier, already known to Zola’s readers as one of the blighted branch of the family tree and his story is set in Northern France. It opens with Etienne trudging towards a coalmine at night seeking work, and soon he is caught up in a bleak world in which starving families struggle and then strike, as they try to hold on to the last scraps of their humanity and the hope of change.WithSusan Harrow Ashley Watkins Chair of French at the University of BristolKate Griffiths Professor in French and Translation at Cardiff UniversityAndEdmund Birch Lecturer in French Literature and Director of Studies at Churchill College & Selwyn College, University of CambridgeProducer: Simon TillotsonReading list:David Baguley, Naturalist Fiction: The Entropic Vision (Cambridge University Press, 1990)William Burgwinkle, Nicholas Hammond and Emma Wilson (eds.), The Cambridge History of French Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2011), particularly ‘Naturalism’ by Nicholas WhiteKate Griffiths, Emile Zola and the Artistry of Adaptation (Legenda, 2009)Kate Griffiths and Andrew Watts, Adapting Nineteenth-Century France: Literature in Film, Theatre, Television, Radio, and Print (University of Wales Press, 2013) Anna Gural-Migdal and Robert Singer (eds.), Zola and Film: Essays in the Art of Adaptation (McFarland & Co., 2005)Susan Harrow, Zola, The Body Modern: Pressures and Prospects of Representation (Legenda, 2010)F. W. J. Hemmings, The Life and Times of Emile Zola (first published 1977; Bloomsbury, 2013)William Dean Howells, Emile Zola (The Floating Press, 2018)Lida Maxwell, Public Trials: Burke, Zola, Arendt, and the Politics of Lost Causes (Oxford University Press, 2014)Brian Nelson, Emile Zola: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2020)Brian Nelson (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Emile Zola (Cambridge University Press, 2007)Sandy Petrey, Realism and Revolution: Balzac, Stendhal, Zola, and the Performances of History (Cornell University Press, 1988)Arthur Rose, ‘Coal politics: receiving Emile Zola's Germinal’ (Modern & contemporary France, 2021, Vol.29, 2) Philip D. Walker, Emile Zola (Routledge, 1969)Emile Zola (trans. Peter Collier), Germinal (Oxford University Press, 1993)Emile Zola (trans. Roger Pearson), Germinal (Penguin Classics, 2004)
The Seventh Seal
48:52In the 1000th edition of In Our Time, Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss arguably the most celebrated film of the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007). It begins with an image that, once seen, stays with you for the rest of your life: the figure of Death playing chess with a Crusader on the rocky Swedish shore. The release of this film in 1957 brought Bergman fame around the world. We see Antonius Block, the Crusader, realising he can’t beat Death but wanting to prolong this final game for one last act, without yet knowing what that act might be. As he goes on a journey through a plague ridden world, his meeting with a family of jesters and their baby offers him some kind of epiphany. With Jan Holmberg Director of the Ingmar Bergman Foundation, StockholmClaire Thomson Professor of Cinema History and Director of the School of European Languages, Culture and Society at University College LondonAndLaura Hubner Professor of Film at the University of WinchesterProducer: Simon TillotsonReading list:Alexander Ahndoril (trans. Sarah Death), The Director (Granta, 2008) Ingmar Bergman (trans. Marianne Ruuth), Images: My Life in Film (Faber and Faber, 1995)Ingmar Bergman (trans. Joan Tate), The Magic Lantern: An Autobiography (Viking, 1988)Ingmar Bergman (trans. Joan Tate), The Best Intentions (Vintage, 2018)Ingmar Bergman (trans. Joan Tate), Sunday’s Children (Vintage, 2018)Ingmar Bergman (trans. Joan Tate), Private Confessions (Vintage, 2018)Stig Björkman, Torsten Manns and Jonas Sima (trans. Paul Britten Austin), Bergman on Bergman: Interviews with Ingmar Bergman (Da Capo Press, 1993)Melvyn Bragg, The Seventh Seal: BFI Film Classics (British Film Institute, 1993)Paul Duncan and Bengt Wanselius (eds.), The Ingmar Bergman Archives (Taschen/Max Ström, 2018)Erik Hedling (ed.), Ingmar Bergman: An Enduring Legacy (Lund University Press, 2021)Laura Hubner, The Films of Ingmar Bergman: Illusions of Light and Darkness (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)Daniel Humphrey, Queer Bergman: Sexuality, Gender, and the European Art Cinema (University of Texas Press, 2013) Maaret Koskinen (ed.), Bergman Revisited: Performance, Cinema, and the Arts (Wallflower Press, 2008) Selma Lagerlöf (trans. Peter Graves), The Phantom Carriage (Norvik Press, 2011)Mariah Larsson and Anders Marklund (eds.), Swedish Film: An Introduction and Reader (Nordic Academic Press, 2010)Paisley Livingston, Ingmar Bergman and the Rituals of Art (Cornell University Press, 2019)Birgitta Steene (ed.), Focus on The Seventh Seal (Prentice Hall, 1972)Birgitta Steene, Ingmar Bergman: A Reference Guide (Amsterdam University Press, 2014)
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Death in Venice
48:37Death in Venice is Thomas Mann’s most famous – and infamous - novella. Published in 1912, it’s about the fall of the repressed writer Gustav von Aschenbach, when his supposedly objective appreciation of a young boy’s beauty becomes sexual obsession. It explores the link between creativity and self-destruction, and by the end Aschenbach’s humiliation is complete, dying on a deckchair in the act of ogling. Aschenbach's stalking of the boy and dreaming of pederasty can appal modern readers, even more than Mann expected. With Karolina Watroba, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Modern Languages at All Souls College, University of OxfordErica Wickerson, a Former Research Fellow at St Johns College, University of CambridgeSean Williams, Senior Lecturer in German and European Cultural History at the University of Sheffield Sean Williams' series of Radio 3's The Essay, Death in Trieste, can be found here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001lzd4
54:53Sophocles’ play Oedipus Rex begins with a warning: the murderer of the old king of Thebes, Laius, has never been identified or caught, and he’s still at large in the city. Oedipus is the current king of Thebes, and he sets out to solve the crime. His investigations lead to a devastating conclusion. Not only is Oedipus himself the killer, but Laius was his father, and Laius’ wife Jocasta, who Oedipus has married, is his mother. Oedipus Rex was composed during the golden age of Athens, in the 5th century BC. Sophocles probably wrote it to explore the dynamics of power in an undemocratic society. It has unsettled audiences from the very start: it is the only one of Sophocles’ plays that didn’t win first prize at Athens’ annual drama festival. But it’s had exceptionally good write-ups from the critics: Aristotle called it the greatest example of the dramatic arts. Freud believed it laid bare the deepest structures of human desire. With: Nick Lowe, Reader in Classical Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London Fiona Macintosh, Professor of Classical Reception and Fellow of St Hilda’s College at the University of OxfordEdith Hall, Professor of Classics at Durham University
49:18In the year 29 BC the great Roman poet Virgil published these lines: Blessed is he who has succeeded in learning the laws of nature’s working, has cast beneath his feet all fear and fate’s implacable decree, and the howl of insatiable Death. But happy too is he who knows the rural gods…They’re from his poem the Georgics, a detailed account of farming life in the Italy of the time. ‘Georgics’ means ‘agricultural things’, and it’s often been read as a farming manual. But it was written at a moment when the Roman world was emerging from a period of civil war, and questions of land ownership and management were heavily contested. It’s also a philosophical reflection on humanity’s relationship with the natural world, the ravages of time, and the politics of Virgil’s day. It’s exerted a profound influence on European writing about agriculture and rural life, and has much to offer environmental thinking today. With Katharine Earnshaw Senior Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter; Neville Morley Professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of ExeterandDiana Spencer Professor of Classics at the University of BirminghamProducer: Luke Mulhall
A Room of One's Own
54:48Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Virginia Woolf's highly influential essay on women and literature, which considers both literary history and future opportunity. In 1928 Woolf gave two lectures at Cambridge University about women and fiction. In front of an audience at Newnham College, she delivered the following words: “All I could do was offer you an opinion upon one minor point - a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction; and that, as you will see, leaves the great problem of the true nature of woman and the true nature of fiction unsolved”. These lectures formed the basis of a book she published the following year, and Woolf chose A Room Of One’s Own for its title. It is a text that set the scene for the study of women’s writing for the rest of the 20th century. Arguably, it initiated the discipline of women’s history too. With Hermione Lee Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the University of OxfordMichele Barrett Emeritus Professor of Modern Literary and Cultural Theory at Queen Mary, University of LondonandAlexandra Harris Professor of English at the University of BirminghamProducer Luke Mulhall
53:19In 1957 Stevie Smith published a poetry collection called Not Waving But Drowning – and its title poem gave us a phrase which has entered the language. Its success has overshadowed her wider work as the author of more than half a dozen collections of poetry and three novels, mostly written while she worked as a secretary. Her poems, printed with her pen and ink sketches, can seem simple and comical, but often beneath the surface lurk themes of melancholy, loneliness, love and death. With Jeremy Noel-Tod Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia Noreen Masud Lecturer in Twentieth Century Literature at the University of Bristol and Will May Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literature at the University of SouthamptonThe photograph above shows Stevie Smith recording her story Sunday at Home, a finalist in the BBC Third Programme Short Story competition in 1949.
51:47Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Donne (1573-1631), known now as one of England’s finest poets of love and notable in his own time as an astonishing preacher. He was born a Catholic in a Protestant country and, when he married Anne More without her father's knowledge, Donne lost his job in the government circle and fell into a poverty that only ended once he became a priest in the Church of England. As Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, his sermons were celebrated, perhaps none more than his final one in 1631 when he was plainly in his dying days, as if preaching at his own funeral.The image above is from a miniature in the Royal Collection and was painted in 1616 by Isaac Oliver (1565-1617)With Mary Ann Lund Associate Professor in Renaissance English Literature at the University of LeicesterSue Wiseman Professor of Seventeenth Century Literature at Birkbeck, University of LondonAnd Hugh Adlington Professor of English Literature at the University of Birmingham
50:49Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Jane Austen’s last complete novel, which was published just before Christmas in 1817, five months after her death. It is the story of Anne Elliot, now 27 and (so we are told), losing her bloom, and of her feelings for Captain Wentworth who she was engaged to, 8 years before – an engagement she broke off under pressure from her father and godmother. When Wentworth, by chance, comes back into Anne Elliot's life, he is still angry with her and neither she nor Austen's readers can know whether it is now too late for their thwarted love to have a second chance.The image above is from a 1995 BBC adaptation of the novel, with Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds WithKaren O’Brien Vice-Chancellor of Durham UniversityFiona Stafford Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of OxfordAndPaddy Bullard Associate Professor of English Literature and Book History at the University of ReadingProducer: Simon Tillotson
53:43Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Orson Welles' film, released in 1941, which is widely acclaimed as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, films yet made. Welles plays the lead role of Charles Foster Kane, a newspaper magnate, and Welles directed, produced and co-wrote this story of loneliness at the heart of a megalomaniac. The plot was partly inspired by the life of William Randolph Hearst, who then used the power of his own newspapers to try to suppress the film’s release. It was to take some years before Citizen Kane reached a fuller audience and, from that point, become so celebrated.The image above is of Kane addressing a public meeting while running for Governor.With Stella Bruzzi Professor of Film and Dean of Arts and Humanities at University College LondonIan Christie Professor of Film and Media History at Birkbeck, University of LondonAnd John David Rhodes Professor of Film Studies and Visual Culture at the University of CambridgeProducer: Simon Tillotson