SUBTEXT Literature and Film Podcast

SUBTEXT Literature and Film Podcast

SUBTEXT is a podcast about the human condition, and what we can learn about it from the greatest inventions of the human imagination: fiction, film, drama, poetry, essays, and criticism. Each episode, philosopher Wes Alwan and poet Erin O’Luanaigh explore life’s big questions by conducting a close reading of a text or film and co-writing an audio essay about it in real time.

Episodes

June 24, 2024
Why do we rebel against our position within the natural world, even to the point of self-destruction? What is required to restore us? Wes & Erin continue their discussion of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s classic poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” (Thanks to our sponsor for this episode, HelloFresh. Go to HelloFresh.com/subtextapps for free appetizers for life).
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Why do we rebel against our position within the natural world, even to the point of self-destruction? What is required to restore us? Wes & Erin continue their discussion of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s classic poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” (Thanks to our sponsor for this episode, HelloFresh. Go to HelloFresh.com/subtextapps for free appetizers for life).
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Why do we rebel against our position within the natural world, even to the point of self-destruction? What is required to restore us? Wes & Erin continue their discussion of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s classic poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” (Thanks to our sponsor for this episode, HelloFresh. Go to HelloFresh.com/subtextsweet for free dessert for life).
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June 3, 2024 53 mins
Why do we rebel against our position within the natural world, even to the point of self-destruction? What is required to restore us? Wes & Erin continue their discussion of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s classic poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”
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The ancient Mariner kills his Albatross with a carelessness that stands in stark contrast to his impulse for confession. For several days he and his shipmates feed the albatross, play with it, and treat it as if it were inhabited by a “Christian soul.” The mariner never tells the wedding guest why it is that he kills the bird, but the casual and seemingly unmotivated act is followed by a psychedelic nightmare that gives us some clu...
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The ancient Mariner kills his Albatross with a carelessness that stands in stark contrast to his impulse for confession. For several days he and his shipmates feed the albatross, play with it, and treat it as if it were inhabited by a “Christian soul.” The mariner never tells the wedding guest why it is that he kills the bird, but the casual and seemingly unmotivated act is followed by a psychedelic nightmare that gives us some clu...
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Wes & Erin continue their discussion of "On the Waterfront."
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Terry Malloy and his fellow longshoremen on the New York docks are witnesses to union corruption under labor boss Johnny Friendly, but won’t testify against him because of his violent intimidation tactics, which ensure that union members remain “D and D”—that is, deaf and dumb—to any illegal activity. When Terry’s collaboration with Friendly results in the death of his friend Joey Doyle, and when Terry subsequently falls in love wi...
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In the medieval tradition of courtly love, the aubade inverts the serenade. Where one heralds an evening arrival, the other laments a morning departure. In John Dunne’s famous poetic contribution to the genre, he chastises the sun for waking and so separating lovers, but consoles us with the notion that the power of the sun is ultimately subordinate to the imperatives of love. More bleak, Philip Larkin’s poem “Aubade" seems to aban...
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In the medieval tradition of courtly love, the aubade inverts the serenade. Where one heralds an evening arrival, the other laments a morning departure. In John Dunne’s famous poetic contribution to the genre, he chastises the sun for waking and so separating lovers, but consoles us with the notion that the power of the sun is ultimately subordinate to the imperatives of love. More bleak, Philip Larkin’s poem “Aubade" seems to aban...
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Wes & Erin continue their discussion of Orson Welles’s "Citizen Kane." Thanks to our sponsor for this episode, HelloFresh. Go to HelloFresh.com/subtextfree and use code subtextfree for free breakfast for life.
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It’s a film bursting with objects—the treasure troves of Xanadu, a snowglobe, jigsaw puzzles, a winner’s cup, the famous sled. Even the conceptual elements of the film’s plot are expressed tangibly. Kane’s mind-boggling wealth isn’t an abstraction, but a list of concrete holdings—gold mines, oil wells, real estate. And the news Kane controls and manipulates, when yoked to another noun, is something one can hold in one’s hands: a ne...
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Part 6 of Wes & Erin's discussion of Shakespeare’s "The Winter’s Tale." Thanks to our sponsor for this episode, St. John's College. Learn more about undergraduate--and graduate--Great Books programs at St. John's in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Annapolis, Maryland at sjc.edu/subtext.
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Part 5 of Wes & Erin's discussion of Shakespeare’s "The Winter’s Tale." Thanks to our sponsor for this episode, St. John's College. Learn more about undergraduate--and graduate--Great Books programs at St. John's in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Annapolis, Maryland at sjc.edu/subtext.
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Part 4 of Wes & Erin's discussion of Shakespeare’s "The Winter’s Tale." Thanks to our sponsor for this episode, HelloFresh. Go to HelloFresh.com/subtextfree and use code subtextfree for free breakfast for life.
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Part 3 of Wes & Erin's discussion of Shakespeare’s "The Winter’s Tale." Thanks to our sponsor for this episode, St. John's College. Learn more about undergraduate--and graduate--Great Books programs at St. John's in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Annapolis, Maryland at sjc.edu/subtext.
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Part 2 of Wes & Erin's discussion of Shakespeare’s "The Winter’s Tale." Thanks to our sponsor for this episode, St. John's College. Learn more about undergraduate--and graduate--Great Books programs at St. John's in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Annapolis, Maryland at sjc.edu/subtext.
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When King Leontes accuses his pregnant wife of adultery, the nobleman Antigonus assumes that Leontes has been “abused and by some putter-on”—in other words, some Iago-like villain has been putting malevolent ideas into his head. In fact, Leontes is the father of his own misconceptions, just as he is the father of his wife’s children. But unlike his children, his ideas might be said to have no mother; they lack corroboration, which ...
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Wes & Erin continue their discussion of Woody Allen's "Hannah and Her Sisters." For bonus content, become a paid subscriber at Patreon or directly on the Apple Podcasts app. Patreon subscribers also get early access to ad-free regular episodes.
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Hannah supports her sisters. She’s a source of money, encouragement, and advice, and seems to ask for nothing in return. In fact, she’s so giving and self-reliant that her husband Eliott begins to believe that she has no needs. This seems to be the spark that ignites his infatuation with Hannah’s sister Lee. It also leads her sister Holly to rebel against what might be called Hannah’s regime of care, only to marry another of her di...
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