Podcast Thoreau and the American Idyll
In Our Time Podcast BBC
Melvyn Bragg; Kathleen Burk, Professor of American History at University College London; Tim Morris, Lecturer in American Literature at the University of Dundee; Stephen Fender, Honorary Professor in English Literature at University College London.
Jesus inspired by God but not divine.
Emerson-intuitive nature of the divine.
“The Dark romantic authors represented a response to the optimism of the ideology of Transcendentalism.” from “Dark Romanticism.” Dark Romanticism – New World Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2017.
Quaker’s Inward light, follow your own conscience.
Mexican-American War (1846-1848)
William Paley‘s Of the Duty of Civil Obedience
Roger Williams founder of Rhode Island and advocate of religious freedom (separation of church and state).
The Prince as a centaur:
“He says that the ancients understood state craft better, when they figured The Prince as a centaur. The centaur is half man and half beast, and that’s what it is to understand state craft. Manly virtue will never be enough, you’ve got to be ready for beastliness, and the centaur is half beast. Now, that is presented directly as a satire of Cicero.”- Prof. Skinner
Cicero: the fox and the lion
“Cicero had said, ‘Force is beastly and is to be avoided, that is simply the lion. Fraud is beastly and that is to be avoided, that is simply the fox’. And Machiavelli says, ‘Since you need to know how to be beastly, you had better know which particular beasts to imitate, and then in the most famous phrase in the book he says, ‘Those who have done best as princes in our time have known how to imitate the lion and the fox’.” – Prof. Skinner
‘You’re going to have to cheat, you must do your best to appear not to be cheating’, and that again is satirical in respect of Cicero’s De Officiis, because one of the things which Cicero keeps telling us is, ‘Fraud will always be found out. So you cannot gain true glory by pretence’, I’m now quoting Cicero, ‘because your pretences will always find you out’ And that becomes a biblical thought too. ‘Be sure your sins will find you out’. Now, one of the most important things that Machiavelli wants to tell The Prince is not to worry about that, because it’s not true. And he’s very keen on the fact that The Prince is not performing his politics in republican conditions. In republican conditions, you’re out in the piazza, everyone has a vote, it’s all public. People are watching you. You’ve only been elected, their turn will come, it’s a communal activity, everything is in the bright light of day. It’s not so for The Prince.” – Prof. Skinner
From Chapters 15-24 “‘Be courageously evil where it’s necessary to be evil, but otherwise follow what people regard as the virtues as much as possible. Because if you don’t, they’ll hate you, and if they hate you, you’re in trouble’. -Prof. Skinner
See Shakespeare’s Iago
The Prince as a critique of Seneca‘s ‘De Clementia’, ‘De Beneficiis’ ‘concerning benefits’, and Cicero’s De Officiis, Concerning One’s Offices.
Essarai non buono
“Machiavelli does himself say at one point in Chapter 15 – this pivotal and notorious chapter where he introduces the virtuoso prince who is not always virtuous. He says ‘I’m teaching you that sometimes you must learn, how not to be good’, and it’s interesting he doesn’t say there, virtuoso, he says buono, a good person. ‘Essarai non buono’ – how not to be a good person.”” – Prof. Skinner
Salus populi suprema lex esto (The health of the people should be the supreme law) from Cicero’s De Legibus.
Machiavellian morality vs. Christian morality and classical morality.
“If you’re a prince, you need to go against conventional Christian or classical morality, if you’re an ordinary person, perhaps, you may want to carry on according to Christian or classical morality.” -Prof. Skinner
Isaiah Berlin’s essay The Originality of Machiavelli
McCarthy, C. J. “A Drowning Incident.” The Phoenix: Orange and White Literary Supplement. Mar. 1960. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee. p. 3-4.
“The black widow came threading her way toward it, and when she reached it she began a weaving motion over it with her legs as if performing some last rite.” p. 3
“He could hear the faint liquid purling even then, even before he emerged from the willows where the bridge crosses, glimpsed through the green lacework the fan of water beyond where the sun broke and danced on the stippled surface like silver bees.” p. 3
“Then with the gentle current drifted from beneath the bridge a small puppy, rolling and bumping along the bottom of the creek, turning weightlessly in the slow water. He watched uncomprehendingly. It spun slowly to stare at him with sightless eyes, turning its white belly to the softly diffused sunlight, its legs stiff and straight in an attitude of perpetual resistance. It drifted on, hid momentarily in a band of shadow, emerged, then slid beneath the hammered silver of the water surface and was gone.” p. 3-4
“It ebbed softly for a moment, then, tugged by a corner of the current, a small black and white figure, curled fetally, emerged. It was like witnessing the underwater birth of some fantastic subaqueous organism. It swayed hesitantly for a moment before turning to slide from sight in the faster water.”
“He lifted the stinking bag and looked at it. It was soggy and through a feathered split in the bottom little black hairs protruded like spiderfeet.” p. 4
Camilo José Cela 1989
Egypt (novel/short story/screenplay)
Ио́сиф Алекса́ндрович Бро́дский Joseph Brodsky 1987
US/Soviet Union (poetry/essay)
Less Than One: Selected Essays, Collected Poems in English, 1972–1999, To Urania : Selected Poems, 1965–1985
Akinwándé Oluwolé Babátúndé Sóyinká Wole Soyinka 1986
Claude Simon 1985
Svetlana Alexievich 2015
Belarus (born in Ukraine SSR) (Soviet history/essay)
Work: Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War, Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster
Patrick Modiano 2014
Work: Lacombe, Lucien (1974) (screenplay), The Occupation Trilogy
Alice Munro 2013
Canada (short story)
管謨業 Mo Yan 2012
China (novel/short story)
Tomas Tranströmer 2011
Mario Vargas Llosa 2010