The Mookse and the Gripes Podcast
Episode 4: The Literary Annus Mirabilis: James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and T.S. Eliot in 1922

Is 1922 the greatest year in literature? It’s hard for me to think of another as significant, even if I can think of other years with better books. This is the year of James Joyce’s Ulysses, Virginia Woolf’s Jacob’s Room, and T.S. Eliot’s The Wast Land. These three authors were each aiming at a new literary form, and each succeeded. They were also reading each other’s books, with mixed results! In this episode, I take a brief look at these three authors and their work in this important year.

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By |2018-07-10T16:43:55-04:00July 9th, 2018|Categories: Podcast|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Larry Bone July 9, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    This is the first Mookse podcast I have listened to and it was like finding an incredibly valuable little guide in the About Literature section of a bookstore.

    Joyce, Woolf and T. S. Eliot are difficult to read but Trevor functions as the perfect reader’s guide to what the benefits can be for those who take on the reading of the trinity of modernist books that predict the ravages of war and collapse of traditional philosophy and values.

    At one point Trevor mentions the death of the individual. For me, that is the reading deal clincher. Anyone who, after this podcast, attempts to read these 3 works, probably decided so from some little fact or fictional detail. Or they maybe grasped how what Trevor discusses illuminates how these 3 books can bring a better understanding of what happened prior to 1922 that usually defies all understanding by being too horrible or difficult to look at.

    The brilliance of the Mookse website and podcast is that they point one in the direction of really great books and short stories from all over the world and backwards toward somewhat forgotten formidable books and short stories.

    The huge benefit is that the website innumerates possibly valuable and meaningful takeaways these works can give.

    Readers, depending on what themes and concerns they think mostly about or have some level of interest in, get a no-strings invite to take on reading a not heavily promoted book or short story that is so good it begs to be read. Or the are invited to read some awesome book or short story from the past that speaks or contributes much to the present ongoing conversation about today’s concerns.

    The best takeaway is the newfound discovery of very well expressed thoughts and feelings on any number of things that either support your own thoughts, contradict them so you have relook at something more carefully or answer concerns you hadn’t thought about or you discover something entirely new or something you may have entirely missed the first time.

    I am especially looking forward to the podcast discussing Virginia Woolf’s “To The Lighthouse”. To me that book describes from the outside, the unseemly patriarchal domestic colonialism of marriage and of women that Woolf saw in how her father exploited her mother overworking her to death with the standard motherly duties of the time.

    That can be vigorously debated and more closely examined as it should be.

    But even better, I think Trevor will show much much more that I probably missed in “To The Lighthouse.”

    Virginia Woolf is difficult to read and yet how she writes is similar to how a top musician plays his or her electrical guitar. Some sense of it emerges in this quote,

    “She was doing with language something like what Jimi Hendrix does with a guitar.” – Michael Cunningham

    Thanks Trevor for this awesome old school extremely well executed short 3 book modernist guide (that would make a great small paperback) that against all odds, arrives to us in the modernist form of a short electronic playback podcast.

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