BiblioFiles Episode #14: Love Stories and Romantic Literature

We're pretty much all softies around here at CenterForLit. We just can't resist a good love story! But what is it that makes a good love story? And even more tricky: how is it possible that a happy fairy tale and the depressing Anna Karenina are equally important in developing our imagination of love? And what about marriage? Which authors do a good job of honestly conversing with us about what happens after Prince Charming sweeps Cinderella off her feet? What is love? Baby don't hurt us by missing this fun episode of BiblioFiles!

Referenced Works:

Emma by Jane Austen

Middlemarch by George Eliot

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

War and Peace and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The End of the Affair by Graham Greene

Paper Towns by John Green

'Til We Have Faces and That Hideous Strength by C.S.Lewis

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

 

We love hearing your questions and comments! You can contact us by emailing adam@centerforlit.com, or you can visit our website www.centerforlit.com to find even more ways to participate in the conversation. 

BiblioFiles Episode #13: Movie Adaptations of the Classics

You might know us as the lit tribe, but if there's one thing besides books that all Andrews love, it's a good movie. So when you combine our two passions, books and movies, you get....a lot of opinions. This time on BiblioFiles, we decided to have a little fun with some lite conversation about movie adaptations. What must a director do or not do in order to pass muster? When does a director do violence to a book? Is that possible? You'll want to grab some popcorn for this one!

Referenced Works:

-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, directed by Simon Langton (1995), directed by Joe Wright (2005)

-The Last of the Mochicans by James Fenimore Cooper, directed by Michael Mann (1992)

-"Babette's Feast" by Isak Dinesen, directed by Gabriel Axel (1987)

-The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, directed by Mark Osbourne (2015)

-The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo, directed by Sam Fell and Robert Stevenhagen (2008)

-Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe

-Noah, directed by Darren Aronofsky (2014)

-Paradise Lost John Milton

-The Hobbit and The Lord of the RIngs by J.R.R. Tolkien, directed by Peter Jackson (2012-2014, 2001-2003)

-Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens, adapted by Andrew Davis (2008)

-The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, directed by Baz Luhrmann (2013)

-Macbeth by William Shakespeare, directed by Justin Kurzel (2015)

-Gustave Dore, The Divine Comedy illustrations

-To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, directed by Robert Mulligan (1962)

-Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Laud Montgomery, directed by Kevin Sullivan (1985)

-The Hollow Crown, directed by Thea Sharrock (2012-2016)

-Eragon by Christopher Paolini, directed by Stefan Fangmeier (2006)

-Grantchester, directed by Harry Bradbeer (2014-), based on The Grantchester Mysteries by James Runcie

 

We love hearing your questions and comments! You can contact us by emailing adam@centerforlit.com, or you can visit our website www.centerforlit.com to find even more ways to participate in the conversation. 

BiblioFiles Episode #12: Grace and Children's Literature

A continuation of our recent conversation on grace and literature, in this episode Megan brings to our attention the fact that the theme of grace also runs throughout most of the great children's literature. In fact, it may be that the best children's authors are able to present grace in an even clearer and stronger way than their more "serious" counterparts. Why is that? And is good children's literature just for children?

Referenced Works:

Straw Into Gold by Gary Schmidt

Anson's Way by Gary Schmidt

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary Schmidt

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward

A Bargain for Frances by Russell Hoban

The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

I Am David by Ann Holm

We love hearing your questions and comments! You can contact us by emailing adam@centerforlit.com, or you can visit our website www.centerforlit.com to find even more ways to participate in the conversation. 

 

BiblioFiles Episode #11: Flannery O'Connor with Daniel Wilkinson of Andalusia Farm

Flannery O'Connor is one of our absolute favorite authors of the 20th century, and we were recently honored to have O'Connor expert Daniel Wilkinson of Andalusia Farm join us as our first guest for a BiblioFiles conversation. A resident of O'Connor's hometown, Daniel has a unique and thought-provoking perspective on her work and continuing legacy. We hope you get as much enjoyment and laughter out of our conversation as we did! 

Referenced Works:

–andalusiafarm.org

–The work of Flannery O'Connor including "The Displaced Person," "Parker's Back," Mystery and Manners, "A Good Man is Hard to Find," Wise Blood, "Revelation," "Everything That Rises Must Converge," A Prayer Journal, and "The Life You Save May Be Your Own"

–"To the hard of hearing you shout, and to the almost blind you draw large and startling figure." -Mystery and Manners

–French theologian Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Andalusia Wise Pod, the Andalusia Farm podcast

 

We love hearing your questions and comments! You can contact us by emailing adam@centerforlit.com, or you can visit our website www.centerforlit.com to find even more ways to participate in the conversation. 

BiblioFiles Episode #10: Grace and Literature

We've made it to Episode #10! And in celebration we wanted to talk about our favorite subject: grace and literature. What is grace? Why does it show up in the classic works of literature again and again? Why can't we stop talking about it? We hope you'll be as uplifted and energized by this conversation as we were!

Referenced Works:

–Paul Zahl

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart and David Small

Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild! by Mem Fox

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

2 Henry IV by William Shakespeare

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevky

We love hearing your questions and comments! You can contact us by emailing adam@centerforlit.com, or you can visit our website www.centerforlit.com to find even more ways to participate in the conversation. 

 

 

BiblioFiles Episode #9: What is the Proper Use of Literature?

Thus far we've talked a lot about the role of the reader in approaching literature. But what about the author? Why write in the first place? Should the author use his work to to incite us, to instruct, to delight? Should literature be used at all? That is the subject of this episode...although we do end up talking about the role of the reader anyway. We can't help it. Oh, and this is also the episode where Ian and Missy have an unresolved disagreement, so we're going to need your input!

Referenced Works:

–Langston Hughes, poetry

An Experiment in Criticism, C.S. Lewis

Heidi, Johanna Spyri

–Harry Potter Series, J.K. Rowling

Moby Dick, Herman Melville

Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

The Bridges of Madison County, Robert James Waller

Jayber Crow, Wendall Berry

The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway

–"To Build a Fire," Jack London

–Thomas Kinkade, paintings

 

We love hearing your questions and comments! You can contact us by emailing adam@centerforlit.com, or you can visit our website www.centerforlit.com to find even more ways to participate in the conversation. 

 

 

BiblioFiles Episode #7: Alienation and Communion

One of the most beautiful elements of literature is its ability to offer a limitless variety of perspectives on the nature of man. Each story is unique in the experience it offers the reader. That is why, after recently discussing the role of art as an act of communion between humans, we decided to compare notes on the stories we've been reading lately and share how each author addresses the universal problem of isolation. Fasten your seat belts–this week Percy, Tolstoy, Hawthorne, Sartre, and McCarthy join the Andrews in the Great Conversation.

Referenced Works:

An Experiment in Criticism by C.S. Lewis: literature "heals the wound of individuality"

The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre: "Hell is other people."

All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

 

We love hearing your questions and comments! You can contact us by emailing adam@centerforlit.com, or you can visit our website www.centerforlit.com to find even more ways to participate in the conversation. 

 

BiblioFiles Episode #6: Should Art be Beautiful?

Sometimes a conversation is just so good that we can't let it drop after only one episode! This time we decided to continue our discussion about art by asking the question "should art be beautiful?" We want our children to see and know that which is truly beautiful, but do we do them harm when we also neglect that which is ugly? There's a lot of truth, beauty, and goodness action in this episode–we hope you enjoy!

Referenced Materials:

Cheers, directed by James Burrows

Married with Children, created by Ron Leavitt and Michael G. Moye

–"Beauty" (taken from Nature: Addresses and Lectures) by Ralph Waldo Emerson

–"Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

–The Dadaist movement

–"Musee des Beaux Arts" by W.H. Auden

 

We love hearing your questions and comments! You can contact us by emailing adam@centerforlit.com, or you can visit our website www.centerforlit.com to find even more ways to participate in the conversation. 

BiblioFiles Episode #5: What is Art?

Hooray! We're back! After a painfully long absence, the CenterForLit team has returned to wrestle with the hard questions of the Great Conversation. This time, we're broadening our scope a little. If we assume that literature is art, then we're forced to ask: What is art? What makes art good or bad? Must art be beautiful to be good? What does this mean for us as readers? Can we look into all the nooks and crannies of this question in 50 minutes? Probably not. But we might as well get the ball rolling!

Referenced Works:

–"What is Art?" by Leo Tolstoy

Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

–"The Origin of the Work of Art" by Martin Heidegger

–The works of Stephen Crane, Marilynne Robinson, George MacDonald, and Edgar Allan Poe

 

We love hearing your questions and comments! You can contact us by emailing adam@centerforlit.com, or you can visit our website www.centerforlit.com to find even more ways to participate in the conversation. 

BiblioFiles Episode #4: Avoiding Christian Deconstructionism

The postmodern movement introduced a nihilistic philosophy of reading that divorced a work of literature from any kind of meaning. As Christians, we see red flags when we hear the word "nihilism," but could it be that sometimes we fall into this same trap? Is there such a thing as Christian Deconstructionism? Join the Andrews clan as we sit down to hash out the implications of reading literature to teach morals. 

Referenced Works:

– "Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom fully realize the enormous extension of our being which we owe to authors." -C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism

– War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

– The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

– Bust It Like a Mule by Caleb Mannan

 

We love hearing your questions and comments! You can contact us by emailing adam@centerforlit.com, or you can visit our website www.centerforlit.com to find even more ways to participate in the conversation. 

BiblioFiles Episode #3: Participating in the The Great Conversation

In our last BiblioFiles episode, we tried to define "The Great Conversation" and suggest the purpose it might have in today's world. This time the Andrews begin a discussion of how one goes about participating in that conversation by attempting to figure out what the reader's role is when approaching works of literature.

Referenced Works:

Areopagitica by John Milton

 

We love hearing your questions and comments! You can contact us by emailing adam@centerforlit.com, or you can visit our website www.centerforlit.com to find even more ways to participate in the conversation. 

BiblioFiles Episode #2: The Great Conversation

In the second episode of the BiblioFiles series, the Andrews introduce the concept of "The Great Conversation" and discuss its significance for contemporary readers and educators. 

Referenced Works:

– Essays from The Great Conversation, Volume I of The Great Books Collection edited by Mortimer Adler and Robert Hutchins

– An Experiment in Criticism by C. S. Lewis

– The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

Dumb and Dumber, directed by Peter Farrelly and starring Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels

– War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

– The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien

– The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

– The Weight of Glory by C. S. Lewis

– Lila by Marilynne Robinson

 

We love hearing your questions and comments! You can contact us by emailing adam@centerforlit.com, or you can visit our website www.centerforlit.com to find even more ways to participate in the conversation. 

BiblioFiles Episode #1: Introduction

The Andrews clan sits down to tell the story of how they fell in love with literature and why studying great books is so important to them. 

Referenced Works:

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Culture and Anarchy by Matthew Arnold

'Til We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Anson's Way and Straw Into Gold by Gary D. Schmidt

Beauty Will Save the World by Greg Wolfe

 

We love hearing your questions and comments! You can contact us by emailing adam@centerforlit.com, or you can visit our website www.centerforlit.com to find even more ways to participate in the conversation.