Sunday Q&A - 5/31

I wasn't able to record our Zoom session, but I have compiled a list of authors we discussed, along with additions. You'll also find two links: one to an interesting article on LitHub about expanding the canon of Black writers, and links to the podcast I referenced during our session. 

Chinua Achebe, Chiamanda Ngozi Adichie, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Jericho Brown, Octavia Butler, Edwidge Danticat, W.E.B Du Bois, Ralph Ellison, Alex Haley, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Marlon James, Naguib Mahfouz, Toni Morrison, Helen Oyeyemi, Claudia Rankine, Tayeb Salih, Zadie Smith, Natasha Tretheway, Derek Walcott, Alice Walker, Jesmyn Ward, Colson Whitehead, John Edgar Wideman, Richard Wright

And consider this article posted at LitHub:

Toward an Expanded Canon of Black Literature

The panel discussion I mention from Stanford Humanities Center (first link is to the website, the second is to the same as a podcast):

Representations of Race and Ethnicity in Art and Literature

Sunday Q&A - Recording - Spring Semester Review

Here's a link to the audio recording of our discussion and review:

Sunday audio:


See our Feb. 19th post:


John Paul Lederach, conflict resolution, and Rumi:

Relating Rumi to Islam:
Rumi and Islam: Selections from His Stories, Poems, and Discourses--Annotated & Explained Paperback – February 1, 2004 by Ibrahim Dr. Ibrahim Gamard

King Lear

"Cordelia and Lear"
Author(s): Ivor Morris
Source: Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Spring, 1957), pp. 141-158 Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL:

"The Double Casting of Cordelia and Lear's Fool: A Theatrical View"
Author(s): Richard Abrams
Source: Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Vol. 27, No. 4, The English Renaissance and Enlightenment (WINTER 1985), pp. 354-368
Published by: University of Texas Press
Stable URL:

From The New York Times:
"Alvin Epstein Gets Up Close and Cranky as a Low-Key King Lear"
This may not be an unforgettable "King Lear," but it is always inescapable and uncomfortably present.

"Returning Royalty: Alvin Epstein"
By Jeremy McCarter

Dostoevsky and The Brothers Karamazov

The key book by Mikhail Bakhtin:
Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics (Theory and History of Literature) First edition by Mikhail Bakhtin (Author)

"The Novelist’s Craft: Reflections on The Brothers Karamazov"
Source: American Imago , Vol. 69, No. 3 (Fall 2012), pp. 295-318
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Stable URL:

Chapter Title: "The Hero, and the Position of the Author with Regard to the Hero, in Dostoevsky’s Art"
Book Title: Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics
Book Author(s): Mikhail Bakhtin
Book Editor(s): Caryl Emerson
Published by: University of Minnesota Press. (1984)
Stable URL:

Chapter Title: "Dostoevsky’s Polyphonic Novel and Its Treatment in Critical Literature:
Book Title: Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics
Book Author(s): Mikhail Bakhtin
Book Editor(s): Caryl Emerson
Published by: University of Minnesota Press. (1984)
Stable URL:

"Freud on Dostoevsky"
Source: The American Scholar, Vol. 36, No. 3 (Summer, 1967), pp. 446-452 Published by: The Phi Beta Kappa Society
Stable URL:

Flannery O'Connor

The novel to read: Wise Blood

IMDB link to film: Wise Blood

Vincent Canby on John Huston's film version of Wise Blood:
Screen: 'Wise Blood,' Huston's 33d Feature:The CastScreen: 'Wise Blood,' Huston's 33d Feature: The Cast

"The Sacramental Irony of Flannery O'Connor"
Author(s): Judith F. Wynne
Source: The Southern Literary Journal, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Spring, 1975), pp. 33-49 Published by: University of North Carolina Press
Stable URL:

"Teilhard de Chardin's Impact on Flannery O'Connor: A Reading of 'Parker's Back'"
Author(s): Karl-Heinz Westarp
Source: The Flannery O'Connor Bulletin, Vol. 12 (Autumn 1983), pp. 93-113
Published by: Board of Regents of the University System by and on behalf of Georgia College and State University
Stable URL:

Obreht's Inland

Robert Thurman on the Bardo: podcasts

Robertson Davies' novel: Murther & Walking Spirits

Saunder's: Lincoln in the Bardo

IMDB Adrian Lyne's Jacob's Ladder

The Camel Corps:

Chapter Author(s): Annelies van Noortwijk
Book Title: Female Authorship and the Documentary Image Book Subtitle: Theory, Practice and Aesthetics
Book Editor(s): Boel Ulfsdotter, Anna Backman Rogers Published by: Edinburgh University Press. (2018)

Chapter Title: "The Western: Genre and History"
Book Title: Film Genre
Book Subtitle: Hollywood and Beyond
Book Author(s): Barry Langford
Published by: Edinburgh University Press. (2005)
Stable URL:

Helen & the 5 Big Questions

Peter considers 5 answers proposed by Euripides drama.

Brilliant Minds Podcast #2

Pdficon_smallDownload Transcript

Over the Summer during the first of our August Classes, I introduced the idea that every Great Book asks and answers all of the following 5 Big Questions of life. Those 5 Big Questions are:
1. Who am I?
2. Why am I here?
3. What kind of a world is this?
4. What is my place in it?
5. What do I do about it?
We can apply this to Helen by Euripides, and consider these possible answers:
1. Who am I? I am a mortal with limited knowledge, subject to fate and the gods.
2. Why am I here? I am fighting to survive and to preserve my honor, my reputation, and to gain glory. I am here to be recognized.
3. What kind of a world is this? It is a world of unreliable appearances, full of deceit and injustice, but it is also a world of free will, possibilities, and opportunity.
4. What is my place in it? My place depends entirely on my relationships with others, whether they are gods, society, or family. I am responsible for my actions.
5. What do I do about it? I am to respect the gods and to use all my physical & mental resources to achieve my goals through strategic thought, speech, & action.
How would you answer these questions, based on your reading of the play?