Lit Podcasts for 8/8/10 – Henry Roth, Steven Moore, Henry Green, Rick Moody

And a couple from Scott at Conversational Reading:

Little by little over the past few months I’ve been listening to the 45C English classes of UC Berkeley professors John Bishop and Charles Altieri. They’re quite good and you too can listen to them on iTunes U via the links.

The classes deal with modernism in English literature, starting with the poets (Dickinson, Hardy, Pound, Yeats, etc) and moving on to the novelists (James, Hemingway, Conrad, Woolf, etc), and they’re extremely entertaining and informative. So much so, in fact, that I was disappointed to see that as I’ve now moved on to 45B it appears that Cal is only offering Altieri’s lectures and not Bishop’s as well.

Someone should attempt to rectify that, as the two men are ideal foils for one another. Altieri delivers with a lovable Woody Allen, schizoid New Yorker style (although I see no reason to believe he’d treat the young ladies in his class as Allen would), whereas Bishop utilizes an incredibly dense stream of monotone. (Indeed, you have not lived until you hear the latter ironically quip, “If you know what I mean and I think you do.”) And of course, given that this is modernism and a good 2/3 of the authors have stifled sex lives that are all over their works, the virtues of each’s delivery are only more pronounced.

But to be serious for a moment, these are great lectures. Download them to your iPod and enjoy them on your commute to and from work.