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Literary works banned by those who fear the power of the pen
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Books Unbound – Heaven’s Cafe: A Miscellany for Solstice Eve

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“Heaven’s Café” is a seasonal episode of Books Unbound featuring poetry from China, Germany, Mexico, Palestine, Cuba and England, with a tribute to the late Mark Strand and one of Dostoyevsky’s lesser-known stories, “The Christmas Tree and the Wedding”. The program explores seasonal themes of Heaven/the heavens: how we mark the season and align ourselves to celestial phenomena, and how at the end of the year’s cycle we dwell on loss, especially love lost—but also revisit childhood and beginnings with often unforeseen consequences.

Co-hosts: Doug Storm and Sarah Torbeck
Announcer: Berklea Going

READINGS

  • “New Year’s Watch” and “Visiting the Temple of Auspicious Fortune on New Year’s Eve” by the 11th-century Chinese poet Su Shi (Patsy Rahn, Pei-Shan Yu)
  • “After the Rain” by World War One-era poet Richard Dehmel (Frank Buczolich, in both German and his own translation)
  • Poetry by the 17th-century Colonial Mexican poet Sor Juana on the Nativity and the cosmos (Berklea Going, Eric Rensberger, Cynthia Wolfe, Sonia Velázquez)
  • “A Prayer to the New Year” by the 20th-century Palestinian poet Fadwa Tuqan (Ali Alnahhabi, Cynthia Wolfe)
  • “The Coming of Light” by Mark Strand, a brief tribute to the Canadian-American poet who died last month (Frank Buczolich)
  • “The Christmas Tree and the Wedding” by Dostoyevsky (Sarah Torbeck, with Russian intro by Pavel Abramov)
  • “Christmas of 2012″ by the Cuban dissident writer and photographer Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo (Tony Brewer)
  • “On Heaven” by Ford Madox Ford, writing as Ford Madox Heuffer, again taking us to the WW1 era, imagining the afterlife as meeting his lost beloved in a cafe in the South of France (Doug Storm)

Music excerpted from the Sonata for Viola and Piano of Dmitri Shostakovich.

Produced by Cynthia Wolfe with Doug Storm.
Written by Cynthia Wolfe with contributions from Ali Alnahhabi, Frank Buczolich and Doug Storm.
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh.

Books Unbound – Short, With a Wicked Tongue and Long Legs, Episode 3: “The Cloak” by Gogol”, Conclusion

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A three-episode program of short satiric fiction concludes with a slightly abridged version of “The Cloak” by Nikolai Gogol, read by Frank Buczolich. Gogol’s work was subjected to official censorship, and he lived in self-imposed exile for much of his adult life. At first praised by the political Left for his criticisms of Russian serfdom, his conservative loyalties toward the tsar and the Russian Orthodox Church damaged his literary standing during the Russian Revolution. “The Cloak” is a satire of Russian bureaucracy and rigid social classes, perhaps a ghost story, and an aesthetic masterpiece from a founding voice of modern Russian fiction. Produced and written by Cynthia Wolfe, with assistant producers Doug Storm and Robert Shull.

Music for “The Cloak”: Glinka, Viola Sonata, performed by Nobuko Imai
Break music: Diego Ortiz, Capona — Recercada Settima Sobre la Romanesca, performed by the Ensemble for the Seicento

Announcer: Berklea Going
Host: Sarah Torbeck
Voice of Nabokov: Tony Brewer

Books Unbound – “Short, With a Wicked Tongue and Long Legs,” Episode Two: “The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes” and “The Cloak” by Gogol

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“Short, With a Wicked Tongue and Long Legs” is the second of a three-part of classic short satiric fiction. This week, the conclusion of The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes, His Fortunes and Misfortunes, an early Spanish novella published anonymously and officially banned during the Inquisition, followed by the first part of “The Cloak” by Russian master Nikolai Gogol. Both stories have an outsider protagonist, the one a sly but often clueless rascal who finds success in a government job, and the other a downtrodden government employee who longs for the clothes to make him a man. Guest readers are Tony Brewer and Frank Buczolich. Hosted by Sarah Torbeck, with announcer Berklea Going.
The episode features music interludes written in the era of Lazarillo by Diego Ortiz, with selections from Recercadas del Tratado de Glosas performed by Jordi Savali and by the Ensemble for the Seicento. Music for “The Cloak” comes from the Viola Sonata in D Minor by Gogol’s contemporary Mikhail Glinka and performed by Nobuko Imai. The translation ofLazarillo is by Robert S, Rudder. “The Cloak” appeared in the 1917 collection Best Russian Short Stories edited by Thomas Seltzer.
Produced and written by Cynthia Wolfe, with assistant producers Doug Storm and Robert Shull. Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh. Theme music by The Impossible Shapes.

Books Unbound – “Short, With a Wicked Tongue and Long Legs,” Episode One: The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes, Part One

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“Short, With a Wicked Tongue and Long Legs” is a three-part program of short satiric fiction that has “legs” because it stands up to the test of time. This week, The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes, His Fortunes and Misfortunes as Told by Himself, an anonymous 16th-century Spanish novella banned by the Inquisition. Lazarillo is a classic of Spanish literature, a subversive comedy about poverty, religious hypocrisy, and social class written in the voice of a sly, resilient but often clueless servant boy. Novelist Jane Smiley considers Lazarillo the first literary work primarily concerned with an average person and the need to make a living. Guest reader is Tony Brewer. Hosted by Sarah Torbeck, with announcer Berklea Going.

Books Unbound – Mina Loy: Feminist and Futurist

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Poet and artist Mina Loy (1882–1966) was at the center of avant-garde movements of the early 20th century, but the difficulty of her poetry and her dislike of self-promotion led to decades of obscurity. Her first book was seized by U.S. customs for its frank approach to sex, reproduction, and women’s bodies. Much of her work remained unpublished until the 1980s, but the reevaluation of the literary canon since the 1990s has helped restore her reputation as a startlingly original voice in English letters. The episode features readings of “Parturition”, “The Effectual Marriage” and other short poems by Cynthia Wolfe; “Feminist Manifesto” by Sarah Torbeck; and “Love Songs to Joannes” by Berklea Going. Guest Jenny McComas, Class of 1949 Curator of Western Art after 1800 at the Indiana University Art Museum, visits the Unbound Cafe for a perspective on Futurist art in Loy’s cultural milieu. Produced and hosted by Doug Storm. Written by Doug Storm and Cynthia Wolfe.

Books Unbound – Storytellers of Immortality: World Poetry for Day of the Imprisoned Writer

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Storytellers of Immortality is an episode of contemporary international poetry devoted to courageous writers who have experienced imprisonment, exile, or conditions of repression and violence. The nineteen poets come from Kazakhstan, Tibet, China, Cameroon, Myanmar, Kurdistan, Russia, Chile, Afghanistan, Korea, Iraq, Palestine, Yemen, and Vietnam, and range from a Nobel laureate to a teen blogger. Local guest readers of the English translations are Tony Brewer, Cathi Norton, Eric Rensberger, Frank Buczolich, Berklea Going, Patsy Rahn, Philip Kasper, and Lauren Robert. Also featured are three poetry selections in their original language: Spanish (read by Carlos Bakota), Chinese (Yu-San Lai), and Arabic (Ali Alnahabi), with announcer Sarah Torbeck and host Doug Storm. Written by Cynthia Wolfe.

Books Unbound – “The Burning Secret” by Stefan Zweig, Part 4

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Stefan Zweig was an Austrian Jew whose books were among the first burned by the Nazis in 1933. He was one of the most beloved writers of the 1920s and 30s, but he committed suicide in Brazil in 1942, despairing that the Old Europe he loved was lost. His novella “The Burning Secret” shows the psychoanalytic influence of his friend Sigmund Freud. Zweig has enjoyed a recent renaissance in the English-speaking world, and was the inspiration for filmmaker Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Books Unbound – “The Burning Secret” by Stefan Zweig, Part 3

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Stefan Zweig was an Austrian Jew whose books were among the first burned by the Nazis in 1933. He was one of the most beloved writers of the 1920s and 30s, but he committed suicide in Brazil in 1942, despairing that the Old Europe he loved was lost. His novella “The Burning Secret” shows the psychoanalytic influence of his friend Sigmund Freud. Zweig has enjoyed a recent renaissance in the English-speaking world, and was the inspiration for filmmaker Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Books Unbound – “The Burning Secret” by Stefan Zweig, Part 2

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Stefan Zweig was an Austrian Jew whose books were among the first burned by the Nazis in 1933. He was one of the most beloved writers of the 1920s and 30s, but he committed suicide in Brazil in 1942, despairing that the Old Europe he loved was lost. His novella “The Burning Secret” shows the psychoanalytic influence of his friend Sigmund Freud. Zweig has enjoyed a recent renaissance in the English-speaking world, and was the inspiration for filmmaker Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Books Unbound – “The Burning Secret” by Stefan Zweig, Part 1

Play

Stefan Zweig was an Austrian Jew whose books were among the first burned by the Nazis in 1933. He was one of the most beloved writers of the 1920s and 30s, but he committed suicide in Brazil in 1942, despairing that the Old Europe he loved was lost. His novella “The Burning Secret” shows the psychoanalytic influence of his friend Sigmund Freud. Zweig has enjoyed a recent renaissance in the English-speaking world, and was the inspiration for filmmaker Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.

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