Online Audio Round-up

March 15, 2007

Over the past few weeks I’ve encountered an unusually high number of good online lectures and radio shows.

News from Lake Wobegon. Garrison Keillor’s weekly tale about the goings-on in his hometown, out there on the edge of the prairie, is now available as a podcast from A Prairie Home Companion. I used to listen regularly to Keillor’s show, but for some reason in the past few years I’ve stopped doing so. These stories have renewed my appreciation for him and his remarkable town, where “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all of the children are above average”.

Anglo-Saxon Aloud. Michael D.C. Drout, a professor of English at Wheaton College, has launched an ambitious project to read the entire Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records, and make the readings available online. He is starting with the so-called Codex Junius, and is currently reading the Book of Genesis. The project should eventually take him into the world of Anglo-Saxon poetry, including Beowulf. It’s not very easy, of course, to understand what he is saying, but I expect that some of my friends will take an interest anyway.

A set of lectures on Dante’s Divine Comedy by Anthony Esolen are now available online. I read Esolen’s own translation of Dante last year, and he is an excellent guide. (I wrote some thoughts about the books at the time: I, II, III.) UPDATE: the source for the files seems to have disappeared. I will try to find another.

Robert P. George, professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University, delivered a set of lectures at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on a variety of contentious social issues. George is an articulate man, and his thoughts on these matters are well worth hearing.

Finally, a couple of archived broadcasts from the CBC. Michael Enright recently interviewed Fr. Richard John Neuhaus for The Sunday Edition. From one side the interview is fairly tiresome: Enright seems unable to do much more than recite the standard canon of criticism that exercises the liberal left – Magisterial authority, women’s ordination, priestly celibacy – but Neuhaus’ handling of it is a model for the rest of us: patient, articulate, and winsome. An older broadcast from the same program has Enright interviewing British philosopher Roger Scruton. Not only does Scruton have interesting, and thoughtful, things to say, but he has that English way of saying it. My favourite exchange? Enright: “Don’t you think that the fox hunt is cruel?” Scruton: “If the fox is caught by the hounds it is killed quickly, certainly much more quickly than your doctor will kill you.”


3 Responses to “Online Audio Round-up”

  1. Doug Says:

    The link to the anglo-saxon site reminds me that I want to find comprehensive history of languages book that outlines origins and groups of languages. My swedish class textbook had a little bit on language groups but I would like a book that lays it all out. Anybody?

  2. cburrell Says:

    Hi, Doug.

    The only book I have read on the history of languages is Speak by Tore Janson. It’s a non-technical overview, and a fairly breezy read. I don’t know how instructive it was though; the only thing I remember learning is that both Japanese and Basque are isolated languages, unrelated to any other known language. This is worth knowing, of course, but maybe not enough to justify reading the entire book (especially since now you already know it).

    I’d like to find a book that includes diagrams of the various language branches. Maybe someone else will be able to suggest one.

  3. […] Dream of the Rood June 20th, 2007 Some time ago I mentioned that Michael D. C. Drout, professor of English at Wheaton College, was reading through the complete […]

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