Art of the Short Story

Ep 34: The Art of the Short Story

There are the celebrated authors: Checkov, Joyce, Mansfield, Munro. There are the big questions: “what makes a truly great short story?”. “Where does the form originate?” “What can short stories do that other forms of literature can’t?” But before any of this, there’s a question that’s not that easy to read more…

Episode 15: The Scarlet Pimpernel & Baroness Orczy

The Scarlet Pimpernel The Scarlet Pimpernel is a character now long disconnected from his origins in a 1903 novel. The Pimpernel is a mysterious Englishman who uses elaborate disguises to heroically rescue French aristocrats from the guillotine during the French Revolution. Naming himself after a small red flower, the enigmatic read more…

Episode 6: Neurasthenia, Cowboys, and Feminists

Neurasthenia: The “National Disease of America” In 1881 an American neurologist named George Miller Beard published a hugely influential book: American Nervousness. In it, he laid out the symptoms, cures, and implications of what he called “neurasthenia”, essentially what one might call nervous exhaustion. Beard didn’t coin the term but read more…