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The Essay

Podcast The Essay

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  • Diana Souhami on Radclyffe Hall
    Five writers go on five reflective, restorative and often playful journeys in search of the final resting places of their literary heroes. Today, Diana Souhami steps into the tomb of Radclyffe Hall in London’s Highgate Cemetery, where The Well of Loneliness author resides with her lover, her lover’s husband and their dog Tulip – an aptly unconventional set-up in death as in life. Producer: Ciaran Bermingham
    6/15/2022
    14:03
  • Paul Muldoon on WB Yeats
    Five writers go on five reflective, restorative and often playful journeys in search of the final resting places of their literary heroes. Today Paul Muldoon recalls numerous pilgrimages to the rugged West Coast of Ireland, where the remains of WB Yeats may or may not be buried, as per his poetical final request. Producer: Ciaran Bermingham
    6/14/2022
    13:56
  • Lauren Elkin on Oscar Wilde
    Five writers go on five reflective, restorative and often playful journeys in search of the final resting places of their literary heroes. Today Lauren Elkin finds Oscar Wilde in Pere Lachaise, Paris - where the outsider in life overshadows in death the greats of French literature who jostle for space in the famous cemetery. Producer: Ciaran Bermingham
    6/13/2022
    13:23
  • Pause for Thought
    From full stops to emojis, a Tudor letter to texting - how has the use of punctuation marks developed over the centuries? Florence Hazrat thinks about the way brackets help us understand the pandemic. The first parentheses appear in a 1399 manuscript by the Italian lawyer Coluccio Salutati, but - as her essay outlines - it took over 500 years for the sign born at the same time as the bracket, the exclamation mark (which printers rather aptly call “bang”) to find its true environment: the internet. Florence Hazrat is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, University of Sheffield. She is a 2021 New Generation Thinker on the scheme run by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to select ten academics each year to turn their research into radio. Producer: Robyn Read
    5/5/2022
    13:55
  • A Brazilian Soprano in Jazz-Age Paris
    Xangô (the god of thunder) and Paso Ñañigo’, composed by the Cuban Moises Simons, were two of the numbers performed by Elsie Houston in the clubs of Paris in the 1920s. Also able to sing soprano in Portuguese, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian, Elsie's performances in Afro-Brazilian dialects chimed with the fashion for all things African. Adjoa Osei's essay traces Elsie's connections with Surrealist artists and writers, (there are photos of her taken by Man Ray), and looks at how she used her mixed race heritage to navigate her way through society and speak out for African-inspired arts. Adjoa Osei is a researcher based at Trinity College, Cambridge. She was selected as a 2021 New Generation Thinker on the scheme run by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to turn research into radio. You can hear her discussing the career of another singer Rita Montaner in this episode of Free Thinking https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0010q8b and taking part in this Free Thinking discussion From Blackface to Beyoncé https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000tnlt Producer: Ruth Watts
    4/29/2022
    13:49

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The Essay

The Essay

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