American Writers (One Hundred Pages at a Time)

Episode 379: Francis Parkman Jr. The Jesuits in North America (1)

Part 1 of my review of Francis Parkman's THE JESUITS OF NORTH AMERICA. This volume covers the mid-17th century Jesuit efforts among the Huron and Algonquins amidst the Beaver Wars (Mourning Wars).

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Episode 12: The Statement of Randolph Carter

A fairly famous story of Lovecraft's "The Statement of Randolph Carter" builds to a shocking ending. Not the richest thematically, but a lot of fun to read.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Episode 11: The Doom that Came to Sarnath

Lovecraft's story "The Doom that Came to Sarnath" tells the story of a civilization that forgot its roots and paid the price. While Lovecraft is usually an advocate of forgetting, in this story he warns against it. The story is also a polemic against decadence and a celebration of grand architecture. 

Episode 378: Francis Parkman: Pioneers of New France (3)

Final part of my review of THE PIONEERS OF NEW FRANCE IN NORTH AMERICA by Francis Parkman Jr. In this section we look at the career of Champlain and the other explorers who established Quebec. Next up, the Jesuits. 

Episode 377: Francis Parkman Jr.: Pioneers of New France (2)

In this part of Parkman's THE PIONEERS OF NEW FRANCE we witness the massacre of the Floridan Huguenots and begin to survey the French explorations of North America in the St. Lawrence River.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Episode 10: The White Ship

In my review of "The White Ship" by H. P. Lovecraft I make a bold claim about what type of writer Lovecraft is. Beyond that, this is just a great "Dreamlands" story about the pitfalls of various utopias.

Episode 376: Francis Parkman: The Pioneers of New France (Part 1)

We start our look at FRANCE AND ENGLAND IN NORTH AMERICA with the first part of THE PIONEERS OF NEW FRANCE. This episodes focuses on his deception of the Huguenots in Florida.

 

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Episode 9: The Transition of Juan Romero

Lovecraft wrote a great story called "The Transition of Juan Romero". It may be his best early depiction of ancient religions in a vast network. A must read for Lovecraft fans if you missed it. 

Episode 375: Francis Parkman: The Conspiracy of Pontiac (Conclusion)

The conclusion to my review of Francis Parkman Jr.'s THE CONSPIRACY OF PONTIAC. In the final section of this book we explore the consequences of Pontiac's revolt for the people of the American West.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Episode 8: Old Bugs

Lovecraft had some particular views on alcohol and drugs, which are reflective in this early (science fiction?) story of his, a morality tale about inheritance and social decline.

Episode 374: Francis Parkman: The Conspiracy of Pontiac (4)

Part 4 of my review of THE CONSPIRACY OF PONTIAC by Francis Parkman. In this episode we look at the failure of the Indian cause, frontier violence, and the vigilantism of the Paxton Boys.

H.P. Lovecraft Book Club: Episode 7: Beyond the Wall of Sleep

Lovecraft goes a little overboard on his descriptions of back-country folk in "Beyond the Wall of Sleep" but the story places him right in the middle of the eugenics conversation of his time.

Episode 373: Francis Parkman: The Conspiracy of Pontiac (3)

In part three of my review of THE CONSPIRACY OF PONTIAC, I talk about Pontiac's plans, the role of cunning and deception in the early Indian victories, and the siege of Detroit.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Episode 6: Polaris

In "Polaris" we get the first of Lovecraft's "Dreamland" stories and an allegory for the racial conflicts he saw as the primary vehicle of history. By taking a look at some of his World War I era writing, we can put this story in a broader context.

Episode 372: Francis Parkman Jr.: The Conspiracy of Pontiac (2)

Part two of my review of THE CONSPIRACY OF PONTIAC by Francis Parkman Jr. Here I look at the causes of Pontiac's War as described by Parkman.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Episode 5: A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson

In episode 5 of the HP Lovecraft Book Club, we jump into Lovecraft's love for 18th century British culture by looking at his 1917 story "A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson". Perhaps it is one most Lovecraft readers skip, but it is worth a few minutes of your time if you want to appreciate our author's worldview.

Episode 371: Francis Parkman Jr.: The Conspiracy of Pontiac (1)

Part 1 of my review of THE CONSPIRACY OF PONTIAC by Francis Parkman Jr. The opening chapters of the book describe the lives of Native Americans east of the Mississippi, the French empire in the Americas, and the interactions of the British and French with the Indians. All important background.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Episode 4: Dagon

In this episode, I take a deep look at "Dagon" by H. P. Lovecraft. This story, set in the Pacific during World War I, explores the possibilities of ancient cultures and long-enduring mystical traditions. The narrator's discovery and exploration of a recently raised landmass from below the Pacific is not forgettable.

Episode 370: Francis Parkman Jr.: The Oregon Trail (3)

In this episode I conclude my thoughts on Francis Parkman Jr.'s THE OREGON TRAIL and I sum-up the themes of empire, ecology, and the capitalist expansion into the "Great West". Up next, Parkman's first work of history THE CONSPIRACY OF PONTIAC.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Episode 3: The Tomb

Episode three of the H. P. Lovecraft Book Club takes a look at "The Tomb" and Lovecraft's fascination with deviant subcultures.

Episode 369: Francis Parkman Jr.: The Oregon Trail (2)

Part two of my review of THE OREGON TRAIL by Francis Parkman Jr. This book is a travel memoir, but is full of great material on American empire, Native American life, ecology, and transformation of the "Great West".

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Episode 2: The Alchemist

In "The Alchemist" (1908) Lovecraft establishes one of his most important themes: vernacular networks of knowledge opposing esoteric forgotten tomes. This fascinating story is his first mature work of fiction.

Episode 368: Francis Parkman Jr.: The Oregon Trail (1)

We will begin looking at one of the greatest historians of the 19th century, Francis Parkman Jr. But this first book is not a history, but a memoir of his travels in the prairie and Rocky Mountains. An interesting look at a changing, dynamic, and often cruel frontier.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Episode 1: Juvenilia

In this inaugural episode of the H. P. Lovecraft Book Club, I introduce the series and talk about four stories Lovecraft wrote as a child: "The Little Glass Bottle," "The Mystery of the Grave-Yard," "The Secret Cave," and the (much more mature) "The Beast in the Cave".

Episode 367: Zora Neale Hurston Essays

So my series "Twentieth Century Girls" comes to an end with a look at some of Zora Neale Hurston's essays and assorted short non-fiction. Next up Francis Parkman Jr and a dive into mid-nineteenth century American history writing.

Episode 366: Zora Neale Hurston: Dust Tracks on a Road (2)

Part two of my review of DUST TRACKS ON A ROAD by Zora Neale Hurston. This great memoir gets political in the second half. Listen to my thoughts on her conservatism and skepticism of racial politics.

Episode 365: Zora Neale Hurston: Dust Tracks on a Road (1)

The first part of my review of Zora Neale Hurston's memoir DUST TRACKS ON A ROAD. The first part of the book deals with her childhood, her family, the origin of her imagination and curiosity, and her struggles to earn an education.

Episode 354: Zora Neale Hurston: Tell My Horse (2)

Part two of my review of TELL MY HORSE by Zora Neale Hurston. This part of the book explores Voodoo in Haiti. A brilliant take on this tradition and its meaning in Haitian life.

Episode 363: Zora Neale Hurston: Tell My Horse (1)

The first half of my review of TELL MY HORSE by Zora Neale Hurston deals with the geo-political realities of independent Caribbean states in a time of empire. All of this sets up her analysis of voodoo in the region.

Episode 363: Zora Neale Hurston: Mules and Men (2)

The second half of MULES AND MEN by Zora Neale Hurston looked at voodoo in the United States. In this episode, I finish up my thoughts on this classic of American folklore.