The Weekend Listener is an eclectic weekly list of noteworthy podcasts and radio recordings, old and new, curated for your listening pleasure. Posts in this series are published on Fridays – please search the website for the previous instalment.
According to latest research, all non-African individuals are genetically related to Neanderthals, an extinct subspecies of humans. Thanks to the work of archaeologists, it is now known that their culture was far more sophisticated than previously thought. But how much is known about Neanderthal language? Did they have one at all? In this episode of Talk the Talk, linguist Daniel Midgley sums up the current thinking on the subject. [Duration: 13’46’’]
Writers and Company: Hilary Mantel
Literary world has recently been shaken by the sad news of Hilary Mantel’s passing. Mantel was a writer best known for her historical fiction, but she also wrote eloquent opinion pieces and articles on various subjects. The podcast I chose is an interview she gave in 2005 for Writers and Company, a CBC Radio programme, shortly after the publication of Beyond Black – her novel on the subject of psychics, mediumship, and ghosts that haunt us all. [Duration: 54′]
The English We Speak: Eat your words
This short episode of The English We Speak radio series will teach you the phrase ‘eat your words’. Listen to the programme to find out what it means and in what kinds of contexts you can use it. You can also download the PDF file of the full transcript. [Duration: 2′]
The Folklore Podcast: Calling the Spirits
Calling the Spirits is a non-fiction book written by Lisa Morton on the history of seances and spiritualism, ancient and modern. I have recently posted my review of this book (a very favourable one), and in this episode of The Folklore Podcast you can listen to an interview with the author with loads of background information on this fascinating topic. Needless to say, it’s just the perfect pre-Halloween listening content. [Duration: 55’24”]
CULTURE & SOCIETY
The Art of Manliness: The Stranger in the Woods – The Story of the Last True Hermit
Another interview with a writer, albeit on a very different topic. Michael Finkel is the author of The Stranger in the Woods – The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit, a non-fiction book about a man who spent 27 years living alone, deep in the woods of Maine, with no human contact. Hermits and hermitages have a long history; what drives some people to live like hermits at this day and age? [Duration: 47’06”]
RELIGION & SPIRITUALITY
On Being: Jaroslav Pelikan – The Need for Creeds
Jaroslav Pelikan was a professor at Yale and author of many influential books on the history of Christianity and Christian theology. This talk with Krista Tippett, the host of On Being (previously known as Speaking of Faith) is a gentle and touching discussion on the Nicene Creed, that seminal profession of Christian faith, but also on the role of creeds – and faith in general – in the modern world. The webpage contains the full transcript of the programme. [Duration: 51’17”]
Is there a podcast episode you’d like to recommend? You’re very welcome to share it with us in the comments section below.