092–Pilgrims Who Progress—Alcott

Heather

Mother, knitter, spinner, writer, wife, weaver, host...not necessarily in that order...

12 Responses

  1. Jessica says:

    OH MY GOODNESS! I have to say I’m just listening to this podcast right now, so I have no idea if anyone has responded to you on Irish Cottage knitting, but I am ecstatic to find out this is an acknowledgeable knitting style. My grandmother taught me how to knit this way when I was four or five years old (we use our middle and index fingers interchangeably to throw without letting go of the needles or yarn), and until about 5 years ago I had no idea there was a name for it. Then someone mentioned throwers and pickers… I’ve met pickers, I’ve met very fast throwers, I’ve met underarm throwers, but never seen anyone besides my grandmother knit like me. It even kept me from teaching people how to knit, because my way ‘looks intimidating’ or takes a different kind of coordination. I don’t know how ergonomic it is, but it is a productive throwing method. (Obviously unnecessary, but validation of knitting techniques is awesome!) Thank you for bringing this up! And if no one sends you the information your looking for you can e-mail me (I don’t have a video camera unfortunately)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Heather, I loved your reading. Your inflection of Mr. Lawrence saying to Beth, “I once had a little girl with eyes just like these.” tore me up like it always does. This book just makes me cry over and over again. You read it just like I always hear him saying it in my head when I read it. Thanks so much for your great work!

    Becky in Canal Winchester, OH

  3. Heather says:

    Subreferencing Python is NEVER frivolous.
    ;D
    Thanks for the link!
    Heather

  4. CarolineF says:

    OK this is going to seem very frivolous but when I hear the word ‘blancmange’ I think of Monty Python.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blancmange_(Monty_Python)

    Transcript here…
    http://www.ibras.dk/montypython/episode07.htm

    PS I sent you a YouSendIt link to Episode 15 but I bet it will expire before you return from the cruise, just let me know and I can do it over.

  5. Lynn says:

    Heather,
    Your son’s ear is amazing! The miracles they are able to preform!

    Anyway, Little Women.

    It’s been discussed in my family that Little Women jumps generations. It was one of my grandmother’s favorite books and my mom hates it and I adore it.

    I am normally such a cynic, but something about Little Women (and Men) sucks it right out of me. I CRIED when Beth went and said thank you to Mr Lawrence, I do every time. There is something so pure and beautiful to me about the characters in this story.

    Thank you so much for reading. It was painful the last 2 podcasts. I wish you had the time to read it all to us. 🙂

  6. zana says:

    Your comments about how different classes tend to view themselves as better than other classes just screamed Brave New World to me. Pity that book isn’t out of copyright as it would’ve been a great book to listen to.

  7. Liza (Elizabeth) says:

    Dear Heather, First of all, mazal tov to you and your family on your son’s lovely new ear. This evening I heard Drew Gilpin Faust, the new president of Harvard, discuss her book THIS REPUBLIC OF SUFFERING–DEATH AND THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR at the New York Historical Society. (I knew Drewdie at Bryn Mawr aeons ago.) She writes about the impact of death on American culture during and in the aftermath of the Civil War. 620,000 soldiers died; in today’s population that would be the equivalent of 6 million dead, and that doesn’t even account for 200,000+ civilian casualties. Faust says these figures are probably low as there weren’t any formal records kept of the wounded or killed. Faust also described the horrific conditions on battlefields after battles and in hospitals. Alcott was a nurse in Washington during the Civil War so she saw this firsthand. Faust’s thesis is that the nation went into recovery and mourning for decades. Little Women was published in 1868 when this was all very fresh. It always felt like a Civil War book to me. That’s probably because my mother told me stories about her southern family in the Civil War and my father would talk about his Harvard senior thesis on the advantage railroads gave the North ‘s efforts. History geek parents. I thought this was too long to post to Ravelry — where I finally found the group. But, I find the cultural context in which Alcott was writting fascinating.

  8. fiberitis says:

    Heather. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout. You read those chapters beautifully. You read them fast and that wasn’t a problem because you didn’t add all those weird little inflections that some people have. I was actually able to listen to it all the way through this time without flinching. Thank you!

  9. Juno says:

    Did you really make a trembling white historically accurate pudding? I loves you, I do.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Dear Heather,

    Hope this isn’t too long of a post. I would message you on Ravelry, but my best friend has locked me out of my Rav account (on my request) until I finish two term papers that must be writtern 🙂

    I found your podcast a couple months ago, and have enjoyed it tremendously. I’ve spent way too much time catching up on Pride & Prejudice, Tale of Two Cities, etc. (Too much time for the middle of a semester of grad school, that is 🙂 ). I’ve finally caught up, and am very excited about Little Women, as it is a book I have read many times.

    I come from a family of four girls. My mother, who has no sisters and desperately wanted sisters when she was younger, bought us a copy of the movie Little Women when it came out on video. However, we were only allowed to watch the movie if all four of us sisters were around to watch it.

    I am always somewhat amazed when I find well-read people who have never read Pilgrim’s Progress, since at one time it was the most published book in the English language next to the Bible. Much like the March girls, I grew up with the story of Pilgrim’s Progress. We must have had three or four children’s picture-books of the story, as well as a dramatized recording of the first half of the first book (up ’til Christian loses his burden at the cross.) I’ve read the original numerous times, and am excited that you plan to listen to it soon.

    I’ve got a small correction to make about your comments on the Palace Beautiful. The Palace Beautiful is not heaven, but rather is a wayside house for “the relief and security of pilgrims,” one of numerous resting-places all along the pilgrims’ path to the Celestial City (Heaven). Two fierce lions guard the way to the Palace, but these beasts are chained and cannot harm pilgrims who stay exactly on the path. The Palace is peopled by a porter named Watchful and four maidens named Discretion, Prudence, Piety, and Charity. These women give Christian a resting place for the night, good advice about the road ahead of him, and provide him with armor with which to defend himself. (Armor for which he is very grateful when he has to fight Apollyon the next day.)

    Your comparison between Pilgrim’s Progress and Dante’s Divine Comedy is an interesting one. Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory of a believer’s entire life, while the Commedia depicts more of God’s working (through Virgil and Beatrice) to restore Dante at a particular point in his life. The poem begins after Beatrice’s death and ends before Dante is exiled from Florence. Reading only the Inferno, one cannot see as clearly the changes to Dante’s own character. His perspective, desires, and values change tremendously during his passage through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. As the first canto of the Inferno will tell you, this personal change is exactly why he must make the journey… only through journeying through all three places can his soul be healed so that he can return and live the rest of his earthly life well. If I were to compare Bunyan’s work to Dante’s, I would say that Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory (in the tradition of such allegories as Piers Plowman or Roman de la Rose), while Dante’s Commedia has allegorical aspects. In Bunyan, characters are deliberate depictions of a particular concept or ideal, while in Dante the characters, while often representing a particular concept, are nevertheless individualized people–many of them historical figures and contemporaries of Dante. I hope this makes some sense… it’s been a while since I’ve studied the use of allegory in literature.

    Thank you so much for your podcast! If you want to message me back, I’ll be back on Ravelry in about a week 🙂

    Violinknitter

  11. kaet says:

    I just tried to listen to episode 92 on iTunes and got the first 2.28 minutes, and then the episode ended! I’m guessing it wasn’t meant to…

    I’m going to try the player on the blog for now.

    Thanks
    Kate

  12. Janice in GA says:

    I’ve still got Chapter 29 ready to send to you when you’re ready for it. (Sent you an email last week at your gmail addy.) I didn’t see anywhere on the Ravelry group where you listed other chapters that needed recording — what am I missing?