A new season of Entitled Opinions (iTunes Feed Web Site) recently got off the ground, and it doesn’t take long to understand what this program is all about. Robert Harrison, the Stanford literature professor who hosts the show, opens the new season with these very words:
Our studios are located below ground, and every time I go down the stairs to do a new show, I feel like I’m descending into the catacombs where those of us who still read great literature, probe ideas, and explore the recesses of cultural history, practice a persecuted religion. In this neurasthenic world of ours, we are like a dispersed society of secret initiates. We live covertly, as it were. And it’s in special shelters that our reading, thinking and exchange of ideas take place. Maybe someday we’ll once again be able to practice our persuasion publicly. But meanwhile Entitled Opinions comes to you from the catacombs.
You get the drift. This is a show that takes ideas, literature, and life seriously. It’s heady, and it doesn’t dumb things down. If you’re a faithful reader of Open Culture, you’ll find something here for you. If you take a spin through the archives, you’ll find Harrison in conversation with Orhan Pamuk (the Nobel Prize winning novelist) and Richard Rorty (one of America’s most important contemporary philosophers). You’ll also find him talking with scholars about Vladimir Nabokov and his Lolita, World War II and the German bombing of London, the History of Psychiatry, and The Historical Jesus. Each program starts with a 10 minute (or so) monologue, and then Harrison gets down to talking with his guest for another 50. Give a listen. Let us know your thoughts. And know that Entitled Opinions (iTunes Feed Web Site) is included in our Ideas & Culture Podcast Collection.
PS I shamelessly borrowed this titled from a comment made about Entitled Opinions on iTunes. To be honest, my creative well was running dry.