Like everyone else, my life has been upended by the global pandemic. I have five kids in public schools here in South Carolina (plus one very rambunctious and ornery toddler), so I am now a homeschooling Mom in addition to being a professor, podcaster, and writer. I am sleep deprived and each day I fall further and further behind were I’d like to be. My priority right now is my family.
However, I’m still trying to put up content on the podcast, because I believe that now, more than ever, we need time and space for reflection and contemplation. We need art, friends, and I desperately need the sort of conversation I just had for this episode. I am not as prepared for these podcasts as I’d normally be, but I hope that this pandemic content still inspires you to pick up a great book and think about what really matters.
I was genuinely thrilled to discover that Phil Klay, national book award winning author of Redeployment and Iraq war veteran, not only knew who I was but was endorsing my humble podcast on Twitter! Let me return the favor: Phil has a podcast of his own, with Jacob Siegal, which, like mine, tries to model the art of great conversation about art and ideas. If you don’t know about Manifesto pod, have a listen and consider subscribing! I think you will not be disappointed.
Episode 21 is a discussion about Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim. Phil and I discuss narrative identity and self-knowledge, the perils we encounter in our search for truth, and the nature of the absurd. As always, I hope you enjoy our conversation.