Caravaggio's Severed Heads / Herodotus Among the Scythians / Ian McKellen on Macbeth

Human Voices Wake Us

08-09-2023 • 1 hr 4 mins

An episode from 9/8/23: In the first part of tonight's episode, I read from Peter Robb's M, a biography of the painter Caravaggio (1571-1610). Through a discussion of two of his paintings which depict decapitation, we can understand how, in Caravaggio's early career, he was able to paint directly from life; but when he went on the run to escape a charge of murder, he depended instead upon his memory.

In the second part, I read from the father of history, Herodotus (c. 484-c. 425 BCE), and his description of royal the burial rites of the "barbarian" Scythians, who lived in the area of the Black Sea. The translation and essays I read are from the Landmark Herodotus, edited by Robert B. Strassler.

In the last part, I play a section of a talk given by Ian McKellen on the "Tomorrow and tomorrow" speech from Macbeth. You can find the clip on YouTube here.

Don’t forget to support Human Voices Wake Us on Substack, where you can also get our newsletter and other extras. You can also support the podcast by ordering any of my books: Notes from the Grid, To the House of the Sun, The Lonely Young & the Lonely Old, and Bone Antler Stone.

Any comments, or suggestions for readings I should make in later episodes, can be emailed to humanvoiceswakeus1@gmail.com.

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