Late Summer Lecture Podcasts: Paranoia in Nabokov’s Fiction, and The Morality of Beauty


MicrophoneTwo podcasts recorded at the Late Summer Lecture Series are now available to download.

Sabine Ursula Mercer (Department of English Studies) discusses madness in Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita (1955) and Pale Fire (1962). She explores how during the 1950s – the heyday of psychoanalytic therapy – the representation of paranoid minds in literature reflected a problem that was endemic in Western societies. Delusion in fiction questioned the basis of reality, and thus mirrored the cultural obsession that gave rise to Freud and therapy.

James Woodward (Department of Philosophy) wonders whether we need to think about beauty as being the most moral of all values. Humanity, he suggests, has lost its love of beauty and this has had a moral impact upon our lives. It is important that we consider reevaluating the notion of beauty by way of aesthetic education. By doing so we may create a sound moral basis and indeed, hope for the future of humanity.

The Late Summer Lecture Series runs on Tuesday (in Alington House, Durham) and Wednesday (in the Lit and Phil, Newcastle) up to 10th October. The final three lectures in the series cover worldwide rock and roll, miracles and legends of the North, and the internet as a medium for collecting and sharing folk music. See the LSLS Facebook page or our English Events pages on this website for more details.

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