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Posts tagged "Percy Bysshe Shelley"

“The Beauty of the Dream Vanished”: Frankenstein, the Fall, and the Failures of Romanticism

Mary Shelley’s cautionary tale Frankenstein turned two hundred years old this year, accompanied by essays, conferences, and celebrations of its enduring influence. Many of these have focused on what is most often taken as the book’s main theme: a warning against pursuing scientific progress and invention heedless of social cost or ethical responsibility. While ambition channeled through […]

Let’s Not Talk About Money (With PZ)

I’ve got stories, good ones, I mean, good ones. Working behind the scenes in church ministry for over a decade, even as a layperson, you build up a huge archive of unbelievable things you’ve seen. I’ve often thought they would make for a good book. Here are a few sample chapter titles: I’m 99% sure […]

PZ’s Podcast: PBS


Ever since I read John Harris Harper’s miraculous new book Witnesses to the Light, which has just been published in Birmingham, I have been thinking about what it means to do something that is not half baked. This is because Harper’s book is thoroughly baked, a completely realized achievement.

Sometimes, because I can be paresseux, a thing I do will be half baked. I cut a corner, or fail to corroborate a fact, or skip a step in the argumentation. It’s just a fact of my work, and John Harper’s new book is a timely call to me to be thorough.

This podcast concerns the “escapism” of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822). In particular, it consists of a reflection on some lines that occur near the end of his poem “Adonais”. These lines connect with my Panopticon, and with an experience I had on May Day of last year.

We’ve “Gotta Get Away” (Rolling Stones) from this world, deep down, in order to engage. Like the nuns in “Call the Midwife”.