When I chose my undergrad, I decided on a Catholic university in part because I wanted to be forced to take philosophy classes. Before anyone wonders how they have to force someone to do what they want to do, I would really like you to take a long look at yourself and ask if you would take a class called “Existentialism and Phenomenology” on a whim.
It was the only class that fit my schedule. Dr. Fleckenstein probably got her doctorate in philosophy when most of her female classmates had been seeking out an “MRS degree”. This is code for: This woman did not take bullshit. Can you imagine sitting in philosophy classes as a woman before the 1960s? She scared me in a way that made me want to be like her.
I was one of the only regular attendees to class so we’d chat before she began. She told me she was going to rent a cottage on the west coast of Ireland and get her writing done -a story that reflected the spark she had. One that at the time her body no longer could follow through with. There was always a playful yet no nonsense through line to every dry joke or smooth call out of when a student realized realized their lack of attendance was pushing their graduation farther out.
Liv Albert of “Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby!” has a similar spirit of Dr Fleckenstein. That is to say, there’s no shit taken as basic realities are given out. Sometimes, things need to be said and things need to be said about the Greek myths.
I’ve been listening to “Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby!” as one of my palette cleanser rotations. As a theatre person, the Greek myths are in some ways the genesis of my career. Listening to Liv is like coming home to a cup of coffee with my cool aunt. Currently I’m somewhere in November of last year, but I follow the host on Twitter and got a chance to reach out for a sneak peek at her special series “Let’s Talk About Atlantis!”.
What is Atlantis? A myth? A lost city? Obviously. They thought Pompeii wasn’t real- surely if they found Pompeii they will some day find Atlantis at the bottom of the Mediterranean? Did I myself once gaze out over the salty seas from Spain towards Italy- not realizing I was staring directly over the ruins of a great city state?
Do not worry, Dear reader. If this has piqued your interest, this is certainly the podcast for you. It was for me. Before I started following historians on Twitter- I too thought Atlantis was something of a myth Liv is going to take us through everything we need to know. Starting with Plato. Oh yes, Plato.
Thanks again to Dr Fleckenstein’s visit to my theatre history class- the philosopher is a familiar subject. Greek theatre and philosophy go hand in hand. Fear not, those of you who did not have a Dr Fleckenstein! Liv Albert does an excellent job of making this piece into something you can follow. It is absolutely dripping with research- and we are a little heavy on the explanation at the start. Slowly we are folded into the information in the way only “Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby!” can. Rounding out at about an hour, with solid quality that is not distracting.
The beginning of this series is entertaining and light despite the density. For example, we get an excellent reading of the portion in Plato’s Dialogues where Atlantis is first brought up. Do you know how hard it can be to make the Dialougues sound interesting? Liv simply does this with her usual style, and notably with some music choices that had me perking from the first chord. We are eased through what Plato set up in his Dialogues, what people think Atlantis is now, and where we are going with this mini series over the next few weeks.
I’m really excited for this little series, if you can’t tell, because it’s not something I actively know a lot about and “Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby!” is great at making some pretty dryly translated words into the exciting pieces of work they are.
*Existentialist writers were by and large playwrights so it worked out when a couple of theatre students ended up in this class. I got to write a paper on Beckett.