Literary lockdown: literature for quiet times

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Literature for quiet times: Alexandra Harris (English Literature) got together with Professor Kate McLoughlin (University of Oxford), who is researching the history of silence, to think about texts that seemed particularly meaningful in the first weeks of lockdown and isolation.

We recorded four short podcasts: on Shakespeare’s Sonnet 23, DH Lawrence’s ‘Silence’, a moment of pause in Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts, and William Cowper’s defence of quiet home life in The Task.

Out of Silence 1: William Shakespeare

From the Silence Hub Network. Professor Alexandra Harris discusses Shakespeare's sonnet 23, communication in lockdown, body language and masks with Professor Kate McLoughlin.

Out of Silence 2: Virginia Woolf

From the Silence Hub. Professors Alexandra Harris and Kate McLoughlin discuss Virginia Woolf's Between the Acts, how the lockdown makes us feel self-conscious and what it feels like to live in momentous historical times.

Out of Silence 3: DH Lawrence

From the Silence Hub Network. Professors Alexandra Harris and Kate McLoughlin read D. H. Lawrence's poem 'Silence' and discuss the beauty and terror of silence, sex and death wishes.

Out of Silence 4: William Cowper

From the Silence Hub Network. Silence HubProfessors Alexandra Harris and Kate McLoughlin read lines from The Task by the eighteenth-century poet William Cowper and discuss the value of staying at home and not doing very much.