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What were Alice Walker's motivations in writing "Everyday use?" In this program the author discusses her short story with her official biographer, Evelyn C. White. Over the course of the interview, Walker talks about the autobiographical aspects of the story, the significance of quilting to African-American women, the perception of class differences, and the important life lessons she wished to explore.
Multivac, the gigantic computer that controls the entire world and can even predict the probabilities of potential crimes before they happen, suddenly announces that someone is plotting to destroy Multivac.
The U.S. Poet Laureate has a unique opportunity to shape America's literary terrain by fostering public appreciation of poetry and by continuing to produce his or her own work. This News Hour collection (from both the "MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour " and the "News Hour with Jim Lehrer") profiles six such honorees at the onset of their terms. In addition, each laureate reads a few of his own poems.
Allows viewers to access signs and and some video chips of more than 1,400 words and 40 basic handshapes. Shows how each sign is formed from beginning to end. Each sign also includes a complete list of English glosses and synonyms from the Handshape dictionary for reference.
This powerful documentary tells the story of two courageous and determined men. The first, Friedrich Kellner, a political activist during World War II, the second, his grandson, Robert Scott Kellner, who learned of his grandfather's anti-Nazi diaries, and made it his life's goal to have them published to alert people to the dangers of totalitarian ideologies
Presents the third of the three Theban plays by Sophocles in a contemporary translation that remains true to the text, setting the plays in the past yet not the distant past and dispensing with the masks. This final segment of the trilogy centers around the conflict between moral and political law, as the tale of Oedipus and his family comes to a tragic end.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Focuses on the impact the book, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, had on race relations in America. Also scrutinizes the life of Malcolm X himself. Features dramatizations and interviews with Malcolm X's family and friends, as well as scholars and authors.
Introduces students to the origins of the English language and literature by examining Beowulf and its protagonist, our first tragic hero. Covers Old English lyrics and the oral epic tradition.
Beowulf & Grendel
In this thoroughly updated version of the seminal Anglo Saxon poem, the battle-scarred Norse hero Beowulf leads a troop of warriors across the sea to help an old friend, King Hrothgar, whose kingdom is being ravaged by the marauding troll, Grendel. However, Beowulf's attempts to fight the troll are thwarted when Grendel refuses to engage him in battle. When Beowulf meets Selma, a mysterious and sensual witch, his understanding of revenge is further complicated.
Based on the short story by Stephen Crane. A stranger arrives in a small 1880s Nebraska town and joins a fateful card game.
Charles Dickens: A Tale of Ambition and Genius
Born to a life of obscurity and dark despair, his genius made him one of the most successful and beloved figures of his time. Internationally famous just months after his first novel was serialized, Charles Dickens was among the world's first literary stars. But success and acclaim could not banish the ghosts of his childhood or keep him from the deep loneliness that haunted him until his death.
Chaucer's Canterbury Pilgrims
Depicts characters and scenes from the Canturbury tales using paintings from the Ellesmere manuscripts, other contemporary pictures, and a map.
Outlines the life of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, from his humble beginnings to a position of great wealth and fame as poet Laureate.
Clyde Edgerton talks about the tradition of family storytelling that provides a background for his writing, recalls other authors' influences, reads from his novel Raney, discusses his third book, Floatplane notebook, and sings an original song with his wife Susan.
An exploration into the life and work of the iconic American, Carl Sandburg. From an impoverished youth on the prairie of Illinois to the halls of Congress and international notoriety, it was a tale of perseverance and success. During his lifetime he was revered, becoming one of the most successful writers of the 20th century, but when he died in 1967, his legacy suffered an unusual an inexplicably fast decline. His work was disparaged and his remarkable life all but forgotten.
Julie Harris takes viewers into Emily Dickinson's everyday world in a small New England town, from her father's mansion in Amherst, Massachusetts, to Amherst College and Mount Holyoke College, to couple and contrast facts and insights about the poet.
Five dramatic renditions of Kate Chopin's "Story of an hour" which scandalized American readers in the late 19th century by questioning the social mores of her time. The story examines the behavior and feelings of a woman on the day she is informed of her husband's death.
Provides a biographical sketch of O'Connor and examines the absurdity of the human condition and incendiary social issues. Readings from "Wise Blood," "The Displaced Person," "The River," "The Life You Save May Be Your Own," and "Revelation" are included.
Discusses what went into the making of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's novel, Frankenstein. Includes elements such as her feminist mother and father, society's growing sense that human beings were equal, the prevalence of storms in her life, and her marriage to Percy Bysshe Shelley.
An adaptation of the 14th century poem, Gawain and the Grene Knight, which raises a number of questions about human virtue and imperfectibility in Gawain's quest to keep his word and prove his worthiness.
Poet Emily Dickinson decided against publishing her poems, and during her lifetime only seven of her works were published. At the time of her death she left behind over 2000 poems. As a result of her life of solitude, she was able to focus on her world more sharply than other authors of her time.
English author Jane Austen lived from 1775-1817. Her novels are highly prized not only for their light irony, humor, and depiction of contemporary English country life, but also for their serious underlying qualities.
Emily Bronte began writing poems at an early age and published twenty-one of them, together with poems by sisters Anne and Charlotte. The slim volume only sold two copies, which led all three to begin work on novels.
From Caedmon to Chaucer; the glories of the Elizabethan Golden Age; Donne, Milton, and Dryden; The Neoclassicists and the Romantics; the Victorians and the modern era. The story of English literature comes to life in this examination of the writers, their subjects and their settings.
Draws on Shakespeare's text to create a unique tale of Horatio honoring the last request of his beloved Prince and confidant by reenacting the events years later. The scenes unfold in both real and unreal environments amid real, mannequin and marionette supporting cast members.
Young Maya leads a precarious existence in racist, Depression-era Arkansas, where she is shunted between her grandmother's house and mother's--where she is raped-- and withdraws into total silence. She endures to share her realization in her valedictory address: "In order to lift your voice, you have to lift your head."
This program pioneers a new way for teachers and general readers to be on familiar terms with Ralph Waldo Emerson's essays, as well as the journals and writings of Henry David Thoreau. Professors Richard Baker, Joel Myerson, Bob Richardson, Wes Mott, and Larry Buell add significant biographical commentary and teaching suggestions to introduce this body of American philosophy and literature.
Isabel Allende discusses how various familial relationships influenced her life and literary career. Includes commentary by her mother, stepfather and second husband. Particular attention is given to the death of Allende's daughter, Paula.
James Joyce, regarded as one of the most influential authors of the twentieth century, had a life marked by unhappiness and scandal. Investigates the loss of his parents' fortune, the controversy that erupted following the release of Ulysses and his troubled relationships with friends and lovers.
A spunky old lady of eighty who on her deathbed struggles to resolve tormenting memories of her past when she was left standing at the altar. Still, her indomitable will to live and act independently infuses the last day of her life.
Alice Walker and Arnold Rampersad discuss Langston Hughes with Bruce Schwartz. Topics include experiences shaping Langston's youth, how he became a writer, the beauty and style of his writing, and the Harlem renaissance.
Tells the compelling story of the author's life. Through dramatic reenactments and interviews with top Mitchell scholars, Margaret Mitchell emerges as a complex and fascinating woman who had much in common with her iconic creation, Scarlett O'Hara.
Over 1,000 period photos eloquently reveal Mark Twain's rich and varied life. The story spans his career as prolific writer, Mississippi riverboat pilot, drama critic, publisher, and world traveler, while at the same time mirroring the rise of America from frontier days to world power.
Evaluates the authenticity of the earliest source, "The Confessions of Nat Turner", assembled by a white Virginia lawyer from jailhouse interviews. It then follows the controversy over the Nat Turner story played out through history.
Two versions of Ambrose Bierce's Civil War story about a condemned man's last minutes as he awaits hanging. The Bridge (10 min.) is a black and white 1931 production. It has music but no dialogue. Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (30 min.) was originally a French 1962 production. It is in color with music and dialogue dubbed in English.
Reading Aloud inspires children and families to enjoy reading as a lifelong activity. Literacy experts and authors discuss ways to support reading aloud in school and at home. Hear about innovative programs including one in a Delaware prison where incarcerated mothers record books on audiotape to share with their children.
See the landmarks left behind by the real-life Romanian prince who inspired the classic horror tale. Travel back to ancient Romania to meet the man who inspired a legend. Computer animation brings the real-life Dracula’s world to life. Scholars trace the campaigns that changed the face of Eastern Europe.
This program studies 'The Red Badge of Courage' and the short life of it's author while providing insights into the Civil War, the psychology of combat, and the evolution of war journalism. Experts include Princeton University's James McPherson, Crane biographer James Colvert, military historian Bruce Gudmundsson, former war correspondent Moley Safer, and veterans of World War II and Vietnam.
A two-part program which examines the life of Samuel Coleridge from his orphaned childhood to how his friendship with William and Dorothy Wordsworth inspired him to write The rime of the ancient mariner. Part 2 consists of a visualization of Coleridge's epic poem - The rime of the ancient mariner.
A study of the prominent poets of the Romantic period featuring the works of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats and Byron. Includes interpretation and analysis by Dr. Robert Woof, Dr. Julia North and Derrick Woolf.
Miss Emily Grierson was the fading aristocrat of a small Southern town. When she was young, her tyrannical father drove away all her suitors. Finally free after his death, Miss Emily quickly succumbed to the advances of a Yankee day laborer. Only years later does the town realize the chilling consequences of this ill-fated romance.
Depicts Joseph Conrad's "The Secret Sharer," the story of a young inexperienced sea captain's growth in self-knowledge and command of himself and of his ship as portrayed in an encounter with a fugitive from naval justice.
Six episodes combine history, biography, iconic performances, new analysis, and the personal passion of their celebrated hosts. Contents: Macbeth -- Comedies : Twelfth night & As you like it -- Richard II -- Henry IV & Henry V -- Hamlet -- The tempest.
Traces the evolution of English-language poetry from Beowulf to modern times. Historical background complements the seductive rhythms of the poems themselves, as performed by the greatest actors of our times.
A concise biography of Eliot highlighting his many contributions to English literature. Features readings and excerpts from his major poems and critical work, including The love song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Sweeney among the nightingales, Gerontion, The hollow men, Ash Wednesday, The wasteland, Four quartets, and The sacred wood.
In Poe's eerie tale of murder and revenge, a young man is gradually driven mad by his obsession with the repulsive diseased eye of the old man he cares for. After murdering the old man, and dismembering the body, he thinks he hears the heartbeat of his victim. When police come to investigate, he offers a confession, convinced that they can also hear the heartbeat.
This visual ode to 19th-century philosophical writer Henry David Thoreau's beloved Walden Pond combines magnificent nature photography with highlights from Thoreau's timeless writings on the beauty and serenity of this New England retreat.
Numerous art works of the period are documented in this VHS tape of Chaucer's time, life, and works. It paints the stark contrasts of medieval life--the pageantry and liveliness of everyday life accompanied by war, the plague, martyrdoms, crusades, pilgrimages, interest in astrology, and unusual medical cures.
This program explores the myths and stories that influenced the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. Learn about the real cultures that inspired the fictional warriors and monsters in his famous Lord of the Rings cycle.
Dr. Heidegger's experiment: Two friends discover the secret of eternal life in a magic elixir which brings horror rather than happiness. Rappaccini's daughter: A daughter is poisoned by her father so that her touch is lethal to anyone, including the man she loves. The house of the seven gables: A man comes back to the place of his birth searching for treasure, but finds only a vengeful spirit.
The best writers really know how to express their ideas and impress their readers. This user-friendly series make it easier than ever to develop those basic writing skills: it helps middle school through adults take their written communication to the next level.
The lives and works of 13 renowned American poets are interpreted through dramatic readings, archival photographs, dance, performances, and interviews in this inspiring series. Illustrative poems in each program are accompanied by insights into their historical and cultural connections. The series covers the terminology of poetry and the larger role of poets in American and world literature studies.
Presents a unique literary biography, tracing Whitman's childhood, various careers, and the evolution of the masterpiece that proved his lifelong work, Leaves of Grass. A collage of photos, paintings, and manuscripts accompanies excerpts of letters from Whitman and Ralph Waldo Emerson, as well as readings from sections of Leaves of Grass.
This "American experience" production tells Whitman's life story, from his working class childhood in Long Island to his years as a newspaper reporter in Brooklyn when he struggled to support his impoverished family, then to his reckless pursuit of the attention and affection he craved for his work, to his death in 1892 at the age of 72.
... a concise history of the illuminated manuscript and monastery libraries, and depicts the workings of a scriptorium and the arduous art of copying and illustrating/gilding medieval and Renaissance literature. The everyday lives of the writers, scribes, and illustrators are revealed and honor is paid to the best known ...
This film, based on the classic short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, deals with man's propensity for evil and the Puritan way of opposing it. It employs symbolic visuals and ominous music to dramatize a series of supernatural ceremonies that produce the same ambiguity as Hawthorne's story and successfully captures the complexities of the original tale.
This program examines the life of author and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston. The film follows Hurston, best known for her novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, to the subtropical paradise that shaped her childhood and her life's work.