Former Shows & Episodes

Word Patriots

Mark Seinfelt

Word Patriots – In Memoriam 2011

This week we will be paying tribute to authors around the world who died in 2011 with special recognition to one of our own, the late Theo Matthews. In this special episode, we mourn the passing and celebrate the lifework of such diverse word patriots as Vaclav Havel, Christa Wolf, Ernesto Sabato, Jorge Semprún, Allen Mandelbaum, and Langford Wilson, among others. We also say goodbye to Theo, the author of the novel “The Chronicler’s Tale,” who came on this show as a guest in July 2011. We writers in the end become our books. We stitch our souls into our sentences and create our own afterlives, manufacture our own ghosts, the writings we leave behind. Since we still have their books, the authors we loved have not totally left us, even though we are understandably saddened by the fact that we will not have any future books from them. Looking at my very provisional list of writers the world lost in 2011— I found one hundred forty-six author obituaries while researching this show, a catalog that will certainly prove far from all-inclusive —I see that, even in this age of book inflation and the so-called death of the author, all across the globe word patriots everywhere are continuing the very human endeavor and task of fixing and fastening down time and soul on the page, of capturing and preserving consciousness through the medium of the word and that gives me cause to rejoice. After paying our respects to some of the better-known names on our roster, we conclude this week’s podcast with an encore presentation of Theo Matthews reading from “The Chronicler’s Tale.”