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Getting Lit With Linda

Empathy, Sympathy, and the Literary Litmus Test

Season 3, Ep. 45

In this last episode of the season, Linda considers how empathy is often considered a function of literature and may be ideally represented -- as it is in Catherine Hernandez's Scarborough published by Arsenal Pulp Press. In order to explore how this should work, she considers the Classical orator, Cicero (and Aristotle's Poetics and Horace's Ars Poetica) to show how there is a long tradition of arguing that rhetoric and "good literature" should be able to teach, to delight, and to move us.


Other highlights include:

  • references to Brené Brown (2.30)
  • the difference between empathy and sympathy (2.45)
  • literature and empathy (3.00)
  • references to Cicero, Aristotle, Horace (4.05)
  • discussion of Hernandez's Scarborough (5.40)


In the Takeaway, she considers the novel - a thriller - Truth is a Flightless Bird by Akbar Hussain and published by Iskanchi Press. And then she offers her best wishes for the new year.

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