A Deep-Dive on Catullus, the Roman Poet of Fierce Desire and Hatred
From The History of Literature Podcast with Jacke Wilson
For tens of thousands of years, human beings have been using fictional devices to shape their worlds and communicate with one another. Four thousand years ago they began writing down these stories, and a great flourishing of human achievement began. We know it today as literature, a term broad enough to encompass everything from ancient epic poetry to contemporary novels. How did literature develop? What forms has it taken? And what can we learn from engaging with these works today?
Hosted by Jacke Wilson, an amateur scholar with a lifelong passion for literature, The History of Literature takes a fresh look at some of the most compelling examples of creative genius the world has ever known.
He loved and he hated. Other than that, not much is known about the life of Catullus, who scandalized the late Roman Republic with his bawdy poems, his aching love for the upper-class married woman he called “Lesbia,” and his invective against Julius Caesar and other Roman notables. In this episode, Jacke takes a look at the life and works of Catullus, whose poetry was lost for a thousand years, but which, once recovered, became highly influential among poets for its accomplished technique and urgent intimacy.