The Art of War: How Can a Book Written Two and a Half Millennia Ago Remain Timeless?
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.
By any measure, the ancient Chinese military treatise The Art of War has had an astonishing literary history, proving itself over two and a half millennia to be one of the world’s most essential and enduring books. In this episode, Jacke takes a look at the life and legacy of this classic work, reputedly by a Chinese general named Sun Tzu, to see how it is that something so old and out of date continues to instruct and inspire.