Friday, January 08, 2010

Traces of a Empire

I've really become a fan of podcasts. I keep my ipod stocked with a number of musical and literary ones at all times. They make the boring days at work much more palatable. At home, they make doing dishes almost bearable.

My current favourite is the World Book Club from the BBC World Service. Try it out. An author reads from his or her work and then answers questions. Simple enough. What I love about this podcast is that the questions come from the studio audience and also from listeners around the world. There is just something so cool about hearing people from five or six continents talking books with an author. It makes reading almost seem like a communal exercise.

I also like this podcast because it is a reminder of just how much our world was and continues to be influenced by the British Empire. While there are readers calling in from other countries, most of them come from Great Britain and its former colonies. It's been close to sixty years since the empire finally disintegrated and yet a common language and, in some ways, a common world view remains. It almost feels like the dress down day at a school with uniforms - all those kids anxious to show their individuality but, when the day comes, they all show up wearing the same pair of jeans.

1 comment:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

That does sound like an intriguing podcast. I tend to only listen to podcasts of CBC shows that I have missed, but I really should branch out.