Archive | Catalogue

An Introduction to Schopenhauer’s The Wisdom of Life

the-wisdom-of-life-counsels-and-maximsAn Introduction to Schopenhauer’s The Wisdom of Life

By T. Bailey Saunders
Read by David Rintoul
42 minutes

 David Rintoul

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) was a key influence on a wide range of major 19th and 20th century figures who followed him  including Nietzsche, Schrödinger, Freud, Tolstoy, Wagner, Einstein, Thomas Mann, Jorge Luis Borges and Samuel Beckett. This was despite his reputation for being gloomy and pessimistic! Continue Reading →

THE WISDOM OF LIFE, COUNSELS AND MAXIMS

the-wisdom-of-life-counsels-and-maxims_newTHE WISDOM OF LIFE, COUNSELS AND MAXIMS

By Arthur Schopenhauer
Read by David Rintoul
9 hours 22 minutes

 David Rintoul

‘The two foes of human happiness are pain and boredom.’

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) was one of the most influential philosophers of the 19th century because his humanistic, atheistic if pessimistic views chimed with a new secularism that was emerging from a Western society dominated by religion. Despite his rather forbidding image, (and a few outdated views) he is one of the most approachable of German philosophers and this is certainly evident in these two key works, The Wisdom of Life and Counsels and Maxims. Continue Reading →

THE CONSOLATION OF PHILOSOPHY

the-consolation-of-philosophyTHE CONSOLATION OF PHILOSOPHY

By Anicius Manlius Severinus BOETHIUS
Read by David Rintoul
4 hours 55 minutes

 David Rintoul

The Consolation of Philosophy is one of the key works in the rich tradition of Western philosophy, partly because of the circumstances in which it was written. Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (c480-c524) was of aristocratic Roman birth and became consul and then Master of Offices at Ravenna, one of the highest posts under the Ostrogothic Roman ruler Theodoric. But Boethius was unjustly charged with treason in 524 and this led to house arrest, then torture and execution. Continue Reading →

BUDDENBROOKS

buddenbrooks

BUDDENBROOKS

By Thomas Mann
Read by David Rintoul
26 hours 48 minutes

 David Rintoul

First published in 1900, when Thomas Mann was 25, Buddenbrooks is a minutely imagined chronicle of four generations of a North German mercantile family – a work so true to life that it scandalized the author’s former neighbours in his native Lübeck. Continue Reading →

MURPHY

murphyMURPHY

By Samuel Beckett
Read by Stephen Hogan
6 hours 51 minutes

 

‘The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.’ So opens Murphy, Samuel Beckett’s first novel, published in 1938. Its work-shy eponymous hero, adrift in London, realises that desire can never be satisfied and withdraws from life, in search of stupor. Continue Reading →

LE GRAND MEAULNES

LE GRAND MEAULNESLE GRAND MEAULNES (The Wanderer)

By Alain-Fournier
Read by John Hollingworth
6 hours 57 minutes

John Hollingworth

He says little about his adventure on his return. But François eventually discovers that Meaulnes stumbled upon a strange party held at an unknown chateau, and became enmeshed in the lives of the beautiful young Yvonne de Galais and her brother Frantz. Continue Reading →

THE SORRROWS OF YOUNG WERTHER

THE SORRROWS OF YOUNG WERTHERTHE SORRROWS OF YOUNG WERTHER

By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Read by Leighton Pugh
4 hours 32 minutes

Werther, a sensitive young artist, finds himself in Wahlheim, a quiet attractive village in Germany where he seeks solace from the turmoils of love. It is a ‘young spring’ and he hopes that arcadian solitude will prove ‘a genial balm’ to his mind. But his romantic tendency rules otherwise, and he falls in love with Charlotte – Lotte – even though he knows she is affianced to another. Continue Reading →

A GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOANALYSIS

physcoanlysisA GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOANALYSIS

By Sigmund Freud
Read by Nigel Carrington
17 hours 36 minutes

This series of 28 lectures was given by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), the founder of psychoanalysis, during the First World War, and first published in English in 1920. The purpose of this ‘General Introduction’ was to present his work and ideas – as they had matured at that point – to a general public; and even though there was to be considerable development and change over the ensuing years, these talks still offer a valuable and remarkably approachable entry point to his revolutionary concepts. Continue Reading →

THE ENCHIRIDION & DISCOURSES

THE ENCHIRIDION & DISCOURSESTHE ENCHIRIDION & DISCOURSES

By Epictetus
Read by Hayward B. Morse
13 hours 16 minutes

Hayward B. Morse

The Enchiridion is the famous manual of ethical advice given in the 2nd century by the Stoic philosopher, Epictetus. Born to a Greek slave, Epictetus grew up in the environment of the Roman Empire and, having been released from bonds of slavery, became a stoic in the tradition of its originator Zeno (3rd Century BCE) and Seneca (1st century CE). Continue Reading →

THE GOLDEN ASS

THE GOLDEN ASSTHE GOLDEN ASS Or Metamorphoses

By Apuleius
Read by Jonathan Keeble
9 hours 50 minutes

Jonathan Keeble 1

This tale of a man who, when tinkering with magic, becomes changed into an ass is one of the most entertaining and remarkable stories from classic Latin literature. It is funny, bawdy, completely approachable – but also shows life from the point of view of a beast of burden in the Roman empire of Second Century CE. Continue Reading →

ON THE SHORTNESS OF LIFE, ON HAPPINESS

on shortnessON THE SHORTNESS OF LIFE, ON HAPPINESS and Other Essays Volume 1

By Seneca the Younger
Read by James Cameron Stewart
6 hours 7 minutes

James Cameron Stewart

As former tutor and adviser to Emperor Nero, the philosopher and statesman Seneca was acutely aware how short life can be – his own life was cut short when ordered by the Emperor to commit suicide (for alleged involvement in a conspiracy). And Seneca proved true to his words – his life-long avowal to Stoicism enabled him to conduct himself with dignity to the end. Continue Reading →

ON ANGER, ON LEISURE, ON CLEMENCY

On angerON ANGER, ON LEISURE, ON CLEMENCY Essays Volume 2

By Seneca the Younger
Read by James Cameron Stewart
6 hours 36 minutes

James Cameron Stewart

On Anger is one of Seneca’s most important essays. At some length he investigates the nature of anger: how and why it emerges, the effect it has on the individual and those to whom it is directed; and how to manage it and prevent it even from arising. For, Seneca considers, anger simply serves no purpose – it does not bring courage in war, prevent others misbehaving, punish miscreants. In short, it has a negative effect on all. Continue Reading →

MEMORIES, DREAMS, REFLECTIONS

UA-Jung-Memories, Dreams, Reflections 2400pxMEMORIES, DREAMS, REFLECTIONS

By C. G. Jung
Read by James Cameron Stewart
16 hours 51 minutes

James Cameron Stewart

 

 

 

 

 

Carl Gustav Jung, the Swiss-born psychologist, was one of the giants of the 20th century. His wide-ranging studies, his clinical practice, and his open, searching mind transformed the way human psychology is viewed. He identified many key aspects of the human character and the words he chose are part of everyday life: introvert, extravert, archetypes, animus, anima, the shadow, the collective unconscious and many more. Memories, Dreams, Reflections is his fascinating and remarkable look at his own life. These frank revelations of the innermost life of one of the greatest explorers of the human mind is a unique document of our own and of all time. Continue Reading →

THE MORAL EPISTLES

THE MORAL EPISTLESTHE MORAL EPISTLES 124 Letters to Lucillius

By Seneca the Younger
Read by James Cameron Stewart
23 hours 18 minutes

James Cameron Stewart

 

 

 

 

Towards the end of his life, Seneca the Younger (c4 BCE- 65 CE) began a correspondence with a friend in Sicily, later collected under the title The Moral Epistles. In these 124 letters, Seneca expresses, in a wise, steady and calm manner, the philosophy by which he lived – derived essentially from the Stoics. The letters deal with a variety of specific topics – often eminently practical – such as ‘On Saving Time’, ‘On the Terrors of Death’, ‘On True and False Friendships’, ‘On Brawn and Brains’ and ‘On Old Age and Death’. His views are as relevant to us today as in his own time. He remarks on how we waste our time through lack of clarity of purpose, how we jump from one attraction to another, how fleeting is life. But these are letters to a friend, so the tone is not grandly didactic but friendly, personal, direct and speak to us across the centuries. Though not so well-known as Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations, The Moral Epistles are approachable, memorable, and immensely rich in content – and especially so in this sympathetic reading by James Cameron Stewart. Continue Reading →

THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA

THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRATHUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA
A Book for All and None

By Friedrich Nietzsche
Read by Christopher Oxford
11 hours 56 minutes

Christopher Oxford headshot

 

 

 

 

 

Thus Spoke Zarathustra is one of the most extraordinary – and important – texts in Western philosophy. It was written by Friedrich Nietzsche between 1883 and 1885. He cast it in the form of a novel in the hope that his urgent message of the ‘death of God’ and the rise of the superman (übermensch) would have greater emotional as well as intellectual impact. Though tarnished somewhat by inappropriate adoption by the Nazi movement in the mid-20th century, Zarathustra remains an immensely important and influential work, particularly as it exhorts the individual to question standard conventions of society, in order to pursue a truly ethical and spiritual path. After ten years in solitude in the mountains, Zarathustra decides it is time to return to the world so that people could benefit from the fruits of his pondering: ‘ I would like to bestow and distribute, until the wise have once more become joyous in their folly, and the poor happy in their riches.’Thus Spoke Zarathustra is a challenging text, but once encountered, and absorbed, cannot be forgotten both for its content and style.Translation: Thomas Common – revised and updated

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Available on audible: audible.co.ukaudible.comaudible.deaudible.fraudible.com.au£21.25 or subscription.

 

READ REVIEWS

“Best Narration of this book thus far!”

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, if you’ve ever wondered if the prose of this book could ever been properly and well delivered. Then this is it! Christopher Oxford gives maximum effort and does a magnificent job of really paying attention to the text and appears to fully appreciate and understand it. This culminates in a listening experience that is enjoyable and helps get across some of the nuances of the text. I don’t believe this has been as well as this before. If you want to hear this book with a different perspective on delivery – then look no further and get this version without hesitation!

– Audible Review

Continue Reading →

THE ANTICHRIST ECCE HOMO

tHE aNTICHRISTTHE ANTICHRIST • ECCE HOMO

By Friedrich Nietzsche
Read by Christopher Oxford
8 hours 57 minutes

Christopher Oxford headshot

 

 

 

 

 

The Antichrist and Ecce Homo were two of the last works written by Friedrich Nietzsche just before his mental collapse in 1889. Though both written in 1888, they are very different in content and style. In The Antichrist, Nietzsche expands on his view that the submissive nature of Christianity undermined Western society, depressing and sapping energy. Using a challenging, aphoristic style, he considers ‘good’ and ‘bad’, Buddhism and Christianity, and criticises the concepts of ‘sin’, ‘faith’, and ‘pity’ as proposed in the Christian tradition declaring that they undermined a zest for life. Ecce Homo is effectively Nietzsche’s autobiography. Writing in his idiosyncratic, urgent manner, he focuses on carefully chosen topics as he reviews his life and work: among the chapter headings are: ‘Why I am so wise’ and ‘Why I am so clever’. But like so much of Nietzsche, the effect is not quite as bombastic as might be expected – it is a fascinating document. Translation: Anthony M. Ludovici Continue Reading →

THE GAY SCIENCE

THE GAY SCIENCETHE GAY SCIENCE (The Joyful Wisdom)

By Friedrich Nietzsche
Read by Michael Lunts
10 hours 55 minutes

Michael Lunts

The Gay Science (The Joyful Wisdom) is one of Nietzsche’s greatest books. His wonderfully fertile mind roams over mankind, his thoughts, his emotions, his behaviour and his weaknesses with remarkable clarity, with insight – but also with humour! In this work are 383 separate paragraphs, some short, some long, but all singular observations – the epitome of his famous aphoristic style. ‘Morality is the herd instinct in the individual.’ Continue Reading →

HUMAN ALL TOO HUMAN • MISCELLANEOUS MAXIMS AND OPINIONS • THE WANDERER AND HIS SHADOW

HUMAN, ALL TOO HUMAN

HUMAN ALL TO HUMAN • MISCELLANEOUS MAXIMS AND OPINIONS • THE WANDERER AND HIS SHADOW

By Friedrich Nietzsche
Read by Michael Lunts
15 hours 26 minutes

Michael Lunts

It was with Human, All Too Human, first published in 1878, that Nietzsche developed the aphoristic style that so suited his challenging views and uncompromising style. The text is divided into three main sections: Of the First and Last Things; History of the Moral Feelings and The Religious Life. But the style remains the same: he declares the subjects – Dream and Civilisation; Private Ethics and World Ethics; Gratitude and Revenge; Well-Wishing; Vanity – and then discusses them in a few sentences, or sometimes in a longer passage. This style enables him to cover an extraordinarily wide range of topics as his fertile and lively mind wandered over man in his element. This audiobook also contains the two parts of Volume II: Miscellaneous Maxims and The Wanderer and His Shadow. These two collections are less well known, – unjustly so as they are packed with Nietzsche’s wonderfully uncompromising views and observation on a lucky dip of topics including Debauchery, Bach, Danger in Admiration, Deception in Love, Dishonest Praise. Here is an example: ‘End and Goal. Not every end is the goal. The end of a melody is not its goal, and yet if a melody has not reached its end, it has also not reached its goal. A parable.’ All in all, this 11-hour collection in an appropriately conversational reading by Michael Lunts, is a fascinating, at times infuriating, yet always entertaining discovery.Translation: Alexander Harvey Continue Reading →

GREAT FRENCH POEMS

GREAT FRENCH POEMSGREAT FRENCH POEMS
35 Favourites from Villon to Baudelaire in French with English translations

Compiled and performed by Bill Homewood
1 hour 36 minutes

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Here are 35 of the greatest poems in the French language, carefully selected and read in French by Bill Homewood, the bilingual English classical actor who has spent half his life in France. To help those English speakers with just a little French to appreciate the glories of these poems, he provides his own clear English translations. Continue Reading →