Gosh, what a year this week has been! We don’t know about you guys, but we’re ready to Inception ourselves into some wonderland, and live out our days in some sort of idyllic ancient dreamworld with all the modcons and current sensibilities (well, our current sensibilities - some of the world’s culturally and politically on fire). That’s why this week, somewhat hilariously, we bring you What A Wonderful World - a NEW EPISODE! This week we’re talking about UTOPIAS - the idyllic mythological places we go to when we’re after a bit of escapism, or are looking for a better world than our own! If that’s what you’re after then sit back, plug in, and enjoy an hour of escapism with us.
That’s why this week - after a request from one of our listeners - we take you on a whistle-stop tour of the major Greek and Roman mythological places, their literary histories and whether they’re even real. Tune in to hear about ancient mythological places, and how the ancients used utopian worlds (anachronism, we know - apologies) to imagine their best lives and scrutinise their real ones. Don your explorer hats and come with us to Atlantis, Cloudcuckooland and Arcadia before joining some surprising dots between the old and new. Who knew that Atlantis, Hobbiton, Stranger Things and Harry Styles all had something common? Same - we can’t tell you how often we’ve thought about that exact group of completely unrelated miscellaneous things!
We explore how mythological places can capture imaginations, and how authors for thousands of years have used utopias to question their own world or created worlds in which their characters can exist more comfortably. The question is, though, are these perfect worlds even all that perfect?
We hope you enjoy this week’s offering, and even in these times - when we want to just shut the door on the world - we’ve found it helps sometimes to whack on a bit of Louis Armstrong so he can at least remind us of what the outside world looks like.
Our features for this week are 'Atlantis' by Donovan, from Disney's 'Atlantis: The Lost Empire' and 'What a Wonderful World' by Louis Armstrong.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Plato, Timaeus; Critias; The Republic
Website for Lost Atlantis Experience Museum https://www.lost-atlantis.com/
Aristophanes, The Birds
Ovid, The Metamorphoses
Tom Stoppard, Arcadia
J.R.R. Tolkein, The Lord of the Rings