Family has been an inexhaustible source of conflict for writers from the ancient to modern worlds – maybe even more inexhaustible than war. From Greek dramatists Aeschylus and Sophocles to Confucius, family is a source of both self-destruction and self-actualization. In this episode, we explore how family dynamics have changed over the centuries but have surprisingly universal characteristics across time and space. We are joined by Krishnan Venkatesh, host of the “Continuing the Conversation” podcast. We being with a journey deep into the heart of Thebes—where King Laius has died at the hands of his own son Oedipus, and Oedipus has unwittingly married his mother Jocasta—and a subtler journey into the world of 20th century Japanese filmmaker Yasujirō Ozu, where a happily domiciled father and daughter, Somiya and Noriko, will be ripped apart by the norms and expectations of tradition. This is an exploration of the nature of family, the tension between the safety and anxiety that family creates, and the rich and multiple ways that different societies express these insights.
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LoreAaron Mahnke and Grim & Mild