Literary Hangover

By Matthew Lech

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Literary Hangover is a podcast, released on the first and third Saturdays of each month, in which Matt Lech and his friends chat about fiction and the historical, social, and political forces behind the creation of it and represented by it.

Episode Date
5 - 'The May-Pole of Merry Mount' by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1832)
This is the public feed of Literary Hangover. If you're enjoying the show, consider supporting at Episode 5! Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The May-Pole of Merry Mount," which first appeared in The Token and Atlantic Souvenir in 1832. It was later included in Twice-Told Tales, a collection of Hawthorne's short stories, in 1837. It tells the story of the colony of Mount Wollaston, or Merry Mount, a 17th-century British colony located in what is now Quincy, Massachusetts. The story does not include "Merry Mount's" leader, Thomas Morton, who was a super interesting guy and, as I'll argue, America's first "globalist." @LitHangover @mattlech @Alecks_Guns References: Writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne (CSPAN, May 21, 2001) "The very hydra of the time": Morton's New English Cannan and Atlantic trade" by Daniel Walden, Early American Literature. 48.2 (Spring 2013) Jorge Luis Borges on Hawthorne "The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies," by Alan Taylor "Hawthorne: A Life,"by Brenda Wineapple
Aug 04, 2018
4 - 'Young Goodman Brown' by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1835)
This is the free public version of Literary Hangover. To support us and access bonus content, head to and become a member. This week Alex and I discuss one of Nathaniel Hawthorne's earliest short stories, 'Young Goodman Brown,' published anonymously in The New-England Magazine in 1835. References: Dr. Barry Wood's lectures from 1997 on Hawthorne and Puritans from U. of Houston, 'Nathaniel Hawthorne: Return to Puritanism.' ( Hawthorne biographer Brenda Wineapple on CSPAN in 2003, talking about her book (also referenced) 'Hawthorne: A Life." ( Brian Roberg's Librivox narration of 'Young Goodman Brown.' ( 'An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States' by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz 'A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience' by Emerson W. Baker Follow us on twitter: @LitHangover @mattlech @Alecks_Guns
Jul 21, 2018
3 - 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow' by Washington Irving (1820)
This is the free public version of Literary Hangover. To support us and access bonus content, head to and become a member. Hello everyone. Alex and I are back with another discussion of a famous early Washington Irving tale, 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.' We talk about Ichabod Crane as a cautionary tale for a "new man" moving to an insular American village. What does the killing of Ichabod, the supersitious, voracious, friend-zoned school teacher tell us about American openness to the stranger? Follow us on twitter: @LitHangover @mattlech @Alecks_Guns References: Listen to the full 90-minute story as read by Librivox volunteer Bob Neufeld here. Biographer Brian Jay Jones on Irving at the New York Society Library
Jul 07, 2018
2 - 'Rip Van Winkle' by Washington Irving (1819)
Hello everyone. Alex joins me this week to discuss Washington Irving's short story, Rip Van Winkle, a pioneering narrative inbeing annoyed with ones wife. This is the public version of Literary Hangover. To support the show, consider becoming a patron at, giving reviews in iTunes, Stitcher, etc and most happily telling your friends Follow us on twitter: @LitHangover @mattlech @Alecks_Guns References: "Peter Klaus," the folk tale Rip Van WInkle was based upon. Biographer Brian Jay Jones on Irving at the New York Society Library Michael Warner, "Irving's Posterity" in ELH (Fall 2000) "The American Experience: A Collection of Great American Stories" at Audible "Washington Irving and the Conservative Imagination," Allen Guttmann, American Literature (May, 1964)
Jun 16, 2018
1 - 'The Spy' by James Fenimore Cooper (1821)
Matt and Alex (@Alecks_Guns) talk about the first popular "American" novel in James Fenimore Cooper's "The Spy," and how Americans have learned to view the revolution. Special thanks to Grant Ertl of Aquanaut Media for the Literary Hangover podcast artwork. Twitter: @LitHangover References: The Spy, read by Flo Gibson (available through Audible) The Spy, read by the Librivox community. The James Fenimore Cooper Society at State University of New York College at Oneonta “The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America” by Gerald Horne "Strange Nation: Literary Nationalism and Cultural Conflict in the Age of Poe ," by J Gerald Kennedy "Who Reads an American Book?" (1820) by Reverend Sydney Smith “American Revolutions: A Continental History,” 1750-1804 by Alan Taylor “Fenimore Cooper's America” by Alan Taylor, History Today. 46.2 (Feb. 1996) “The Unruly City: Paris, London and New York in the Age of Revolution,” by Mike Rapport “Cooper's The Spy and the Popular Spy Novel,” by Bruce A. Rosenberg, American Transcendental Quarterly (1993)
Jun 01, 2018