Literary Hangover is a podcast, released twice on Saturdays 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.

35 - 'A Journal of the Plague Year' by Daniel Defoe (1722)

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Hi everybody, Alex, Grace and I are back with an episode that will not really help you get your mind off of coronavirus! Today, Daniel Defoe's 'A Journal of the Plague Year,' a fictionalized journal set in the 1665 plague in London.

Foucault's Political (order) and Literary (anarchy) "dreams" of the Plague. The surveillance state and public health. Fuedalism wasn't any better for workers than capitalism. The Defoe theme of the bourgeois barricading and provisioning himself in a dangerous environment. Daniel Defoe, Data Journalist. Killing watchmen. The economic pause of the plague. Rural/urban divides and cooperation.


Wagner, Martin. "Defoe, Foucault, and the Politics of the Plague." SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 57, no. 3 (2017): 501-519.

Foucault, Michel, 1926-1984. Discipline And Punish : the Birth of the Prison.

Librivox narration.