Libraries Have Always Felt Safe (Ep. 17 - Redwall and The Virgin Mary)

What's the place where you feel the most safe and protected and secure? It's something different for everyone. I grew up playing in trees, so for me, it's any forest. And for Richard, my guest this week, it's a library.

I visited Richard at his home in Chicago, which is why you'll hear a the train rumbling by in the background every now and then. Richard's home is piled high with books, to the point that the stacks are starting to morph into furniture. It's amazing and I'm pretty jealous, because it's a lot easier to fit a library into your apartment than a forest.

There's no better feeling than creating a sanctuary where you live, whatever that sanctuary happens to be. If you're lucky, and you're in control of your surroundings, you can shape your whole world into anything you want it to be. But what if you live in someone else's world -- for example, a queer person surrounded by hostile heterosexuals? Well then you have to do the best you can -- often by creating a secret little pocket of a world that you can escape into. For a long, long time, that's what LGBTs have had to do, with gay ghettos and windowless bars and drag balls and certain seminaries. 

And although he's free to enjoy his own library today, for years Richard was forced to create a secret sanctuary of his own, growing up in surroundings that he simultaneously loved and feared.

Redwall was turned into an animated show -- here's the pilot: 

Parisian Kevin MacLeod ( 
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