The Beauty Queen of Leenane
Welcome back for a very special episode of Novel Ideas. This week we’re departing slightly from our norm and discussing a play, The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh. And we’re doing it with a special guest, our cousin Sara, who is studying playwrighting? playwriting? One of those. This play is a very black comedy/psychological drama about insane people who hate each other, featuring mental illness, unreliable/untrustworthy characters, manipulative behavior, and murder. We also discuss whether “Irish” is a genre, the tendency of little brothers to ruin everything, and how podcasts, unlike plays, are not a visual medium.
The music bump is Delia Murphy’s “The Spinning Wheel,” for Mag on the occasion of her seventy-first birthday.
Welcome back to Novel Ideas for a classically oriented episode. This week we’re featuring Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, a Romantic romantic proto-feminist semi-gothic coming of age story about finding one’s place in the world. I believe that even to this day, this book remains the best known work in that genre. In this episode, we discuss the elements of that genre, as well as mental illness, feminism, religion vs. morality, sexual mores, and the search for love. We also discuss several types of Janes, St. John the vampire hunter, and why people live in environments guaranteed to kill them.
The music bump is “Jane” by Ben Folds, after the title character of this book, who is also arguably the protagonist.