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.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
It’s been a while since we’ve read a classic, so this week, Novel Ideas brings you The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. This is a book known for featuring a portrait that ages while the man in the portrait remains young. Well, about that… it’s not exactly the most significant part of the story. Join us as we talk about that and other things, such as Victorian censorship, homoeroticism, class issues, and social satire. We also discuss the history of nuts, indirect murder, our take on State Farm ads, and professional trolls. On a side note, there are a couple minutes of this episode where the sound is a little washed out because I had to use the noise removal tool. It’s definitely noticeable, but far less distracting than the alternative.
The music bump this week is from Richard Wagner’s “Tannhauser Overture,” one of the several Wagner operas referenced in the book.
The Picture of Dorian Gray – That is Wilde!
Gabs: 6/10. Read The Importance of Being Earnest if you really want the Oscar Wilde experience.
Ben: 5/10. I want to like it, but there’s a little too much boredom between bouts of wit.
This entry was posted in Episodes and tagged 21st century Oscar Wilde, aestheticism, aphorisms, art for art, audio weirdness, beauty v. morality, blackmail, class issues, Faustian, gossip cycles, history of nuts, homoeroticism, indirect murder, literary State Farm ads, misogyny, omniscient voice, Oscar Wilde, physiognomy, playwright, professional troll, social commentary, strict Faust constructionist, The Picture of Dorian Gray, too descriptive, verbose characters, Victorian censorship, wit.