sexuality

The Color Purple

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The Novel Ideas roulette wheel landed on a classic this month, so we’re back with The Color Purple by Alice Walker. In this episode we discuss racism, injustice, abuse, and other upsetting things. We also talk about the cold open, black comedy, down home cookin’, and laughably ineffective missionaries.

The music bump is Ella Fitzgerald with Duke Ellington’s band performing “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” based on our unresearched speculation regarding how this book became a musical.

102 – The Color Purple – Coming of (Old) Age

Our ratings:

Ben: Purple/10. Which is the best rating, I think. I don’t really understand that part of the rating system. But I would definitely recommend this one.

Gabs: 9/10 for literary value. Also worth reading for the purpose of making yourself less shitty.

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Twelfth Night

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Shakespeare is back on Novel Ideas! Well, one of Shakespeare’s plays is a topic for Novel Ideas, Shakespeare himself is a bit bigger get than we are currently capable of. But we were able to get the very capable Dr. Anthony Funari back as a guest to discuss William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, a comedy full of cross dressing, something the English still find absolutely hilarious in the twenty-first century. In this episode we discuss queer spaces, Shakespearean comedic heroines, puritanism, and inversion. We also talk about crossing the (drama) streams, Elizabethan drama franchises, unlikely sibling casting, and humorless dicks.

Also check out this link to Tony’s website, The Mad Literature Professor.

The music bump is one of Feste’s song from the 1996 movie production.

Twelfth Night – Star Cross Gartered Lovers

Recommendations:

One of Shakespeare’s later comedies, is both hilarious and full of academic interest, if you’re into those things. Read it. Or better yet, find a good stage production of it.

Gabs: 10/10 It’s so good. Queer spaces –  good. Female agency – good. Puritan baiting – good!

Ben: 12/12 Definitely the best of the “Nights” franchise. But seriously, probably my favorite Shakespeare play. So far.

Tony: 10/10 Very interesting in that it is the transition play from comedy to romance, plus Feste is probably Shakespeare’s best fool.

Fledgling

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After a lengthy, mostly unplanned, holiday hiatus, Novel Ideas returns with Fledgling by Octavia Butler. This is a book about vampires that offers a slightly different spin on what has arguably become its own genre. Not to mention a science fiction/fantasy book not written by a neckbearded white man. In the episode, we discuss various subgenres at play, direct writing styles, what is at the core of a person, and racism. Lots of racism. We also talk about vatigue, podcasting as a visual medium, trope subversion, and Canada.

The music bump is “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, mostly because Ben has an abhorrent sense of humor.

Fledgling – Chemically Bonded Group Marriage

Recommendations:

Ben: 8/10 Excellent world building and interesting relationship building. Definitely read it.

Gabs: 6.5/10 An interesting new approach to vampires, but not really my thing.

The Merchant of Venice

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Welcome to a very special episode of Novel Ideas, featuring guest star Dr. Anthony Funari, an expert on renaissance literature. This week we discussed The Merchant of Venice by… William Shakespeare? Almost certainly. This episode was running long, so we went ahead and broke it into two parts, so you’ll have to tune in next week for the exciting conclusion. In part one, we cover concepts of racism and sexuality that didn’t even exist in 1600, as well as which characters in this play should (probably not) be portrayed by modern film characters. The spoiler alert is weaker than usual because this play is kind of old. That being said, the joke in the title won’t make sense until part two.

The music bump this week is “Overture to a Midsummer’s Night Dream” by Felix Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn, like Shylock, is Jewish (hope I didn’t need to spoiler tag that one) and this concert overture was written for a Shakespeare play, just not this one.

09 – The Merchant of Venice, Part 1 – A Four Act Tragedy