Shakespeare

Brave New World

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This week’s episode features Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, the science fiction classic about a scientific utopia. Or possibly dystopia. This book is weaker on characters than many of the books we’ve read, but it is full of issues, many of them more relevant than ever in today’s world. We touch on feminism, racism, sexuality, eugenics, consumerism, and religion. And, of course, zippers. Zippers are amazing. Because they are THE FUTURE. There are also some bad puns, the usual level of silliness, and a small amount of modest self-promotion. We think you will find it quite pneumatic.

The music bump is “Brave New World” by Styx, chosen not just for the obvious title tie-in, but at least a small amount of lyrical relevance. Hang out for an extra twenty seconds at the end of the podcast and see if you agree.

28 – Brave New World – Quite Pneumatic

It may not be obvious because of the size of the picture, but the header this week is from an edition of the book that had an egg with a zipper on the cover. The reason we chose this image should be quite obvious by the time you’re about twenty minutes into this episode.

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The Merchant of Venice, Part 2

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Welcome back for part 2 ofThe Merchant of Venice podcast! In this episode, guest star Anthony Funari returns to wrap up the discussion. We cover the stuff we didn’t quite get to in part 1, such as Shylock. He’s just a little bit important. We also discuss whether the fifth act is even necessary, how this play stands out compared to other plays of its time, and give a few suggestions on what other Shakespeare plays you might want to read. We once again set the bar high in broadcast professionalism as this episode was almost titled “Revenge of the Landscapers.” As it turns out, they get upset when you keep them off the air for a few weeks.

Administrative note: There have been a couple of minor changes to the schedule, due primarily toThe Stand being 1,745,122 pages long. Check the schedule page if you want to see what’s really going to happen around here the next couple weeks.

The music bump is once again Mendelssohn’s “Overture to a Midsummer’s Night Dream” for the same reasons as last week, with the additional reason of “we’re too lazy to come up with a new piece of music this week.”

10 – The Merchant of Venice, Part 2 – Shylock’s Revenge

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