So, your hosts will be talking about Aliens. We talk a lot about how very, very similar our modern abduction narratives are to 17th Century fairy stories, and a little about how Twin Peaks‘ concept of lodge denizens as aliens (or aliens as the lodge entities?) Heralded the modern state of the folklore.
In order to do so, it was necessary to time-travel to the beginning of human culture, tracing down the path of daylight disks and flying saucers through the ages until H.P. Lovecraft and Charles Fort hitch us to Chariots of the Gods? The gods contained in that dog eared and yellowed paperback conveyance entice us, beckon us on through the final and most dangerous leg of our journey toward final and horrible truth.
That truth is a gaping maw. A yawning Stargate leading not only your hosts, but also you true believer, to fictionalization and beyond! There, in that gulf of ultimate chaos, we have arranged for you to have a Close Encounter (kind currently unclassified) with a mysterious Blue Book crammed ever so deeply In the Mouth of Madness. A mouth constantly burbling infinite inanities in the long-lost language of….
Daphne du Maurier brought the Gothic into the 20th century, and looked at the modern world, and human relationships through the classic Gothic lens. High-profile adaptations from Alfred Hitchcock and Nicholas Roeg helped to solidify her legacy, but while she is certainly not a forgotten writer now, her extraordinary work deserves praise and reappraisal as some of the finest horror written in the 20th century.
We look at some other classic authors, but it is important to us that we help spread the word regarding the exciting work that is being made here and now. Not only do we live in the so-called “Weird Renaissance,” where hundreds of talented authors are able to disseminate their work through digital media and boutique small-press publishers, but many of the best of these authors happen to be women. So in this episode, Jubel presents a short piece written about some of his favorite women authors working today: Gemma Files, Livia Llewellyn, Nadia Bulkin, Betty Rocksteady and S.P. Miskowski.
For this “minisode,” Karl and Jubel discuss “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, our most recent reading, which features all-new music and sound design, and a masterful performance by actress Suzanne Owens-Duval. We break down the story’s use of the “unreliable narrator” device, its nebulous supernaturalism, and its role as an influential work of feminist fiction.
True to form, your hosts compare and contrast the story with other works, including Gaslight, Rosemary’s Baby, and of course Twin Peaks.
The ghost story (and most Weird fiction) frequently explores and builds upon themes of madness, and this is the first of no doubt many discussions of these themes as we move ever onward into the new year.
As with most pieces of great literature, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is many things simultaneously. It is an exquisite ghost story, a prime example of the “unreliable narrator” in short fiction, a psychologically astute depiction of a descent into madness, and a legendary piece of 19th century feminist writing.
For this reading, we have had the astonishing fortune of working with actress Suzanne Owens-Duval, who is one of the principal actors on “Annex,” a podcast written and directed by Drew Beard, which is recorded, edited and scored by Jubel Brosseau. Knowing that this is a rare stroke of luck, Jubel took great pains to make sure that this reading was as polished and immersive as the performance and source material deserves.
All sounds and music are by Jubel Brosseau, except for the Overture, which is composed and performed by Jubel Brosseau and Nicholas Swartz, and a section of “Gnossienne No 1,” composed by Erik Satie.