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Season Five

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Episode 51 - The Scarlet Letter (1850)
Subtitle: Le Freak, C'est Chic
Abby calls Daniel: Knees Up Mother Brown
Daniel calls Abby
: Let's Get It Started In Here
Casting: An Armando Iannucci ahistorical comedy, with Steve Buscemi  as Chillingworth, Rupert Friend as Dimmesdale, and Aubrey Plaza or Ali Wong as Hester.
AdviceWhen texts start with a prolonged essay, especially when the author is writing as themselves, this can often operate as a bit of theory. These essays tell us how the author wants us to read the text. Whether or not we think that's the best way to read it is a different question!
Clue(s) to the Next Episode
: There are a ton of housekeepers in literature, but they are always secondary or tertiary characters. Our next book talks about a housekeeper's wants and needs much more explicitly.
Show Notes: We reveal the launch of our satellite show, SMFMS Bookends, and talk about the new schedule for Season 5: a once-per-month episode, followed by a Bookends episode.

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SMFMS Bookends 1 - The Scarlet Letter (1850)
Subtitle: And now we enter (book)end game.
Abby calls Daniel: Toad in the Hole
Daniel calls Abby
: Corndog
Remedial Bad GoodReads: Frankenstein (1818), S1E1
Daniel's Media List: Adorno's Lectures on Negative Dialectics (1966), China Mievelle's October: The Story of the Russian Revolution (2017), Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget (2023), Red Dead Redemption II (2018)

Abby's Media List: Danya Kukafka's Notes on an Execution (2022), The Thief of Baghdad (1924), Pentiment (2022)


Episode 52 - Rebecca (1938)
Subtitle: Like Jane Eyre, it's chocoblock full of tampons
Abby calls Daniel: Worzel Gummidge
Daniel calls Abby
: If I only had a brain
Casting: An early 1960s musical with a Rebecca leitmotif. Debbie Reynolds as the narrator, young Marlon Brando as Maxim, Gloria Swanson as Mrs Danvers, Frank Sinatra as Jack Favell, Rosemary Clooney as Beatrice, and Danny Kaye as Giles.
AdvicePay attention to how an author uses memory, which is another way to be very unreliable.
Clue(s) to the Next Episode
: We've just covered a text where a fair-haired wallflower competes with a dark-haired vixen named Rebecca over the heart of an aristocratic man. What if that were the exact premise of our next book?

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