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Episode 8 of 14

Poetic Dissonance

Duration: 01:16:15
Note: Enjoy the blooper at the start of the audio. Like we said, we do these live 😊Welcome to Mysteries to Die For.I am TG Wolff and am here with Jack, my piano player and producer. This is a podcast where we combine storytelling with original music to put you at the heart of mystery, murder, and ma
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Note: Enjoy the blooper at the start of the audio. Like we said, we do these live 😊Welcome to Mysteries to Die For.I am TG Wolff and am here with Jack, my piano player and producer. This is a podcast where we combine storytelling with original music to put you at the heart of mystery, murder, and mayhem. Some episodes will be my own stories, others will be classics that helped shape the mystery genre we know today. These are arrangements, which means instead of word-for-word readings, you get a performance meant to be heard. Jack and I perform these live, front to back, no breaks, no fakes, no retakes (unless it's really bad) This is Season 2. This season contains adaptations of stories published in the 1800s. These stories are some of the first considered to be mysteries. For that reason, this season is called The Originators.Today’s story is about obsession, social unrest, and the courage to stand. This is the Episode 8 Poetic Dissonance, an adaptation of Mademoiselle de Scuderi by E.T.A Hoffman. Tina: The story today is set in Paris, beginning in autumn of 1680. Paris was also the location for the first episode this season, The Thinking Man, the adaptation of Poe’s Murder’s in the Rue Morgue. As we said a few weeks ago, Paris is famous for, well, being Paris. People lived in the area since the 3rd century B.C. The star of today’s show is a 73-year old storyteller and poet, Madeleine de Scuderi, referenced throughout the story by the simple title Mademoiselle. She lived in a small house (by 18th Century French standards) on Rue Saint Honorée. Interestingly, The Thinking Man story referenced Saint Roch church, which is on Rue Sainte Honorée. A link to a map of Paris from 1652 is in the show notes, on our website, and on Facebook. It is amazing how 470 years later, you can still find the same streets on Google Maps. Because Mademoiselle attended King Louis XIV court, we’ll put our pin closer to the Louvre this time.This story is interesting far beyond the actual story. Published in 1819, this is considered the first detective story. No doubt it was cutting edge. Consider E.T.A. Hoffman’s detective was a 70-year old female and that he used historic people. The real Madeleine de Scuderi was born Nov 15, 1607 and died June 2, 1701 at the age of 93. She was a prolific writer and was part of the French renaissance. Among her friends was the poet Paul Scarron and his wife Francoise. After Paul’s death, Francoise climbed the hierarchy of society, eventually being known as Madam de Maintenon, lover and secret wife of Louis XIV.  I’m not a history buff, but reading about the craziness of France in the mid-1600s was unbelievable. Netflix, etc., has been making series out of English aristocracy – go check out the French. In the scandal The Affair of Poisons, heads rolled, literally, in the quest to seek justice for and put an end to people poisoning other to hurry along inheritance or even a slight. There are links to the Wikipedia page in the show notes and on the website.Goodreads ratings! Originally published in German, this story have over 2230 ratings with an average of 3.40. Many of the reviews were not in English. I just renewed my Babble subscription so maybe, eventually…anyway.Here’s an excerpt from a 5-star review: It was a wonderful story of murder set against the backdrop of the "affair of the poisons" in Paris. The atmosphere was very dark and claustrophobic. Everyone was paranoid and there was much fear of the police. The main character Mme de Scuderi was a great heroine, 73, sharp and compassionate, she was also a force to be reckoned with and even the King listened to her. The plot was interesting, dramatic with lots of twists and turns.Three star: “Mademoiselle de Scuderi” is honestly far from his most brilliant achievements. The Mademoiselle in question is an elderly poet with connections to French aristocracy and the Sun King himself, set out to unveil a series of brutal crimes committed in the streets of Paris at night. If this sounds like a period piece with large gowns, even larger wigs and a heavily powdered Miss Marple, the reason is that that is pretty much exactly what this is. (Note: Miss Marple was first published in Dec 1927, nearly 110-years after De Scuderi)Two star: Nothing special, although there is some interesting vocabulary in this book.Jack: Our original author today is E.T.A Hoffman. The E.T.A stands for Ernst Theodore Amadeus. He was born Ernest Theodor WILHELM Hoffman. Now there’s a pen name no one will figure out. If you are thinking “I’ve never heard of E.T.A Hoffman, you are wrong! He wrote the story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”, which was the basis for Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.Hoffman was born in January 1776 and died in June 1822. Like many of the author’s we’ve featured, he did a l
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