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Old English [Dec. 13th, 2004|10:32 pm]
It is when I read old plays that I realize that two hundred years from now, people will not understand half of what we wrote or said, neither our TV programs, movies or any of our entertainments (if it is entertainment that survives of us). I tried to read Jonson's "Epicoene" directly in the text from the Gutenberg archives, but soon had to switch to borrowing an annotated version ("Ben Jonson, Four Comedies" edited by Helen Ostovich). I do enjoy it much more that way now, and learn many new turns of phrases and ways to deal witty sarcastic remarks. People in those days were quite insolent! And they seem to have been a lot more subtle than we are now. But then of course, those who attended those plays were the educated elite.

Obligatory funny link:
"One reason why Shakespeare is worthless is that he didn’t write in English. Reading Shakespeare requires studying “Old English” in order to understand his boring cliché plots and to identify with his deadbeat characters."

OK, so it is not very funny (too blunt, too short) but what is really amusing is how some people actually seem to think the author meant what he/she wrote. I always enjoy seeing somebody being humorous and others taking him/her seriously. I love it because usually, those who react think they are so much better and say things like "oh that person is so stupid, of course Shakespeare wrote in "Old English", old English was not old in his times". Yes... thank you... but who is the stupider of the two. I love the aggressiveness with which those who feel superior go on the attack; try to humiliate the one they feel is their inferior. It still frightens me, but I take it more lightly now.

Then of course, it may be a bit childish of me that I laugh at others or look at them with such disdain. I console myself by thinking that anyway, the party I mock is also enjoying its mocking of the party I am on the side of. So this is an equal deal and I am not profiting from others. And maybe there is a third party that is laughing at us all. So, I am reasoning, I am not being superior.

Oh OK, I lied, when I say I laugh, I don't really mean it. I don't laugh. I don't enjoy seeing people misled. In fact, this is why I am always very truthful. Brusque, ill reasoned, but truthful. I always take full responsibility for my words and will back them up to the end. I did the reasoning above because I also do not understand those who, like the author of the text I link to, enjoy misleading others. But then, maybe that person doesn’t enjoy doing so, and what it wrote was what it really meant, and it put it like this, in such a trollish form, so as to better attract attention? But then, why that need to attract attention? … working on it, working on it. I am all the more baffled as the text is not even well written or poignant or very provocative. All in all, a rather sad link when I think of it. One example among many, of course.

Oh my, this entry is so confused. Sorry. I just wanted to say I am still here and reading you. Hello.

Other news:

I will post a list of books I did not have the time to finish (or even begin) in my friend's house I am leaving soon. She also subscribes to a number of journals I will have to subscribe too. I think I gained bad luxury habits while I was there. Oh, in moderation, I am such a moderate person.

Peace, love and sassy nannies sitting on a bench in Piccadilly Street.