"It seems to me that to organize on the basis of feeding people or righting social injustice and all that is very valuable. But to rally people around the idea of modernism, modernity, or something is simply silly. I mean, I don't know what kind of a cause that is, to be up to date. I think it ultimately leads to fashion and snobbery and I'm against it."
Jack Levine: January 3, 1915 – November 8, 2010
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Mid Dumber Blight's Spleen - Hate Mail
Oh, it's not even worth a limerick.
I freely admit it was Mark Twain who first converted me to skepticism, who convinced me that that illiterate broker, hard dealer and crook from Stratford didn't write the plays and poems. It was when I was going trough the exercise of reading all of his works that I found in the local library, that early set of Mark Twain's complete works. I was into that kind of thing back then, reading all of the Greek plays in that set that Eugene O'Neill was associated with, all of a number of authors.
Anyway, I'm certainly not ashamed to be on the same side of that issue as Mark Twain instead of a guy who worked as a third tier rock critic. If I hadn't used Frank Zappa's dismissal of that.... "profession" so recently I'd use it right now. Mark and I share that POV with a long list of people I'd rather agree on something with than Simps and the rest of the guys at B.B. who probably haven't read one of the plays since they went through the Scottish Play in 12th grade (Simps would have read the Cliffs Notes, if that). Since then it's probably been limited to whatever movie they sat through. Kevin Branagh... the ones who thought Shakespeare in Love was a bio flick.
Not that I've got much to brag about, having not read one since last winter when I went through Timon of Athens again, before that it was Richard II. .
Maybe I should go through Coriolanus again. As some scholars have pointed out these lines from that play,
I send it through the rivers of your blood,
Even to the court, the heart, to th’seat o’ th’ brain;
And, through the cranks and offices of man,
The strongest nerves and small inferior veins
From me receive that natural competency
Whereby they live
Refer to the circulation of blood, a theory not published by William Harvey until after the Stratford man's death. There is absolutely no evidence that the broker knew Harvey, he was a friend and scientific colleague of Francis Bacon who lived a number of years after the theory was published.
That play, like Timon, wasn't known till the First Folio, published seven years after the death of the broker of Stratford, it is not known to have been performed until the Restoration era. The events of Timon of Athens are more than slightly suggestive of Bacon's downfall from being Lord Chancellor in 1621. But I think I've taxed the Duncanian dullard's attention enough for one night.