This place matters

This place matters

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Literary Errata

  • Shakespeare did not write in Old English. Old English, as I've mentioned before, is a whole 'nother language. The alphabets are even slightly different. Old English - 400ish to 1100ish. Middle English, 1100ish-1500ish. Modern English - 1500ish until now. Shakespeare - late 1500s to early 1600s. So early modern English, but modern English.
  • Les Miserables was not set during the French Revolution. The climactic battle with the barricades and the musical crescendos was a day-long student rebellion against the monarchy; the rebellion failed. Students were battling for the rights of the poor and oppressed, spurred at least in part, by the belief that a cholera outbreak was the result of the government poisoning wells. 
  • In Kafka's The Metamorphosis, the main character does not turn into a cockroach, as many of the translations claim, but an Ungeziefer, a non-specific word for vermin. (two Blount references in one day!). Also, Kalfka's Metamorphosis was not an allegory for the human condition or the dehumanization of the newly emerging middle class. It's a story about a guy who turns into a bug.
  • Twilight is not literature. It's an abomination. 
  • I believe, in my heart that Gotham City was based on Cleveland, not New York. But I have absolutely nothing to back me up here. Think about it though. The Cleveland of 1939 was a once great city full of soaring architecture and lavish mansions, now fallen into poverty and disrepair, crime-ridden and desperate. Of course that could describe any city in 1939. But check out this stock photo of Cleveland's Transportation Bridge. How Gotham is that? 


N said...

Agreed on Kafka. I don't think it was intended as a commentary on anything. Seems more personal to me. But then, I tend to read everything he's written as having some intimate tie to his own life.

(Strange. Could've sworn I already posted this. If it turns up twice, I apologize.)

Anonymous said...

There are people out there who think Twilight is literature?

Cap'n Ergo "XL+1" Jinglebollocks said...

I'm working on a blogcake myself along the lines of "Also, Kalfka's Metamorphosis was not an allegory for the human condition..." The idea is that we're reading far, FAR too much into what is really just a story.

Brigid Daull Brockway said...

Actually, I kind of do see the story as an allegory for the newly emerging middle class; jobs like Gregor's, like a lot of ours, do leave one feeling like a faceless drone. I was just making a funny.