Wednesday, December 3, 2014

No Smear Shakespeare!

Forsooth, I find it utterly disconcerting that the top hit (usually the top two or three hits) when looking up a Shakespearean quotation online is always No Fear Shakespeare. Yes, this is obviously exactly what the anglophone public, especially the notoriously ugly ones, need right now as the American empire is giving way to the Chinese one. Shelter yourselves even from your own past, wrap yourselves in the safety blanket of contemporary slang. It's not as though an ability to place yourself in another place and time speaks at all of one's mental development. As though it weren't bad enough when an entire generation grew up thinking Romeo and Juliet is like, OMyGaw, totally a rip-off of West Side Story!

Your grandchildren will have to learn Mandarin. The least you can do is figure out for yourselves what the late middle English version of "fo' reals" might be.

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