Monday, January 31, 2005

Zeen Review: Underworld Crawl

A two-dollar price but this slight publication contains provocative ideas and snapshots of strong writing.

"Deviant Reading" is an essay by someone who didn't enjoy the acceptable lit works in school, and like many of us, looked for alternatives. (I started out reading monster magazines and comic books.) I agree with much of what the essay says. Yet I think titans like Homer and Shakespeare could reach more people if it weren't for the way they're taught. The very fact they're icons of the academy takes away any edge. The chief problem with both is that their works were created to be heard by the ear, not read on a page.

Shakespeare's language comes alive when you hear it, or when you speak it yourself. Then it begins to make sense.

Shakespeare never meant his work to be taken seriously. There are gigantic professorial volumes analyzing Shakespeare on bookstore shelves. 90% of what they say is garbage.

"Hamlet" contains malaprops ("porpentine" for porcupine) and a great deal of verbal viciousness. The Ghost; Polonius; Guildenstern and Rosencrantz-- it's fantastic hokum, which is why the miners and cowboys of the Wild West loved it. The Bard is laughing at the madness of the world. Ophelia's death is comedy, yet full of pathos because it's ridiculous. Shakespeare is telling us that life is ridiculous. All one can do is have a beer, laugh, and ride along. Which I'm sure he did much of.

Underworld Crawl contains pathos-- especially the small tale of a neighbor boy picked on by the world.
Two dollars cash c/o
R. Lee
PO Box 1421
Oshkosh WI 54903.

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