February 11, 2021

Andrea, Jennifer, and The 2 Williams.

I assured you that I would write this post. It's something that should be very fun for me, but I've made it obligatory. I said "It's one of my favorite stories ever." And then, fooling about in the comments:
Every task seems like more fun than the subject I regard as the ripest of the week, Andrea, Jennifer, and The 2 Williams. 
What is wrong with me? I just got up to make my 5th cup of coffee! 
Did William Shakespeare drink coffee? Did William Faulkner?... 
"He didn't have coffee, he didn't have vanilla, he didn't have cocoa. Imagine writing Hamlet without a cup of coffee. That's amazing."... 
Faulkner drank, but not so much coffee. 
"Jeezus Christ! Have you ever heard of anyone who drank while he worked? You’re thinking of Faulkner. He does sometimes—and I can tell right in the middle of a page when he’s had his first one"

So, yes, the "2 Williams" are Shakespeare and Faulkner. They were in the news last night because Andrea — Andrea Mitchell, the NBC News chief Washington correspondent — tweeted something so mind-bogglingly stupid — stupid, evil, and hilarious — and Jennifer — Jennifer Rubin, the WaPo columnist — lunged horribly after Andrea's tweet. These people — Mitchell and Rubin — are supposed to be the elite, but they are not even elite enough to keep from stumbling over a high-school level literary reference or even to think of making sure — with the quickest Google — they're not making a gaffe. 

Andrea saw what looked like it might be an opportunity to mock Ted Cruz.

He'd gone on Fox News and said: “The Democrats want a week of political theater raging at Donald Trump. Reminds me of Shakespeare. It’s full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

She tweeted:

@SenTedCruz says #ImpeachmentTrial is like Shakespeare full of sound and fury signifying nothing. No, that’s Faulkner

Now, that's a bit restrained in its arrogance, and, of course, stupid. The Faulkner title "The Sound and the Fury" is derived from one of the most famous soliloquies in Shakespeare, which includes the longer phrase deployed by Cruz — "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." 

Jennifer immediately galumphs in. Only 6 minutes elapse before she's got this semi-coherent tweet published:

Now that's and it says volumes about his lack of soul. That's Any Thinking Person.

The coherent part is "it says volumes about his lack of soul." And your tweet, Jennifer? What does it say volumes about you? Who the hell do you think you are to make grandiose pronouncements about somebody else's soul? And what did you intend to say about Any Thinking Person? You, the specific person, did not think too hard before belching that out. 

Andrea Mitchell struggles to get herself off the hook with: "I clearly studied too much American literature and not enough Macbeth. My apologies to Sen. Cruz." That's not an apology, and it's not a good excuse. Mitchell has a degree in English literature (from the University of Pennsylvania). Stressing American literature can't explain away the mistake:  

1. First, that's high-school level literature. Mitchell is 4 years older than I am, and I can tell you my junior year high school English class memorized that particular Shakespeare speech. I can still recite it by heart. It's Macbeth! No concentration on other works of literature should have prevented her from encountering the "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow" speech. 

2. Even if you only studied Faulkner and never studied Shakespeare, you would read "The Sound and the Fury." You can't read that without wondering what the title means. There is no way you would avoid receiving the lesson that the title is derived from the Macbeth speech. The assertion that you are so tremendously learned in American literature is utterly unbelievable. You just sound like an abject liar, Andrea. It is a tale told by an idiot.

3. If you really were a person who reads and understands literature, you would know that — in the world of novels — a character who corrects other people curtly in that pedantic "No, that’s Faulkner" manner is an icky prig. I've read a lot of novels, and characters who talk like that are up to no good. That snootiness, even when there's no mistake, marks a character toward whom you know instinctively you are not supposed to feel sympathetic. And let me just add that when the novelist makes a character utter words like "it says volumes about his lack of soul," the competent reader knows immediately that it is the speaker of those words who lacks soul. 

348 comments:

1 – 200 of 348   Newer›   Newest»
DanTheMan said...

Yet again, we are being patronized by our inferiors.

tim in vermont said...

Idiot, Faulkner wrote The Hamlet, not Shakespeare!

Big Mike said...

Shouldn’t it be Andrea, Jennifer, two Williams, and a Ted?

Joe Smith said...

Best and brightest...

It is especially hilarious that Andrea was an English major.

Now think about the things that 'reporters' write about, and have opinions about, of which they have no formal knowledge or education.

Law, climate, crime, medicine, etc. all spring to mind.

These 'elites' are no smarter than the average person in aisle 4 at Walmart.

They just have better credentials and go to fancier cocktail parties.

Achilles said...

Democrats are just stupid people.

Get them to define Bill of Attainder.

Joe Smith said...



Instead of Andrea and Jennifer it should be two Karens...

Gahrie said...

No woman must ever be made to feel bad about, or responsible for, anything, ever.

Mitchell is an older, credentialed woman, who must never be wrong, even when she obviously is.

There is a lot of that going around.

tcrosse said...

Get them to define Bill of Attainder.

He's the guy who founded Alcoholics Anonymous, right?

campy said...

Keep your dead-tree copies of Macbeth close by, because the "sound and fury" line will soon be memory-holed from all online versions. Reality will be edited so the leftard is always correct.

wild chicken said...

Journalists were almost always English majors. Not journalism. Remember that.

Taking anything more real than lit is declasse.

Skeptical Voter said...

Texans (and I suppose Cruz can consider himself an "honorary native"--although he's not) have a saying about fence post turtles. You're driving along a road and you see a turtle on top of a fence post. You have no idea how the turtle got there (and neither does the turtle). And the turtle has no idea about how it's going to get down off that fence post.

Andrea Mitchell and Jennifer Rubin (and Jennifer Rubin in particular) are fence post turtles.

Chennaul said...

Instead of Andrea and Jennifer it should be two Karens...

************

They sound like two high school mean girls but how old are they— I’m not going to google— 60 and 75?

Ken B said...

“ Idiot, Faulkner wrote The Hamlet, not Shakespeare!”

BRAVO

LYNNDH said...

Found:According to Leonhard Rauwolf's 1583 account, coffee became available in England no later than the 16th century, largely through the efforts of the Levant Company. The first coffeehouse in England was opened in St. Michael's Alley in Cornhill, London.
ccording to Leonhard Rauwolf's 1583 account, coffee became available in England no later than the 16th century, largely through the efforts of the Levant Company.

OR

Some say that Captain John Smith brought it with him when he founded the colony of Virginia at Jamestown. Not long after that time, in 1645, the first coffeehouse opened in Italy, followed by one in England some seven years later. From that point, coffee was unstoppable.

Shakespeare - 1564 to 1616

So did he or did he not drink Coffee. Might have.


rehajm said...

These 'elites' are no smarter than the average person in aisle 4 at Walmart.

I'd wager big bucks on any random Brit vs Andrea Mitchell in a Shakespeare-off. Any bloke on the street, without more help, could fight this royal battle...

Curious George said...

"First, that's high-school level literature. Mitchell is 4 years older than I am, and I can tell you my junior year high school English class memorized that particular Shakespeare speech. I can still recite it by heart. It's Macbeth! No concentration on other works of literature should have prevented her from encountering the "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow" speech."

I'm a few years younger than you at 63, so maybe that's it, but I can assure you I never had to read Macbeth (or any Shakespeare) in Junior High, High School, or College. If you asked me to recite any Shakespeare, I would say "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo" and honestly I had to look it up to get it right.

tim in vermont said...

Don’t knock English majors. At the time she went to school, it was a solid major and mine prepared me well for a productive life. Of course I had a lot of physics and math courses, until one day I realized that just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean that you have to do it. It was a presentation by some engineers about how they had spent the last five years of their life that put me off of the idea.

Dave Begley said...

Mitchell and Rubin are two of our so-called betters. Elites. Biden and Harris are way worse than those two.

To this day, the Dems like to portray themselves as the smart people. The good people. The people who care. When I was in college and high school, I admired my teachers and they were mostly Dems.

Exposing those two for the idiots they are is useful, but let's face it. The GOP will never win another presidential election or control the Congress in my lifetime unless the economy undergoes a complete meltdown.

Nonapod said...

Andrea Mitchell struggles to get herself off the hook with: "I clearly studied too much American literature and not enough Macbeth. My apologies to Sen. Cruz." That's not an apology, and it's not a good excuse. Mitchell has a degree in English literature (from the University of Pennsylvania). Stressing American literature can't explain the mistake.

Yeah, she doubled down on stupid and got burned pretty badly here. It would have been better if she just said "Yeah... I'm an idiot. I thought I was being clever. Of course I do love schadenfreude. The unmitigated hubris of the oh-so-smart Andrea Mitchell thinking she had the perfect zinger only to have it collapse catastrophically on her is wonderful.

It's a harsh truth in life that everyone is an idiot some of the time. Even people who are "smart" will believe, say, and do idiotic things from time to time. Isaac Newton is often regarded as one of the smartest human's to have ever lived, and he spend a good chunk of his life looking for the philosopher's stone.

Dave Begley said...

I wonder what Althouse's high school teaches these days. What books it requires. I'm betting there has been a radical change in the curriculum.

rehajm said...

Who knew Ann got schadenboners?

tim maguire said...

Skeptical Voter said...Andrea Mitchell and Jennifer Rubin (and Jennifer Rubin in particular) are fence post turtles.

We know how Jennifer Rubin got there--she tried to help Andrea get down. Now they're both stuck atop the fence hoping we all go away and leave them alone so they can pretend it never happened.

Amadeus 48 said...

Methinks Althouse is displeased with the turn taken by media "elites", but also pleased with how self-revealing they are.

I learned a new acronym yesterday: AFLW. It stands for Affluent White Female Liberal. I could quibble with the "liberal", but that battle was lost long ago when the Progressives needed a new label after they had soiled themselves with eugenics. American liberals aren't liberal.

Anyway, Andrea and Jennifer are perfect AWFL types.

Chennaul said...

So, I use to know this guy in college, and he would talk about how he was a male escort in DC. Said he use to dress up like a cowboy even though he was born in Westport. (he is now a lobbyist.)

Anyways— me thinks Andrea has the hots for Don Juan Cruz boat.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Goddamned spellcheck fuckery.

Ken B said...

I'm almost Curious George’s age and in high school not only did I read Macbeth but I read the Faulkner AND learned where the title came from.

MadisonMan said...

Mitchell is 75. 75-yo Brains are not nimble. I wonder why she hasn't retired.

rhhardin said...

We need a word for a woman wrongly correcting a man. It comes up all the time.

I propose

cameltoe n. ... 2. a collapse of an air of female superiority.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

You just sound like an abject liar, Andrea. It is a tale told by an idiot.

Nicely said. John H at PowerLine points out that the first chapter of Sound and Fury is written from Benji’s POV so it is indeed “a tale told by an idiot” and Andrea’s hubris deliciously signifies more than nothing. The whole vignette is Shakespearean. Hey who put the English in English lit?

[fixed]

Nonapod said...

I learned a new acronym yesterday: AFLW. It stands for Affluent White Female Liberal.

I think you fat-fingered the letters. It's "AWFL". And pronounced "awful", of course.

Curious George said...

"It's a harsh truth in life that everyone is an idiot some of the time."

And if it's on Twitter, everyone gets to know.

jeremyabrams said...

Top. Women.

And I hope it's reasonable in the context of this story to mention my mashup-the-new-with-Shakespeare blog: abardseyeview.com

DanTheMan said...

>>Faulkner wrote The Hamlet, not Shakespeare

Despite Faulkner's pretentious title, Mr. Shakespeare's work is the more definitive.

Ken B said...

“ Mitchell is 75. 75-yo Brains are not nimble.”

Piffle. I know some very nimble brains older than that. One of the sharpest backgammon players in our club was 91.

Dave Begley said...

Idea. Let's get Andrea Mitchell on Jeopardy and all the categories are English lit stuff.

Nebraska authors
Mississippi authors
Earnest about Ernest.
The Invisible Man.
Life on the Mississippi
The King and the Duke
Catcher in the ....
The Wolfes.

Yancey Ward said...

I was in high school between 1980 and 1984. We read Macbeth in senior English, and Romeo and Juliet, too. I didn't have to read any Shakespeare in college, which is surprising looking back, but then I was a Chemistry and Biology major, so I didn't have to take higher level literature courses after my 2nd year.

I read all of Shakespeare later just for my own entertainment. I was shocked at the number of literary references I noted as I read- references that sailed right over my head before then.

Amadeus 48 said...

MacBeth was a standard part of the junior year English curriculum in US public high schools in the 1960s. Julius Caesar in the sophomore year and MacBeth in the junior, as I recall.

tim in vermont said...

"'m a few years younger than you at 63, so maybe that's it, but I can assure you I never had to read Macbeth”

I am your age and I certainly had to memorize two Shakespeare soliloquies in my public high school, “To be or not to be” and “If it were done when ’tis done...” from Macbeth. Tenth grade English was centered around Shakespeare. This was no “honors English course either.” Remember that she somehow got in to Penn and graduated with a specialty in “English Literature” whatever that is. I have heard of English Language Literature, or British Literature, or American Literaure do you really want to exclude James Joyce because he’s Irish, not English?

On the subject of Shakespeare, I just finished Ethan Hawke’s A Bright Ray of Darkness which centers around a performance in a Broadway production of Shakespeare, and after a brilliant start, it falls off markedly. Which is too bad. But the parts about how an actor deals with the challenges of theatre and the parts based on Shakespeare were great. Also, he didn’t exactly mention the trip to my little town of North Bumfuck, Vermont with Uma, but he did mention a trip with his fictional wife to the Adirondack Mountains, which you can see from here in Bumfuck, so maybe that was the trip he was referring to with “Mary and William”

rhhardin said...

Jennifer just didn't perceive the collapse, but wasn't really in on the female correcting male dynamic that's crucial to a cameltoe.

Gusty Winds said...

This was HILARIOUS. It represents the modern Left. All University "educated". The one's who self-proclaim their credentialed intelligence loudly from the mountaintops.

Andrea Mitchell is a fool. So is Jennifer Rubin. There were also plenty of other twitter "blue checks" that retweeted Mitchell's Mistake.

But...I would bet greater than 50% of the University of Wisconsin Graduates and Faculty over the last 20 years would think Mitchell had burned Cruz. Because that's what they wish.

Hatred and arrogance makes you blind and very, very stupid.

tim maguire said...

I didn't read Faulkner until college, but my high school curriculum included Macbeth. It's hard to see how someone could have read The Sound and The Fury and not known the title was a cultural reference even if they were unfamiliar with the referent. The fact that what Cruz said is similar, but not the same, should have tipped her off to check. That's the dumbest part of all--that she was so certain despite not having checked despite at least one flag that she should maybe check.

As the WaPo house conservative, cluelessness is Jennifer Rubin's bread and butter. Her paycheck depends on her being a clown.

rhhardin said...

I get all my Shakespeare secondhand from people who can interpret it well. Stanley Cavell mostly.

To me it's boring shit otherwise. Read it only indirectly from somebody who likes it.

Mary Beth said...

Anyway, Andrea and Jennifer are perfect AWFL types.

Is it pronounced "awful"?

Yancey Ward said...

I wanted to coin the phrase "smugnorance" last night, but it turns out to have already been done.

Václav Patrik Šulik said...

I saw this last night and thought Aldous Huxley was right - O brave new world, that has such people in't.

tim in vermont said...

"I thought Bill of Attainder was a knight.”

I really did laugh out loud at that one.

"To me it's boring shit otherwise. Read it only indirectly from somebody who likes it.”

I didn’t get it in high school, I admit. I thought it was boring, but at one point in my life I was forced into an hour commute each way and I listened to a Great Course in Shakespeare, basically the Shakespeare course at Dartmouth, and suddenly it became really accessable to me. OK, it was a sixty hour course, but what was I going to do? Listen to some half wit radio jock in the morning?

Truthavenger said...

The elite (especially the elite media) pretend to be our betters by virtue of their superior intellect and ethics. But the only thing they are better at is reading off a teleprompter. I would rather trust reporting to my next door neighbor.

Amadeus 48 said...

Yancy Ward--I have a friend whose son said he was amazed at all the clichés in Shakespeare. I think he was teasing.

AZ Bob said...

Andrea should have run her tweet by someone who studied English literature.

tim in vermont said...

"at she was so certain despite not having checked despite at least one flag that she should maybe check. “

Like when Mutaman professed shock that anybody here had read a book. That’s why liberals have strict “no fraternization” rules, to keep their cult members from questioning the narrative of their intellectual supremacy.

Amadeus 48 said...

Mary Beth--I think so.

tim maguire said...

rhhardin said...Jennifer just didn't perceive the collapse, but wasn't really in on the female correcting male dynamic that's crucial to a cameltoe.

Is this the term for what Mitchell did? At least with mansplaining, the man is right.

Yancey Ward said...

"I didn’t get it in high school, I admit. I thought it was boring"

I had pretty much the same reaction in high school- at that point in my life, I only had interest in science fiction. It was about 10 years later that I was old enough to actually "get" Shakespeare.

Joe Smith said...

"Get them to define Bill of Attainder."

He's a neighbor of Theodoric of York...

But it's William of Attainder to you.

Howard said...

A broader swath of the quote describes the two ladies to a tee.

Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.

DanTheMan said...

>>"I thought Bill of Attainder was a knight.”

For decades, I thought the Moody Blues were singing about "Knights in White Satin".
Then I got an an XM radio and saw the actual title scroll across the screen....

Howard said...

Will someone please empty the drool buckets!!!

Unknown said...

"Blogger Curious George said...
I'm a few years younger than you at 63, so maybe that's it, but I can assure you I never had to read Macbeth (or any Shakespeare) in Junior High, High School, or College. If you asked me to recite any Shakespeare, I would say "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo" and honestly I had to look it up to get it right."

Cool, I didn't know you were one of our elite. Congrats to you? Heh

The best answer to this is in the immortal screenplay Wedding Singer. "You're a bitch".

Yancey Ward said...

"Yancy Ward--I have a friend whose son said he was amazed at all the clichés in Shakespeare. I think he was teasing."

No doubt he was teasing. A commenter last night made a similar joke about Shakespeare being nothing but a bunch of quotes strung together.

tim maguire said...

Yancey Ward said...I wanted to coin the phrase "smugnorance" last night, but it turns out to have already been done.

You may not have coined it, but I appreciate you brining it to my attention.

Amadeus 48 said...

“ Mitchell is 75. 75-yo Brains are not nimble.”

Good heavens. What is she doing on television struggling with the news, then?

William said...

Andrea Mitchell gives off a distinct Lady Macbeth vibe, but this contretemps isn't the stuff of Shakespeare or even of Faulkner. P.G. Wodehouse thou should be living at this hour......You would think that an English major would be able to think of a more creative and literate excuse. Maybe she could claim that Cruz is so Southern Gothic that she got confused.

tim in vermont said...

"It's a harsh truth in life that everyone is an idiot some of the time.”

Maybe, but unlike Andrea, few of us get paid big bucks to do it all the time.

Amadeus 48 said...

"I think you fat-fingered the letters."

Yup.

tim in vermont said...

"Will someone please empty the drool buckets!!!”

What Howard? Is your wife out ice fishing?

rehajm said...

To me it's boring shit otherwise.

I will also admit for me it is drudgery. In New York State in the 80s Macbeth was required reading in 9th grade. It made me commit to avoiding lit as long as I could. I avoided applying to Willams because of it- between the snow and the literature I probably would have killed myself...

One exception- in tenth grade, on the flip side of The Scarlet Letter was Billy Budd. I read it to impress a girl that had also flipped the book over. It worked...

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

"I clearly studied too much American literature and not enough Macbeth. My apologies to Sen. Cruz."

Jeez, I skated through college with as little exposure to both as possible and even I knew Faulkner got the title from Shakespeare.

Joe Smith said...

"So, I use to know this guy in college, and he would talk about how he was a male escort in DC. Said he use to dress up like a cowboy even though he was born in Westport. (he is now a lobbyist.)"

I was going to say John Voight until the lobbyist part : )

DanTheMan said...

>> "I clearly studied too much American literature and not enough Macbeth.

Yeah, that's your problem. You spent too much time studying so you could be soooo much smarter than the rest of us.

Clearly, your mind is just too highly trained.

Amadeus 48 said...

"Idiot, Faulkner wrote The Hamlet, not Shakespeare!"

Heh. Good one!

Jack Klompus said...

I'd like to hear from our resident elite philosophy scholar Howard and his opinions on Nitschke.

Original Mike said...

Blogger tim in vermont said...
"I thought Bill of Attainder was a knight.”

I really did laugh out loud at that one."


I'm glad you liked it. The comment is now gone. That's so strange.

Ken B said...

If Mitchell is an English grad, and can’t even recognize one of the most famous bits in one of the most famous plays that every English grad reads, consider her expertise in other areas: economics, cell biology, history, embryology, constitutional theory. And yet she pronounces from on high on all of them. Rubin as well.

Teachers and pundits. They need to be mocked unrelentingly.

Jack Klompus said...

I was going to say John Voight until the lobbyist part : )

Everybody's talkin' at me...

hawkeyedjb said...

DanTheMan said...
Yet again, we are being patronized by our inferiors.

Can't remember who came up with it, but the apt phrase I recall is "condescending upward."

Stoutcat said...

"Prig" is an excellent word. "Icky prig" is absolutely masterful.

Joe Smith said...

“ Mitchell is 75. 75-yo Brains are not nimble.”

My 92-year-old father does the WSJ and NYT crossword puzzles (correctly) in ink.

He never went to college but is still one of the smartest people I've ever met.

Robert Williams said...

Billy the Shake anticipated this moment: The common curse of mankind, folly and ignorance, be thine in great revenue!

CWJ said...

Re - fence post turtles.

First it was turtles all the way down. Now it's turtles all the way up. I'm so confused.

Breezy said...

It’s the arrogant antagonism that gets me.... why even think you need to engage with that sort of comment? Even if she were correct, it’s hostile and middle school level cliquey garbage. Honestly, why can’t we get more mature and level headed people on these programs?

PM said...

Whatta couple of Emily Litellas.
Hey, you two: Nevermore!

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

"I thought Bill of Attainder was a knight.”

Yes; the son of Bill of Particulars, grandson of Bill of Fare.

You no doubt recall his famous duel with Sir Loin of Beef!

hawkeyedjb said...

I have a degree in English literature, from way back in prehistory. I was saddened, but not surprised, to discover that one can achieve a degree in English at most universities today without having read Shakespeare. The greatest writer in the English language can be ignored - after all, he doesn't count toward the Diversity Requirement.

Mr Wibble said...

Shakespeare gets a bad rep in part because HS English teachers put too much emphasis on how wonderful he is. It's like listening to you sister talk about how wonderful her older boyfriend is; I'm sure he's a swell guy and all, and I'd normally love to hang out with him and have a few beers, but for Cripe's sake Louis shut up.

Once you understand that he was writing to entertain, and that his plays are a reflection of his time and place, they become a lot more approachable. Romeo and Juliet is a lot more interesting once you read it as a thinly veiled mockery of English society of the time.

Howard said...

Even Nitschke ripped off the Bard.

Mark Nielsen said...

Most times I hear a news report involving a subject about which I know quite a bit (mathematics, religion, geology) I notice misunderstandings or outright falsehoods. Remembering that helps me to keep perspective on the rest of the news reports that I hear.

tim in vermont said...

"Heh. Good one!”

Ya don’t get too many tap in birdies like that one.

Temujin said...

All well stated, Ann. As usual.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

First it was turtles all the way down. Now it's turtles all the way up. I'm so confused.

No, it's *elephants* all the way down, and turtles all the way up.

Gahrie said...

What I find interesting, is that English mutates so rapidly, both in sound and form, that it is extremely hard for modern English speakers to understand Shakespearian English, Yet Don Quixote, written around the same time, can easily be read by modern Spanish speakers.

Joe Smith said...

"Idea. Let's get Andrea Mitchell on Jeopardy and all the categories are English lit stuff."

Wolf Blitzer famously crashed and burned...

tim in vermont said...

That 'fence post turtle' thing is an old joke, but it fits Biden to a tee, I have to say.

Jamie said...

We know how Jennifer Rubin got there [up on the fence post like a fence post turtle]--she tried to help Andrea get down.

I may be mistaken, but I think the commenter sharing the tale of fence post turtles was talking about how these Veddy Educated Elite Journalists achieved their lofty station in life, not just how they got up on this particular "fence post."

I began to love Shakespeare in middle school, like the dork I am. But I've never read any Faulkner because now I focus more on being pretty.

(Oof course I'm kidding - I haven't read Faulkner because I'm lazy.)

Howard said...

Being a learning disabled ADHD dyslexic, I could never understand Shakespeare until I frist sawed it acted out on stage, then it all makes prefect sense.

Stephen said...

"the competent reader knows immediately that it is the speaker of those words who lacks soul"

The cure for wrong speech is more speech, not silencing or canceling the speaker. We think of freedom of speech in Hegelian terms--a thesis to be answered by antithesis--and letting the listener decide. Sometimes all that's necessary is to let the bloviators continue to bloviate, and their stupidity is manifested without anyone pushing back.

Side note: it's flabbergasting how many people who make their living with words do not trust readers and viewers to be "competent" in judging what they're being exposed to. Hasn't thinking critically been the goal of education for the past half-century?

Churchy LaFemme: said...

I remember bemused reports of teens being shocked at the latest Romeo & Juliet movie. I guess that would have been.. DiCaprio, I think.

Anyway, they were blindsided when R&J died. Had no idea that was the ending.

Gahrie said...

Once you understand that he was writing to entertain, and that his plays are a reflection of his time and place, they become a lot more approachable

While his work is considered high art today, it must be remembered that during his lifetime this was low art. His work was directed at the masses, the common man, not the elites. One of the persistent rumors surrounding him is that he is actually a front for a different author, one who could not reveal himself because of his nobility, and the shame his involvement in theater would bring.

Joe Smith said...

"You no doubt recall his famous duel with Sir Loin of Beef!"

I thought that was the Earl of Sandwich, or perhaps Lord Douchebag...

Ah...when SNL was actually funny...

Lucien said...

Of course, Faulkner set many of his stories in the fictional town of Burn’em Woods. (Located near Proof Rock.)

Andrea married well, though.

Gahrie said...

I began to love Shakespeare in middle school, like the dork I am. But I've never read any Faulkner because now I focus more on being pretty.

I'm sure you made many trips to Stratford upon Avon as I did. It's a shame they hadn't rebuilt the Globe yet. Could you imagine Mr. Gagg taking a field trip there to see a play?

Original Mike said...

What is so offensive about "I thought Bill of Attainder was a knight" that it would be deleted?

Calypso Facto said...

LYNNDH said..."So did he or did he not drink Coffee. Might have."

To bean or not to bean?

Gahrie said...

"You no doubt recall his famous duel with Sir Loin of Beef!"

I thought that was the Earl of Sandwich, or perhaps Lord Douchebag...

Ah...when SNL was actually funny...


Don't get saucy with me, Bearnaise!

stevew said...

I'm the same age as Curious George and had the same experience at my public high school of not reading or studying much Shakespeare and Faulkner. We did, in sophomore English class, read out loud Macbeth - from our seats. I do not recall that speech or line.

This was in the early to mid 1970's. Our host, and Andrea Mitchell, was in high school in the 1960's. I expect there was significant change to the English curriculum in the time between, much of it away from the classics. That same English teach introduced me to Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, and Issac Asimov.

tcrosse said...

Here's the opening episode of Slings and Arrows, a hilarious Canadian series about a Shakespeare festival. Highly recommended.

MadTownGuy said...

Broadcast news: a tale told by idiots.

FWBuff said...

Great post, professor. What an embarrassing display by Mitchell and Rubin!

It was also petty of Andrea Mitchell to have included Ted Cruz's twitter handle in her original tweet, but then she left it out of her "apology" tweet.

Gahrie said...

I'm glad you liked it. The comment is now gone. That's so strange.

A lot of comments have gone missing. Either the delete hammer has come down, or google is glitched.

hawkeyedjb said...

There are some gems over there on Andrea's twitter feed...

“'Out, damned spot,' was also said by Mr. Clean first."

"ok Shakespeare said it too but which said it first?"

"Smugnorant"

"You’d think a couple of drama queens would study Shakespeare..."

"This reminds me of that time Sophocles ripped-off Freud by stealing the character of Oedipus from him."



Churchy LaFemme: said...

"You no doubt recall his famous duel with Sir Loin of Beef!"

MadTownGuy said...

tcrosse said...
"Get them to define Bill of Attainder.

He's the guy who founded Alcoholics Anonymous, right?
"

That was Bill W. of Attainder.

Christopher J Feola said...

I've always thought the way Shakespeare is taught is a crime. Imagine studying the Beatles or Bob Dylan or Kubrick by only reading their lyrics and scripts. How boring would that be? Then add ridiculous levels of pretension: I once heard a teacher go on and on and on and on about how a Macbeth character hearing an owl signified Macbeth was the bird of prey of the night, and therefore evil...
The Globe lacked electric lighting in those Elizabethan days. Unless someone mentioned an owl or lit a torch or something similar, the audience WOULDN'T KNOW IT WAS A NIGHT SCENE.
There are tons of great Shakespeare-based movies. Try Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, and Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood.
Cjf

daskol said...

Fortunately for them, elites like Mitchell and Rubin are inured to shame or else they would die from embarrassment. Mitchell's petard was so big it hoist not only her, but Rubin and a whole mess of other nasty idiots. The actual twitter thread goes on with hundreds of people joining in the self-beclowning.

Original Mike said...

"A lot of comments have gone missing. Either the delete hammer has come down, or google is glitched."

Bill of Attainder
Bill of Attainder
Bill of Attainder

Come and get me Google!

daskol said...

icky ngram, althouse blog 2/11/2021: 2

Meade said...

“What is so offensive about "I thought Bill of Attainder was a knight" that it would be deleted?”

Nothing. Moderator’s error. Sorry. Please feel free to repost.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Mark Nielsen said...

Most times I hear a news report involving a subject about which I know quite a bit (mathematics, religion, geology) I notice misunderstandings or outright falsehoods. Remembering that helps me to keep perspective on the rest of the news reports that I hear.

Michael Chrichton used to say journalists wrote "wet streets cause rain" articles.

Yancey Ward said...

"I'm the same age as Curious George and had the same experience at my public high school of not reading or studying much Shakespeare and Faulkner. We did, in sophomore English class, read out loud Macbeth - from our seats. I do not recall that speech or line."

We read it from our desks, too. What I remember was noting three phrases- "Dagger of the Mind", "All Our Yesterdays", and "Something Wicked This Way Comes"- I recognized all three immediately because of my interest in science fiction. I also recognized a few other phrases that weren't titles to something else, for example, "Out damned spot!" At that time, I had never heard of the Faulkner novel, though.

Christopher J Feola said...

Degrees they have; an education, not so much.
“Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know." ― Michael Crichton

bonkti said...

Is it too late to impeach an AmLit prof?

DarkHelmet said...

To establish my cred: yes, I had to memorize the 'Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow . . ." soliloquy in high school English lit. We had read Faulkner the year before in Am lit. And I'm younger than Mitchell, so I'm guessing she was supposed to read them both, too.

The U.S. media personalities trade in disinformation, propaganda and snark. That's it. If you're looking for anything else you'll be sorely disappointed.

Unless you are in D.C. (where it's your job to keep up on the snark) or in NYC (where it is a time-honored hobby) why on earth would a sane person spend a single minute of a single day paying attention to Andrea Mitchell or Jenifer Rubin? Or any of the rest of the usual suspects? What exactly is the point? To feel like you're informed on the state of the world? You're not.

Every bit of media output in our Brave New World should come attached with a warning label, like a cigarette pack. It should say in big red letters: "WARNING: THIS IS MOSTLY PARTISAN NONSENSE. STUDY THE GELL-MANN AMNESIA EFFECT BEFORE CONSUMING THIS PRODUCT.

By, the way, Andrea: the origin of that 'Brave New World' reference? Shakespeare, baby.

John Cunningham said...

I went to a Catholic high school in the early 60s, and we studied Julius Caesar in sophomore year, Macbeth in junior, and Hamlet in senior. We had to memorize and recite about 600 lines from each as one requirement to pass. Now "university" English majors don't study any Shakespeare.

Gusty Winds said...

Althouse wrote: These people — Mitchell and Rubin — are supposed to be the elite

Correct. But why do we insist on classifying false intellectual elitism? Andrea Mitchell just demonstrated the value of and Literature Degree from University of PA.

Only the elite think they’re smart. It’s all a big circle jerk. After you sell your soul, everything is bullshit. That’s why Forrest Gump was actually brilliant.

Makes you wonder what other “truths” and “facts” these professionals have pumped out that are falsehoods. Not only are these two people stupid, they are lazy. That’s worse.

DarkHelmet said...

CJ Feola we're on the same page.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Yancey Ward said...

"Dagger of the Mind", "All Our Yesterdays", and "Something Wicked This Way Comes"

Two Star Trek episodes and a Ray Bradbury novel, man ol' Bill is owed some royalties!

Jeff Brokaw said...

Good takedown of these two morons and their idiotic hot takes.

Even *I* knew this was Shakespeare and I’m no expert on the literary world, and never read any Shakespeare.

Jamie said...

A fun evening is the Reduced Shakespeare Company performing the complete works of Shakespeare in 2 hours. Available on YouTube, I think? Saw it live twice or three times just because it's hilarious.

Joe Smith said...

These are not easy to find but I ran across an episode on some channel or other a while ago...

A BBC Comedy about Shakespeare called 'Upstart Crow'...

Narr said...

As Goethe put it--

"Watch out guys,
This world is chockful
Of bitches and hoes."

Thanks for "smugnorance"!

Narr
And edu-anecdotes

Matt Sablan said...

They're the elites because *nothing happens to them for being wrong or failures.* Eliteness isn't a position of strength, knowledge, or expertise -- it is being protected from the consequences of failures. I assure you, if I made such a fundamental error at what is essentially my job (playing on Twitter/TV for these elites), I'd at least face a "don't be so stupid" professional style scolding. I face consequences because I'm not elite. They'll get a better job in a year or two. Sure, they were wrong, but it was for the right reasons, so it is fine.

Drago said...

Andrea is quite remarkably dumb...and smug.

Yet remains lightyears ahead of every lefty/liberal poster at Althouseblog.

Alas.

Narayanan said...

Nonapod said...

Isaac Newton is often regarded as one of the smartest human's to have ever lived, and he spend a good chunk of his life looking for the philosopher's stone.

-----------------=================
did not know Newton went to Hogwarts!!!
which House did SortingHat choose for him?

Churchy LaFemme: said...

Isaac Newton is often regarded as one of the smartest human's to have ever lived, and he spend a good chunk of his life looking for the philosopher's stone.

He should have asked Van!

Quaestor said...

Shouldn’t it be Andrea, Jennifer, two Williams, and a Ted?

Sounds like one of those late 60s "liberated" sex comedies.

tim in vermont said...

Isaac Newton is often regarded as one of the smartest human's to have ever lived, and he spend a good chunk of his life looking for the philosopher's stone.

I don’t think that you can compare the two. We didn’t have enough experimental evidence at the time to solve the mysteries of how the elements are arranged. There was no periodic table or even a way to get to one until the people building it had Newton’s work to rely on. Newton accomplished so much in his life, stuff that undergirded the progress of centuries, and he was really feeling around in the dark there.

Andrea Mitchell is nothing but a camera ready buffoon who has no accomplishments of her own that don’t have to do with her personal and career advancement.

Narayanan said...

Playboy: Are there any novelists whom you admire?
Ayn Rand: Yes. Victor Hugo.
Playboy: What about modern novelists?
Ayn Rand: No, there is no one that I could say I admire among the so-called serious writers. I prefer the popular literature of today, which is today’s remnant of Romanticism. My favorite is Mickey Spillane.
Playboy: Why do you like him?
Ayn Rand: Because he is primarily a moralist. In a primitive form, the form of a detective novel, he presents the conflict of good and evil, in terms of black and white. He does not present a nasty gray mixture of indistinguishable scoundrels on both sides. He presents an uncompromising conflict. As a writer, he is brilliantly expert at the aspect of literature which I consider most important: plot structure.
Playboy: What do you think of Faulkner?
Ayn Rand: Not very much. He is a good stylist, but practically unreadable in content–so I’ve read very little of him.
Playboy: What about Nabokov?
Ayn Rand: I have read only one book of his and a half–the half was Lolita, which I couldn’t finish. He is a brilliant stylist, he writes beautifully, but his subjects, his sense of life, his view of man, are so evil that no amount of artistic skill can justify them.”
----------------================
I wonder how Andrea and Jennifer would evaluate these authors?!

daskol said...

Greenspan likes dumb blondes, what are you gonna do. It's a love story.

Eleanor said...

Shakespeare wrote plays. They aren't meant to be read. They're meant to be watched. A good English teacher makes that happen for students.

Bob Boyd said...

Getchassta nunnery, bitch.

Deb said...

I cannot express my admiration for this post. Talk about a smack down.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

I was shocked at the number of literary references I noted as I read- references that sailed right over my head before then.

THIS is so true. Used to be if you had read liberally from Shakespeare and the King James Bible you were fairly literate a d would recognize a million things that today are cliché, as someone up thread pointed out wittily. The demise of those two foundational sources of EngLit is a national tragedy and no amount of woke curriculum will ever enrich students like learning from the sources of every human drama ever recorded in word form.

And as some others noted, reading Shakespeare is do very dry for many. One should be exposed via dramatically excerpts or one who knows how to read the Bard aloud to appreciate the language. The written text is so hard to get through that the jokes go over your head and the context is lacking. I had excellent professors at UCR and use English every day, just to keep sharp.

Quaestor said...

So, I use to know this guy in college, and he would talk about how he was a male escort in DC. Said he used to dress up like a cowboy even though he was born in Westport. (he is now a lobbyist.)

First name Buck? Had a little pal called Ratso?

Whirred Whacks said...

When I was at Stanford in the early 1970s, Roman Polanski’s film adaptation of “MacBeth” was given a special 4PM screening at Memorial Auditorium (capacity 1,600 people). When the Act V soliloquy came on, 1600 voices chimed in unison along with the film: “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow ...” Yes, educated undergraduates used to know their Shakespeare.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

"One should be exposed via dramatically excerpts or one who knows how to read the Bard aloud to appreciate the language.”

This was kind of one of the main points of Ethan Hawke’s book, well the main point that didn’t have to do with his divorce from Uma. He considers his performance for NYC’s high school English classes as the most important performance of the whole run.

daskol said...

A good English teacher makes that happen for students.

I had two excellent English teachers in high school, one for AmLit and one for BritLit. They arranged for us to see several productions of plays rather than just reading them in class, which made a big difference. They would encourage us to read the plays first, but I preferred the opposite: reading a play after seeing it performed is always more enjoyable.

The Romeo and Juliet production we attended was in a circular theater, a faithful version with minimal costumes and sets, and quite a lot of nudity. And this was after we'd watched the Zefferelli movie. Most talked about field trip that year.

tim in vermont said...

" The demise of those two foundational sources of EngLit is a national tragedy and no amount of woke curriculum will ever enrich students like learning from the sources of every human drama ever recorded in word form. “

Hear! Hear!

tommyesq said...

Most of what I remember about Shakespeare is from Gilligan's Island doing Hamlet as a musical:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JQ8yF04y9

Jack Klompus said...

"You no doubt recall his famous duel with Sir Loin of Beef!"

Earl of Cloves! Essence of Myrrh! Milk of Magnesia! Baron of Munchausen!

Mark said...

Mitchell and Rubin — are supposed to be the elite, but they are not even elite enough to . . .

And what leads you to believe that "elite" necessarily has anything to do with quality or good? Those on the top invariably are the dimmest bulbs.

tim maguire said...

tim in vermont said...
"Isaac Newton is often regarded as one of the smartest human's to have ever lived, and he spend a good chunk of his life looking for the philosopher's stone."

I don’t think that you can compare the two. We didn’t have enough experimental evidence at the time to solve the mysteries of how the elements are arranged. There was no periodic table or even a way to get to one until the people building it had Newton’s work to rely on.


It's easy to laugh at mistakes made by the people who did the hard of work of discovering the truths that allow us to recognize their mistakes and laugh at them.

tim in vermont said...

Really it’s The Iliad a work of unfathomable greatness, which was composed, like much of the Old Testament, just after the Bronze Age Collapse, The Old Testament (Doesn’t strictly have to be King James, but the language there is great) Obviously Shakespeare, and if you want a really complete schooling in the foundational classics, you would have to include Faust.

Most of my reading of this stuff came post college when my mind was mature enough to receive it.

Faulkner had a gift for style and trawled these sources for content.

Readering said...

I try not to mock people in their mid-seventies for senior moments.

mandrewa said...

For the record, and for comparison, I was not an English major, and my high school curriculum did not include Shakespeare. Nor did it include William Faulkner. But for some reason it did include an awful lot of French novels, some of which I still remember bits and pieces of, although I can't remember the authors or the titles. Fortunately I 'discovered' the Sound and the Fury on a bookshelf without having heard of the author or the novel.

I loved the book. But I've always been a bit puzzled about the title. I thought it was a reference to Benjy's state of mind. Regardless, titles often don't make sense and whatever the sense or lack of it, I thought it was a beautiful turn of phrase.

"Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing" is a wonderful description of the Senate proceedings and it would have been impressive even if Ted Cruz wasn't quoting Shakespeare.

Charlie said...

Serious question......who is the audience for these two dingbats? Are there people who actually like reading Jennifer Rubin?

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Between Althouse and the commenters, everything's being hit quite well.

DanTheMan started off the hit parade on a high note, and Christopher J Feola got the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect.

All I can say is that my freshman year in college I bought a "Complete Works of Shakespeare", and started reading. Like Yancy, I was amazed at how many familiar phrases I'd read had come from Shakespeare, first.

Having read The Sound and the Fury in high school, and read and seen The Scottish Play many times, I'd be appalled at Andrea and Jennifer's stupidity, if it weren't the case that that stupid, arrogant, ignorance is exactly what I expect from the "press"

Greg The Class Traitor said...

tim maguire said...
It's easy to laugh at mistakes made by the people who did the hard of work of discovering the truths that allow us to recognize their mistakes and laugh at them.

This. 1000 times this

Marcus Bressler said...

1. In my senior year of HS, I took 12 half-year courses offered by the English Department. I got A's in all but one: Shakespeare, which I failed. It might have helped if I attended class once in a while. I am with Howard on this one: in retrospect, I think my ADHD kept me from enjoying Shakespeare. Perhaps if presented on stage, I would have been able to follow it. But I found out that you could not bullshit your way through an essay test on Wild Bill's plays. My sister got a B. Even though voted Most Likely To Succeed by my classmates, I failed to graduate with them as I was that half-credit short. I did enjoy some of his sonnets, taught in English Lit though.
2.I have never read Faulkner. Should I?
3. I have made similar mistakes as Mitchell, thinking what I knew to be true to be actually true. It helps that it wasn't on Twitter to thousands of people and now on blogs. I once thought that Doo Wop music came mostly from Italian kids, so that was pretty embarrassing.

THEOLDMAN

"Better to keep your mouth shut and thought ignorant than to open it and remove all doubt." or something like that

Paul Zrimsek said...

Looking at Rubin's logorrheic Twitter feed, she clearly doesn't have time to think about anything before belching it out.

gilbar said...

Even if you only studied Faulkner and never studied Shakespeare, you would read "The Sound and the Fury."

but, there's NO indication that she's EVER read Faulkner, either
All we have, is her saying "I clearly studied too much American literature
She's STILL bragging about How Smart she is;
she's SO Smart, that she doesn't need to KNOW anything (about Faulkner, let alone MacBeth)
IF she Wasn't SO Smart, and she knew the Slightest thing about Faulkner, she'd know
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sound_and_the_Fury#Title
When Faulkner began writing the story that would develop into The Sound and the Fury, it "was tentatively titled ‘Twilight,’ [and] narrated by a fourth Compson child," but as the story progressed into a larger work, he renamed it,[4] drawing its title from Macbeth's famous soliloquy from act 5, scene 5 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth:


BUT! she's SO Smart that she doesn't Even Know That. She Doesn't HAVE to know

DanTheMan said...

Jennifer: Andrea, how could you make such a stupid mistake?? Don't you know anything about Shakespeare?
Andrea: I know a LOT about Shakespeare. In fact, just yesterday I saw him taking the M2 bus uptown!
Jennifer: You are a complete idiot! Everybody knows the M2 bus doesn't go uptown!

GingerBeer said...

All these years debating whether Francis Bacon was the true author of Shakespeare's works, and it turns out it was William Faulkner. No doubt using China's time machine.

Molly said...

(eaglebeak)

You'd think any fool would know to Google it--just to make assurance double sure (Macbeth Act IV Sc 1).

However, in this case, we've found two individuals so self-involved they saw no need....

No one ever accused Andrea Mitchell of having brains, but now that I know she got a degree in English from Penn I am even more impressed by her incapacity for understanding.

As for Jennifer Rubin, she combines unpleasantness with stupidity to a marvelous degree.

DanTheMan said...

>>now that I know she got a degree in English from Penn I am even more impressed by her incapacity for understanding.

AOC graduated cum laude in economics.

toxdoc said...

Mike Rowe says this is the perfect example of correcting someone without being an "icky prig": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMctnc_ogD4

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Molly said...

You'd think any fool would know to Google it--just to make assurance double sure (Macbeth Act IV Sc 1).

A fool might, but an arrogant turd wouldn't see the need.

Guess we know which Andrea Mitchell is.

Achilles said...

Readering said...
I try not to mock people in their mid-seventies for senior moments.

Just remember these people are even dumber than Andrea.

I bet Readering could define Bill of Attainder and keep everyone amused for a couple minutes.

Narayanan said...

Meade said...
“What is so offensive about "I thought Bill of Attainder was a knight" that it would be deleted?”

Nothing. Moderator’s error. Sorry. Please feel free to repost.
------------=============
for Bill to have reciprocated to Monica would definitely make him a Chivalrous Knight, Bill 't-'taint

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Václav Patrik Šulik said...
I saw this last night and thought Aldous Huxley was right - O brave new world, that has such people in't.

I saw what you did there. LOL

Roughcoat said...

Just getting to this.

Delicious!

Howard said...

In honor of Wm Faulkner, everyone drink when Achilles says "Bill of Attainder"

gilbar said...

i graduated High School in 1980. Northwest Suburbs of Chicago

I think it was Sophomore English where we read (out loud) Rome&Juliet and (at least) one other Shakespeare (maybe Julius Caesar)
I wasn't impressed with either. Hard to read (iambic pentameter) and Full of Cliches

Junior year, we read 1984 and Animal Farm. Our teacher 'explained' that 1984 was a critique of "the Dangers of McCarthyism" and that Animal Farm was about "the Dangers of Capitalism"

Senior Year i took Film Studies for my 4th year of English. After Lunch... Great for Napping

Balfegor said...

I'm stuck at amused incredulity that someone who works with words wouldn't even have a twinge of doubt that maybe the phrase really did come from Shakespeare, when Cruz specifically mentioned Shakespeare. It's not Mitchell's ignorance so much as her bluff, blowhard confidence in her ignorance that makes this so amusing.

Rabel said...

DanTheMan said...

"For decades, I thought the Moody Blues were singing about 'Knights in White Satin'."

Googles.

Damnit.

mandrewa said...

I have never read Faulkner. Should I?

It's an extraordinary novel (not just The Sound and the Fury but everything Faulkner wrote). And what I mean by extraordinary is that you do wonder how at it came to be that this was ever written.

Most novels, even very good novels, are not like that. They have the same form and shape as so many other novels and regardless of how good or bad they are you can imagine that many other people might have written them.

Faulkner's perspective seems unique (although of course it isn't really). Much of the story in these works is articulated through the words his characters say. And there is no omniscient view to explain what it's all about and what it all means. You, the reader, have to imagine the person, that would say these words, to make sense of the story.

And thus it takes more effort than usual to make sense of a story like this, but it has a vividness, a reality, and a density, that most stories don't have.

Narayanan said...

"Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing" is a wonderful description of the Senate proceedings and it would have been impressive even if Ted Cruz wasn't quoting Shakespeare.
---------==========
if Ted Cruz had not indicated he was quoting Shakespeare >>> how many nano-seconds before accused of plagiarism?

Q: who would have been first to cast that stone [I may be quoting somebody here]

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Speaking of Mike Rowe...

Today's Fun Fact:

Mike Rowe is a operatic baritone and sang professionally with the Baltimore Opera before he went to work for QVC.

narciso said...

Seeing as it was written in 1949 thats highly implaussible.

gilbar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roughcoat said...

Curious George said: I never had to read Macbeth (or any Shakespeare) in Junior High, High School, or College.

That's really appalling. Your education was clearly lacking -- you have been intellectually impoverished.

I had to memorize 100 lines of Shakespeare during each of my four years of high school. I loved doing it. I can, and still do, recite the lines I memorized (usually alone, driving in my car).

We also learned, in 8th grade, about Bills of Attainder. We had to pass a Constitution test or we would held back from high school. As part of the test, we had to WRITE OUT the Bill of Rights. No multiple choice.

FWBuff said...

Wait till Andrea finds out that "Absalom, Absalom!" is from the Bible.

Mr. Forward said...

“Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (1989) two seemingly dumb teens set off on a quest to prepare the ultimate historical presentation with the help of a time machine. IMDB

gilbar said...

Fun Faulkner Fact

When Howard Hawks made his film version of The Big Sleep, he couldn't get Raymond Chandler to sober up enough to work on the screen play; so he hired some southern hack to write it. It says something about Faulkner, that HE was able to drink while writing; unlike Chandler.
I've never read any Faulkner, but i've seen his movie about 20 times... It's Nowhere Near as good as Chandler's book

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Sleep_(1946_film)#Writing

Balfegor said...

Here's an example of ignorance -- I just used "bluff" with a negative connotation (curt and blunt). Apparently, since the 19th century, it's now only used with the positive connotation (rude but friendly). Well!

Roughcoat said...

Yeah, also in high school, we read one Faulker novel per year. Also Homer. Also Plato and Aristotle. The Federalist Papers. Dickens. Etc., etc.

F said...

Mr. Wibble said:

"Romeo and Juliet is a lot more interesting once you read it as a thinly veiled mockery of English society of the time."

Ignoring, of course, that it is a knock-off of West Side Story.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

Both Andrea and Jennifer think "The lady doth protest to much, methinks." comes from Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (Sam Clements, ladies). They are self-involved Democrat Party hacks.

Then there's Nicole Wallace who want to deploy drone missiles on Republicans. Sounds like a threat to me. Maybe Congress can impeach her and the Senate convict her for mopery and dopery of the spaceways.

FWBuff said...

In my small West Texas town in the 1970s, we had a fantastic English teacher. The fall of our senior year was all Shakespeare, and she assigned each of us one of his plays to research and then present to the class. On the day of the assignment, I asked my friend which play he got. He said, "I've never heard of it, but it sounds funny. It's called 'Oh, Hello'!"

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Went to HS in the early 80s, and got a lot of Shakespeare. I think we had Julius Caesar in the eighth grade, Romeo and Juliet in the ninth, Macbeth in the tenth. Somewhere in those three years was also Henry IV, Part 2. And we went to a "Shakespeare in the Park" (that's Central Park, NYC) performance of Richard III, starring an awfully young Kevin Kline. That performance made me run out and get a complete Shakespeare and start reading it -- histories first, b/c Richard. I'm still pretty lame on the comedies (except the couple I've played incidental music for), quite good on all the tragedies, and know Henry VI, all three parts, much better than I need to. The year I was in London, the RSC was putting on a "consolidated" Henry VI-plus-Richard III (three plays in toto, not four), and every cut irritated me. (Granted, some of them were just absurd; I remember the Duke of Suffolk taking his leave of the Queen, and the intervening scene where he's captured by pirates and beheaded was cut, so that basically no sooner has he walked out the door than a servant walks in and throws his severed head in her lap . . .)

Faulkner, I confess, I haven't read at all. But it's bleedin' obvious where "The Sound and the Fury" got its title. I mean, it's only the second-most-famous soliloquy in all Shakespeare (after "To be or not to be"), right?

Ah, well. As Faulkner never said, "I wasted time, and now doth time waste me."

Narr said...

I did and learned almost nothing worthwhile in high school, but I made some friends and had some fun, so there's that.

My memory of high school lit requirements is blank, except for Macbeth in one grade or the other, and some Conrad (Secret Sharer) in senior year. OTOH, I was a voracious reader on my own, and was probably better read than most of the teachers by the time I graduated.

Narr
And mine was considered a top school in its class

Roughcoat said...

We read/studied two Shakespeare plays per year, every year; additionally, we studied his Sonnets. I loved Shakespeare. Faulkner I found heavy going. But I read him just the same, and I'm glad I did.

I had a superb high school education. Much better than college, which was a sad joke, a waste of time and energy.

Big Mike said...

Mitchell has a degree in English literature (from the University of Pennsylvania).

Important to remember that Penn is part of the vaunted Ivy League. Make that “overrated Ivy League.”

Roughcoat said...

Ignoring, of course, that it is a knock-off of West Side Story.

I know, right? Just like Seven Samurai is a knock-off of Magnificent Seven, and Yojimbo is a knock-off of A Fistful of Dollars. The Japanese are so derivative!

Churchy LaFemme: said...

I did and learned almost nothing worthwhile in high school, but I made some friends and had some fun, so there's that.

Iman said...

Put a wig, a dress and a little makeup on Harry Shearer and you gots Andrea Mitchell.

Roughcoat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RichardJohnson said...

Andrea Mitchell was foolhardy to believe she could correct Ted Cruz. Very few people can out-argue Ted Cruz. He was a college debate star at Princeton. He has argued 9 cases before the Supreme Court. If Ted Cruz opens his mouth, or tweets something, the odds are very small that you'll catch him in a factual error.

I took only 2 English courses in college,and I was quite aware that "sound and fury" originated from Macbeth. Doesn't speak well for Andrea Mitchell's Ivy League education, regardless of her major. In a tweet, she claimed to be an American Literature major, but when I checked her Wiki major, it stated she was an English Literature major. Did American Literature majors not take a course in Shakespeare?

Narr said...

Narayanan quotes Ayn Rand about various authors, which reminds me of my only (and second-hand) Rand anecdote, which I always forget to post.

One of my European history profs, later a colleague, said that when he was in college he had read some of her books and decided to write her a polite letter asking for clarification nn some points. By his telling, her reply was to the effect that his questions revealed the complete failure of American public education to expose students to reason, logic, and ethics.

He found it off-putting.

Narr
I prefer Nabokov to her, myself

Francisco D said...

I was unimpressed by Shakespeare in HS (class of 71), but took it as a college elective. On Day 1, the professor said, "The problem with Shakespeare is that he is a writer who is often taught but rarely read.

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