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[personal profile] foxfirefey posting in [community profile] metaquotes
[personal profile] nanila takes a tangent from a rebuttal on ereader criticism to describe an English literature classic:
For a start, I think it is rather obvious that Ms. Mangan does not have to make the 2-4 hour daily commute to/from her job that many Londoners must. If she did, she would be as immensely grateful as I am that I have not had to carry dead-tree editions of The Life of Samuel Johnson and Le Morte d'Arthur around with me on my journey. Excuse me, I have to go on a tangent now. Speaking of the latter, I feel like people, particularly my high school English teachers, have been keeping things from me. Why oh why did no one ever tell me that it is, in fact, hilarious? I realise this will have been obvious to people who majored in literature and humanities and the like, but for this scientist, discovering that Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail is actually not a parody but a faithful re-enactment of the stories contained in L M d'A was a revelation. If you were an Arthurian knight whose history was being retold centuries later, you really were in danger of encountering dwarves who would leap out from behind trees and whack your horse on the head. The dwarf would then force you to fight two other knights and when you defeated them, would suddenly and inexplicably experience a change of allegiance, reveal that he knew exactly where you were going and would help you on your quest. Castles populated entirely by women were a terrible peril for all good knights. Every sexual encounter seemed to beget new knights determined to kill their fathers. Also, every joust ended in a bonfire's worth of shattered shields and lances. It's a wonder there were any trees left in the forests in Arthurian England. And do not get me started on Merlin, who reveals everyone's fate in the first ninety pages, including his own, thereby completely spoiling the rest of the book. Within four pages, he manages to fall in love and gets himself sealed up in a tree by a witch, removing him from the remainder of the story just as the reader has decided his character is the most interesting one in it. This was a clever literary device in the fifteenth century? What? I mean, it's amusing, but no wonder modern storytellers are so obsessed with giving Merlin something other than a deus-ex-machina persona.

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Date: 2012-03-04 07:22 am (UTC)
sgsguru: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sgsguru
The one that did it for me in Mallory was the Puce Knight. He's the Big Bad in the Tale of Sir Gareth.

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