An implication of language?

I actually prefer painting and music making to writing but ever since my arrival on the Fatal Shore of cancer I find it necessary a l’ecrit. To write. Like Marlowe’s Edward II or Shakespeare’s Richard II I must “plangent lament the sorrow of my lot”: just to deal. The plays (the Shakespeare being about the deposition of Fichard II through Bolingbroke and Richard’s “defects of character”: the Marlowe cruder for Edward II was gay) both resemble All About Eve in that the major character, whether Bette Davis (the “queen of the theatre”) being deposed by a mousy WWII Eve, RII being deposed by the relatively silent and sullen Bullingbroke (whose very name can be varied to express this surliness until chap gets his first peerage), EII being deposed by his grossed out wife in alliance with Mortimer.

You could do a mashup:


O give me but time to plangent lament, and weep my state!
Thou’rt my executioner and my judge, ’tis certain,
With God’s power o’er my alterity,
As I, who approached to the apexical Zenith of my glory
Did flip and turn and see that it was to end. Too soon?
Ah, everything is too soon, we want to declare:
Give us but TIME and relief from Care:
But I know that this blessed condition is not to be,
So Fates! Remember me:
Bewail my fall and a cautionary tale let me then be!

But what’s interesting here in this poetical thought-experiment in which we’ve done nothing more than construct an Infernal machine out of what we HOPED would be Shakespeare and Marlowe getting instead Dryden in the twists of language. I like longer poetical lines than Shakespearee did. We’ve wound up in fact in Paris with Phedre. What the hell, I’ll take her to Maxim’s, try to keep her amused.

All of this grew out of my enjoyment of the phrase “to plangent lament” albeit technically incorrect! It’s supposed to be “plangentLY” because LAMENT IS A VERB.

But I claim that if you go backward and simplify your audience will easily recognize this gesture.

This is reminding me of my surviving son’s last email which corrected my English by way of critique of my use of emotional modifiers such as “poor Eddie”.

My God, I reflected, is it possible that language has changed? Do I seem to mock my own son merely by using an attributed adjective like a female writer instead of the more “manly” constructions in which you use “is” more?

Contrast “the soldiers were caught in the barrage and didn’t have a chance” with something like Barbusse’s Le Feu, a French novel of WWI, full of emotional “plangency”: “poor souls” ah les barrage sans pitie, etc, etc. But if kids use the attributed and not the predicated form to mock each other for years (“aw poor guy”) the language could change even in thirty years. Resultng in this latter day misunderstanding.

My surviving son is a smart guy. But culturally I have drifted so far “wide” like Lear i’ th’old play!


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