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Tony Grist

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Hypnerotomachia [Dec. 21st, 2004|11:20 am]
Tony Grist
I thought I'd explain my name.

Poliphilo is the narrator of the trippy Italian "novel" Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, first published in 1499. He goes through the Dantean dark wood experience and comes out in a Greco-Roman Wonderland, surrounded by fabulous architecture and beset by nymphs. He wanders around (describing everything in mind-cudgeling detail) looking for his girlfriend Polia.

I started the book 18 months ago and have just about reached the halfway mark. I can only take a page or two at a time. Any more and the circuits over-load.

It's clotted, it's encrusted, it's infuriatingly slow and repetitive, and it's the happiest book I know. It encapsulates one of the great turning points of Western civilization. We've stepped out of the Middle Ages (the author, Francesco Colonna, was a Dominican friar) into the brightness and width and far-distances of the Renaissance.

The Past was being kept from us and we've only just found out how wonderful it was and now anything, but anything, seems possible.

[User Picture]From: butterscotch711
2004-12-21 02:35 pm (UTC)
I think received pronunciation is about the furthest thing from the way Shakespeare's plays were written to be performed.

In my Shakespeare module this year I think we discussed the American accent idea - I think it was like a north-eastern accent that is very similar, like New England or something.

We also talked about the current English accent which is supposed to be the most like the way the actors in Shakespeare's day spoke - I can't remember which area the accent belongs to, but our teacher did it for us and it was nasally and working class ... I don't know, my knowledge of British accents isn't all that good. :p

But of course Shakespeare's actors most probably would have emulated a whole range of the accents of their day, which is why doing a *whole* play in RP is so dumb.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-12-21 04:45 pm (UTC)
Well the American North East was settled by Shakespearian-era English people, so it makes perfect sense.

Shakespeare himself was from the Midlands. The modern Midlands (or Brummie) accent is flat and nasal and people from other English regions regard it as inherently comic.
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