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Who Am I Kidding? - Eroticdreambattle — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Tony Grist

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Who Am I Kidding? [Feb. 17th, 2006|10:19 am]
Tony Grist
How many people got to see Hamlet in Shakespeare's lifetime? A few thousand.

How many saw the Sistine chapel ceiling in Michelangelo's lifetime? Only those with access to the Pope's private chapel.

How many read John Donne's poems? Very, very few. They were mostly handed round in manuscript copies.

Popular art, art for the masses, is a new phenomenon. Most artists, writers, musicians prior to the 19th century could only expect to reach a tiny and select audience. Up until the invention of printing the only truly popular art form was architecture.

This LJ has 146 friends. By medieval standards that's a huge readership.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: huskyteer
2006-02-17 02:37 am (UTC)
It does please me immensely to think how many people read what I write - even when it's wibble.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-02-17 05:48 am (UTC)
I was reading an article the other day that said traditional publishing was on the way out and soon we'd all be controlling our own output on the Web.
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[User Picture]From: airstrip
2006-02-17 03:08 am (UTC)
And it wouldn't be until the late 1960s that this sort of orientation for art would be acceptable. Until then it was still primarily concerned with talking to a small, wealthy, male, educated, elite that probably looked resoundingly similar to the earlier audiences you describe. Only the fashions had changed by that point.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-02-17 05:50 am (UTC)
I was reading an article about how poetry was becoming a minority interest and I was thinking, "hang on a minute, poetry has always been a minority interest."
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[User Picture]From: airstrip
2006-02-17 06:29 am (UTC)
LOL
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[User Picture]From: solar_diablo
2006-02-17 06:22 am (UTC)
Of course, by medieval standards half of us would be dead, the other half flagellating ourselves.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2006-02-17 08:32 am (UTC)
Half of us wouldn't have made it out of childhood. For those of us who did, our median age at death would be something on the order of 65 years.
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[User Picture]From: solar_diablo
2006-02-17 08:38 am (UTC)
Six of one...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-02-18 01:52 am (UTC)
And a lucky few would be living in chateaux in Burgundy, fingering our exquisitely illuminated books of hours.

Mmmmmm......
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[User Picture]From: cricketshay
2006-02-17 06:53 am (UTC)
Excellent post and great point!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-02-18 01:52 am (UTC)
Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-02-18 01:52 am (UTC)
Thank you.
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From: athenais
2006-02-17 09:55 am (UTC)
Proud to be one of 146.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-02-18 01:52 am (UTC)
Thanks
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[User Picture]From: thewayupward
2006-02-17 07:38 pm (UTC)
Oh crap, by medieval standards, I should be married by now, and I don't even have a date! OFF TO THE CONVENT WITH ME, I say, dedicating my life to God.

PS. I am glad to be one of your 146. :)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-02-18 01:53 am (UTC)
Get thee to a nunnery....

Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2006-02-18 06:25 am (UTC)
And we're classy, too.

I still find the immediacy of the internet amazing. I'll post this here in Tennessee, and you'll see it in a minute in England.
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