Sunday, January 28, 2007

RE: Tradegy in Romeo and Juliet

Mocking birds,

Well now that we've got our genre – "mock-genre criticism" – our professional futures are set. All we need is some impenetrable jargon, a few inflated egos, an ivory tower, and a penchant for favorably reviewing each others' books, and we'll have the decontructionists, the post-colonial semiotic feminists, and the queer theorists on the run faster than you can say 'batpaxomyomaxia.'

What's that? John gave me a neat little book of Homerica, which I am embarrassed to say I have not yet finished, that he says includes the first recorded mock epic: BATPAXOMYOMAXIA (pardon my Greek font approximation) or "The Battle of the Frogs and Mice." My argument that Shakespeare invented said genre is now shot, but in this age of the Internet I can publish my original thoughts on Taming of the Shrew, then publish a paper on "The Battle" (under another name) repudiating my first paper. I can be a one-man literary feud. Surely, there lies greatness.

I think I love the tradegy. And I can see it, too, has great possibilities. We have, however, an incomplete analogy. Tragedy is to Tradegy as Comedy is to … what? Answer: the Sit-com.

Think about that the next time you're watching reruns of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.


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