Monday, November 04, 2013
Wow! Reading in REPROBATES: THE CAVALIERS OF THE ENGLISH CIVIL WAR about a thousand-page denunciation of the theatre called HISTRIOMASTIX, THE PLAYERS SCOURGE OR ACTORS TRAGEDIE by William Prynne, "a monumental work of cultural abrasion... insane in its reasoning, astonishing in its stamina, hurling verbiage and citation from an abyss of loathing." That's some blurb! You could do worse. "Prynne's insult to the queen could not be left unpunished. He was tried and, as if in the very masochistic climax his book was calling for all along, had his ears clipped at the pillory." I wonder whether Hawthorne gave Hester Prynne his surname on purpose, she who - as Dr. Theresa has pointed out - turned her scaffold to a stage and her audience into a spectacle.