Saturday, July 19, 2014

What's John Lyly Got Against Owls

Noticing that this John Lyly play (CAMPASPE) has TWO entirely different prologues, one for us normal jerks (which I quoted yesterday) and one for the fancy royal people at their fancy royal court with all their fancy royal ways. But in both cases, he's really sticking it to the owls. This is from the prologue at court: "We are ashamed that our bird, which fluttered by twilight seeming a swan, should be proved a bat set against the sun. But as Jupiter placed Silenus' ass among the stars, and Alcibiades covered his pictures, being owls and apes, with a curtain embroidered with lions and eagles..." Ugh, first of all, why did that dude have all these pictures of owls and apes if he was just going to cover them up with a dumb curtain? Here's a idea, stop buying pictures of owls and apes if you hate them so much. If you ask me, owls and apes have got it all over lions and eagles when it comes to good party times. Lots of people who appreciate owls and apes would be happy to get their mitts on those pictures, and you're just like, "Come on in, oh, wait a second, I need to throw something over these awful pictures of owls and apes I have lying around everywhere, sorry." Also, yeah, yeah, we get it, John Lyly. You're fishing for a compliment! Okay, okay, your play is great, it's not a bat or whatever, it's a beautiful swan, shut up, gee whiz. But I really do like his turns of phrase "a bat set against the sun" and the "ass among the stars."