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Wednesday, 27 March 2013


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Be prepared to have your mouth drop once more. When I was in high school, I was told that Antonio was gay -- he is sad because he is losing Bassanio to a woman. I just checked on google and apparantly that's a common interpretation.

Yes, indeed it is, Dom, but I'm not totally convinced. WS was interested in the nature of melancholia - perhaps and I stress, perhaps - because he suffered from it himself. One of his most mysterious and interesting characters is Jaques from 'As You Like It', the epitome of self-induced loneliness and melancholia - a detached man who spends his entire time observing and commenting on others - exactly like WS himself.

Incidentally, I once played the absolutely crucial role of the comic Launcelot Gobbo in 'The Merchant'. This was many years ago before the advent of this internet-thingie but had you known, Dom, I feel certain you would have caught the first plane 'over here'! Talk about laugh, no-one did!

May/may not be pertinent but me being the same JK as yesterday...

One of those "old era Intellectuals" feller name of Saint Jerome (Patron Saint of Translators) got it into his head to use the original Hebrew texts to 'correctly interpret' into an official Latin text.

And so it came to pass that when Moses' descent off the Mount came to pass and Jerome came upon the word 'krn' (ancient Hebrew being written without vowels) Jerry wrote it out as "karan" as opposed to what modern scholars know from the context should have been written as "keren" - that led even up to the middle of last century's - to some "unfortunate" artistic depictions.

The word had to do with the aspect of Moses' face.

"Keren" = radiant - "karan" = horns.

As so often, JK, you are a mine of information!

So now you're a man of faith?

(Or at least - closer to the "hows & whys"?)

No, JK, not a man of faith, I remain, as ever, a Doubting Thomas!

No matter, it's the hows and whys stuff happened.

I thought Hinduism, Buddhism and Mohammedanism spread pretty fast too - a common feature maybe. Then the world seems to be run by the clever dicks for the benefit of the clever dicks so a counterwieght (albeit an illusory counterweight) would seem useful and acceptable to the er clever dicks. But as an atheist I cannot get away from a fundamental need in all peoples for some sort of communal ceremonial - and churches of all kinds adorn our world for whatever reason.

Whenever humans put words together another group of humans set about 'interpreting' those words and twisting them to their own purpose. Sometimes these folk are called literary critics and sometimes they are called lawyers but both groups work really hard at their agenda. In a way each and every reader makes their own interpretation.

Indeed, JK, that is what I find fascinating - and in some cases, infuriating.

Yes, Roger, I was reminded of that by the recent shenanigans at the investment of the new Pope. People still love ceremony. And your description of the "clever Dicks" forever 'interpreting' is exactly right. Hence the question in my title.

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