Sunday, November 20, 2016

expressiveness & toff



Germaine Greer: [olde-worlde; it drives me nuts; expressiveness; toff; artefact; ] Well, it's obviously possible and yes, I would. But what worries me slightly is the assumption that that Shakespeare is kind of olde-worlde and not of today and so forth. The reason we speak Shakespearean language is because it is still current for us. People say that Shakespeare is full of cliches, what they don't realise is that we've been copying his way of saying things for a very long time. It drives me nuts that people want to prove that he is the Earl of Oxford, because one thing that is obvious to me is that he is not the Earl of Oxford. He is someone who speaks the language of ordinary people and who has no university degrees and none of that. It's all to do with expressiveness and putting into words things that people had never managed to say. I mean, we have to understand what it is like, when the only thing you've got in the way of literary culture is the sermon in your church on a Sunday, and the play that you may hear only once a year or even once in your lifetime, and then that play - the play doesn't work unless you bring your imagination and extraordinary thing about that is that you have this big hungry imagination that pounced on these plays and turned them into what they are? They are our collective inheritance. They are not simply a literary exercise by some strange toff who existed 400 years ago. They are ours. We made them. It's our language. Our language is our most important artefact. It's a huge language and the person who put it together for us in the best way is Shakespeare.  


showing or able to show your thoughts and feelings.

a disapproving way of referring to sb from a high social class.

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