Wednesday, June 07, 2006

On the other hand, the cultural revolution was dedicated to Mrs Gaskell

Theodore and Evadne Google have directed a seeker my way, in order that the query “how did hitler's use of persuasion help him” may be answered.

I detect some poor school child here, being given an assignment of such bollock twistingly painful tedium that they have resorted to the internet for an answer. What a clever child this is! Who would have thought of that?

The question is very interesting. I would challenge the premise that it did help him. After all, if my memory does not fail me, didn’t he come to a sticky end? So often the case with those of an artistic temperament. Personally, I think he would have been much better off had he opened a painting and decorating firm in Leipzig, and not poked his nose into the business of others.

However, since the question has been asked, let me try to enlighten you. Persuasion was the last completed work of Ms Austen. By comparison to the others (and even they lack the excitement of the works of Mr Ludlum, for example), it was fairly dull, and she seems to have learned to curtail the excesses of her sarcasm during the composure of this tome. A damned good thing, too. Sarcasm has no place in literary expression, and often causes unintended hurt. Maybe she had found a good man by this time, as it is a truth blah blah blah that a woman with nothing to do but sit around writing all day is in need of a good seeing to. Or perhaps she had grown older and wiser and was more benevolent in her world view.

The only thing that I can think of is that he decided that it was more becoming for a man in middle age to stop stomping around Europe like a spoiled brat, and instead sit at home quietly of an evening, and blow his brains out. That seems a little tenuous to me, and merits more research. I have enquired of several establishments of higher education in the UK, and the only place that will give me the facilities to write a doctorate on “Jane Austen and the demise of the Third Reich” is the Bert Weedon University in Leamington Spa.

It is truth universally acknowledged that whenever some pseud includes the phrase "it is a truth universally acknowledged" when writing about Jane Austen, that it is the only line of hers that they have ever read.



36 comments:

tom909 said...

Ah Vicus, yet again you come up with two of my specialist subjects, Hitler and Jane Austen. Normally I am not one to write for the sake of it, so it is a privilage indeed to be given the opportunity to pen a contribution to add to your learned words on this matter.
Hitler did cause a spot of chaos there for a while and perhaps enough has already been said on that subject . However my thoughts on Jane Austen are possibly less controversial. In hindsight I think there can be little doubt that she would have benefitted, in a literary sense of course, from a good shafting.

Brutus said...

History being taught in schools now? .. whatever will they think of next.

Bert Weedon OBE .. "taught the world to play guitar" .. missed me I'm sorry to say but I hear Keith Richards was a fan .. whoever he is.


ddupqdvg .. a happy little plucker

Richard said...

He's still alive too. Tony, one of my clients and an old colleague of the play in a day man, spoke to him on the phone not a couple of months ago. I wonder if he knows about this fabled seat of learning endowed in his name?

Tom, you have inferred that you have rather more controversial thoughts about Hitler than you do about Jane Austen. As the whole world, bar David Irving, Pol Pot (Dcd), Saddam Hussein, Paulo di Canio and that arsehole pederast who runs the BNP, share the same seemingly un-controversial thoughts regarding him, would you care to expand?

tom909 said...

Oh my God, Richard, you're making me sound like some kind of awful right wing arsehole.
Truly I have made the classic commentator's 'underestimate/overestimate' error here - I should have said more not less.
My views on Hitler are truly uncontroversial - except in the sense that I don't really have any.

Betty said...

I was wondering whether I should take Mrs Gaskell's North And South (a novel about cockney rhyming slang) on holiday ... or would I be better off reading Barry Cryer's Pigs Can Fly?

Vicus Scurra said...

Betty, you need to be clearer in posing your questions, (so Mrs Gaskell may be of help). You ask whether you should TAKE Mrs Gaskell or READ Barry Cryer. There is little point in taking "North and South" on holiday if you don't intend to read it. It will not thank you for a week in Whitley Bay. I haven't read Barry Cryer's book, so I would say yes, by all means read it.
Or if you were saying, taken literally, that you were considering reading Barry Cryer, rather than taking North and South on holiday, then I would have to say that the Cryer option would be cheaper, unless the holiday had been paid for by a third party. It is not an easy topic on which to give definitive answers, but I am sure that I have helped.

xrlmlm - Holiday resort in the Ukraine favoured by Betty.

Vicus Scurra said...

Actually, Betty, we should have deferred to our foremost literary critic - Tom, was there anything amiss with Mrs Gaskell's prose, style or storyline that would not have been fixed by giving her a good rogering?

(He probably would have shagged George Eliot too, and then complains when I cast John Inman to play him).

Geoff said...

I'm actually taking The Line Of Beauty with me as I read the Cryer last year.

I could read it aloud to Betty on the beach but I'm a bit concerned that I may upset some of tne other British holidaymakers as there are apparently some rather ripe passages.

Vicus Scurra said...

I may have a jaundiced view of British holidaymakers, Geoff, but I think if they were to hear you reading it aloud, they would simply think that you were describing the scene for a local radio station.

Richard said...

That's better, Tom. Don't doubt for a minute that I knew exactly where your sympathies were; foreigners alighting here by accident may have been confused so I thought clarification in order.

kyfannhi: exactly where Tom's sympathies lay.

tom909 said...

Now then, as to whether to take Mrs Gaskell on holiday (and I presume you mean from the rear, here), or read Barry Cryer, or shag George Orwell, I’m not sure I am qualified to advise. I guess on balance I would opt for Mrs Gaskell but I might be well advised to do a bit of research first. After all, one can’t be too careful these days.

Betty said...

Enough, enough. Should I read either the Mrs Gaskell novel or the Barry Cryer autobiography on holiday?

There will be no taking of Mrs Gaskell from the rear by Barry Cryer, George Orwell or Tom if I can help it. What kind of holidays do you think I go on - Club 18-30 for the aged or deceased?

lucien de la peste said...

Books, eh?

Cherrypie said...

I'm not sure if my writing would improve from a jolly good seeing to, but I'm certain my mood would benefit immensely. I shall make a thorough study of Gaskell and Cryer whilst I wait for a suitable candidate to provide the service.

Frontier Editor said...

Well, as I head out on vacation next week, I'm torn between Fall's "Hell in a Very Small Place" for light beach reading, Shacklady's rather expansive and rambling volume on the Spitfire, daily doses of the Washington Post, or the inside of my eyelids.

As for Persuasion's benefits for Hitler, I hear that its placement on his seat allowed him to reach his silverware at mealtime. Also, von Stauffenberg's obvious attempts to curry superficial favor with der Fuhrer led to a copy of Persuasion's placement in the fated briefcase, thus deadening the force of the explosion in July 1944. So Jane Austen actually helped lengthen the war.

I think I'm having a mildly psychotic and delusional episode here.


hyrbjak - Ed Sullivan trying to introduce Bjork in her native tongue

Pamela Troeppl said...

Fronty, where are you heading on your vacation? And is your psychosis traveling with you?

Frontier Editor said...

Chincoteague Island, with a return stop in D.C. Going to enjoy some mosquitos, horses wandering in the road, and the joy of worrying what the paper will look like when I return.

Pam - if you'd watch my psychosis while I'm gone, it'd save me some kennel fees. Thanks!

rbozopw - what soldiers ask the strange red haired clown tunneling out of the detention camp

Vicus Scurra said...

Cherrypie - are you touting for sex here? I am not sure that it is legal.
FE - you make a very good choice of venue to have your psychotic episode. Thank you for your lucid and helpful expansion on the historic theme of this thread.

Frontier Editor said...

I'm far too modest to claim any lucidity at this hour - I'll defer that honor to Cherrypie.

Besides, I'm waiting for two young opossum to regain enough courage to crawl out from under my kitchen stove so I can herd them out of the house (more details on my blog - I can't believe I'm writing this)

Frontier Editor said...

Thank you Vicus. For a few moments there I felt like Noble Frankland explaining the night bomber offensive or Liddell Hart dissecting the German sweep through the Low Countries on "The World at War."

Vicus Scurra said...

And, FE, which of us has not shared that experience. Freaky or what?

Frontier Editor said...

Thank God - I thought I was the only one with nightmares of deconstructing Arthur Harris and Heinz Guderian.

tom909 said...

Fronty, you're fucking wasted publishing a poxy local paper. You should be a star of stage and screen.

Vicus Scurra said...

Tom, FE has to remain alert. Where he comes from the view is that the civil war is not over, it is just experiencing an intermission. It is therefore vital to keep abreast of military strategy. It is also possible that the Brits might try to invade again.

tom909 said...

Vicus, I take your point and I won't venture any further with that one. It is indeed interesting to be given an insight into the American psyche in this way, although I do suspect Fronty is not typical of the race.
As an aside we must plan our invasion carefully - they got a bit touchy the last time they were invaded.

Vicus Scurra said...

Tom, you misunderstand me. I will have no part in the invasion of the United States. In my view, King George was quite right to get rid of them. Have you been to New York?

raincoaster said...

It's lovely; the only downside is, it's full of Americans.

FE, say hi to Misty for me.

Frontier Editor said...

Raincoaster, you had me worried for a moment: I thought you asked me to play Misty for you.

And yes Tom and Vicus, I'm surrounded by people who seem to think that we're merely in a state of cease-fire since 1865.

Not to mention theocrats and neo-imperialists.

The only thing worse than imperialism is imperialsim by amateurs, I always say.

Oh, there was a possum no. 5. He got the boot at 0516.

Cherrypie said...

Good Lords! No! Just because a girl happens to glance your way does not mean she wants rogering senseless over the wash basket.

I was merely making an observation, albeit an optimistic one.

Had I intended anything else, it would only have been illegal if it were outside my own home or on behalf of another where payment may be involved, directed at a minor or with one of Tom's horses.

And here was me thinking you were such an obliging lot! Humpphhh!

karogb - genetically modified vegetarian chocolate alternative

Frontier Editor said...

Cherry,

Your comments remind me of an old Saturday Night Live skit, "Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute" and an infamouse (for the late 70's/early 80's)

"I've got a work order here that says I'm to roger you roundly . . ."

Frontier Editor said...

infamous line, not infamouse.

must have caught some viral neurological disease from possum No. 4

Carmenzta said...

Fronty, I caught the same neurological disease from the possum I found in my garage. Drink plenty of orange juice and get some sleep, it's a 24 hour bug. No permanent damage as you can see.

hwpmjih - A holy war with which most Muslims do not agree.

Frontier Editor said...

It's worse than that Carmentza. The tip of my nose is unnaturally round and upturned. I've been humming "She's hotter than a three dollar pitol all day. And I was a no-show for three concerts this week.

Vicus Scurra said...

Thank you, FE, you bring something truly original to these comments. For the first time I have no idea what the comments mean or even their subject matter. I know when I am beaten.

Frontier Editor said...

Vicus,

Against my better judgment, I advise you to google 'George Jones' and compare his photos to any good zoological imagery of opossum. It'll come to you like a bad bout of incontinence - not that I'm particularly familiar with the actual sensation. I just imagine that it might be as bad as what you may be about to discover.

Vicus Scurra said...

Your house was overrun by a family of country and western singers?
OMG!
You are lucky to have survived.