No. 118 (essentialsaltes) wrote,
No. 118

People of the Mist & Two Gentlemen of Lebowski

The People of the Mist is one of HR Haggard's many African adventure stories. You've probably heard of King Solomon's Mines or She, but the reason you (or, I, rather) never heard of the People of the Mist, is that it's not that good. There are some good two-fisted scenes of action, but the overall plot is marred by more coincidences than a Shakespeare play, and of course the casual racism. One is seldom in doubt that two destitute Europeans can tackle an entire minor civilization -- with the help of one or two of the better sort of native -- while simultaneously carrying on a junior high romance. Or that our hero must ultimately be restored to his ancestral estates, which had been bought by, of all things, a Jew! And love wins in the end, which is a good thing, since, "had their feelings been much less tender towards each other than was the case, it would still have been desirable, in view of the extraordinary intimacy into which they had been thrown during the past months, that they should become man and wife."

Adam Bertocci's Two Gentlemen of Lebowski is a much more thoroughly enjoyable work. What if Shakespeare had written The Big Lebowski? I confess I'm a much bigger fan of the Dude than I am of the Bard, but I truly appreciate the cleverness with which Bertocci approached this project. And the aptness of the concept; what is The Stranger, if not a chorus? The importance of language in The Big Lebowski is supported in its translation into the Elizabethan Age, where the cable being broken is a disaster nautical, rather than telecommunicational. And I very much appreciated his use of marginal glosses for vocabulary, some serious, some quasi-serious, some ridiculous.

lance: euphemism for penis. See also most nouns in Shakespeare.

A most excellent diversion, in the parlance of our times.
Tags: book, lebowski

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