It’s fun to imagine what literary titans might have thought had they witnessed modern pop culture. In that vein, here is a monologue, delivered by T.S. Eliot, on seeing the play Cats for the first time.
Did Gollum have a vitamin D deficiency? In the Medical Journal of Australia, Joseph A. Hopkinson and Nicholas S. Hopkinson posit that the Lord of the Rings saga could’ve been prevented had the inhabitants of Middle Earth just gotten a little more sunlight. “Systematic textual analysis of The Hobbit supports our initial hypothesis that the triumph of good over evil may be assisted to some extent by the poor diet and lack of sunlight experienced by the evil characters.”
Not highbrow, not lowbrow, not even middlebrow – is American culture now dominated by the upper middle brow?
“He sat on a shelf of our one-roomed apartment for a while, and then one day when I was sitting in front of my typewriter staring at a blank sheet of paper wondering what to write, I idly tapped out the words ‘Mr. and Mrs. Brown first met Paddington on a railway platform. In fact, that was how he came to have such an unusual name for a bear, for Paddington was the name of the station.’ It was a simple act, and in terms of deathless prose, not exactly earth shattering, but it was to change my life considerably. … Without intending it, I had become a children’s author.” Michael Bond, creator of the Paddington Bear series, has died at 91, reports NPR. We’d like to think that Bond might have appreciated our own Jacob Lambert‘s series, “Are Picture Books Leading Children Astray?” – in particular this entry questioning the moral fiber of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.
Jeopardy! champion, Maphead author, and all-around puzzle whiz Ken Jennings has devised a month-long “Great American History Puzzle,” and the grand prize winner will receive a free trip to Washington D.C., as well as a “Secrets of the Smithsonian” tour no doubt reminiscent of touring the back room at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie.
German-born footballer Bastian Schweinsteiger might just be living inside the D.H. Lawrence story, “The Captain’s Doll”. Schweinsteiger (who, it is helpful to mention, is the captain of his team) is suing a Chinese toy manufacturer for producing a doll that bears too striking a resemblance to the Manchester United midfielder. Oh, and did we mention that the “figurine” is also wearing a Nazi medal?