12.31.2006

Aphra Behn (deceased)


Aphra Behn
Originally uploaded by Scriblerus.
This photo represents Behn's (or Behn's eptitaph writer's) answer to some portion of the post below. The epitaph reads, "Here lies a proof that wit can never be defence enough against mortality." Harold Bloom, of course, would not have granted her wit--he called her a fouth-rate playwright, at some point, I believe, and suggested that whatever immortality she gained by reentry to the canon reflected more poorly on us than it did well on her. Nevertheless, whomever did the chiseling had a more materialist sense of mortality than can do a writer any good to possess.

I've recently reexamined some of her poetry, and I've reread The Rover for the third time, and I cannot quite agree with the honorable Dr. Bloom on this matter. I find Behn's irrepressible disappointment in the Cavaliers fascinating. She's like a fan dedicated to a losing team, sitting in the bleachers and calling the players a bunch a bums, but going to every single game. If Rochester and has ilk had just manned up a bit, they might not have let those Roundheads walk all over them during the Civil Wars. Instead, a whole class of bluebloods ended up going as soft as brie and limp as boned fish. All these poor "o'er ravished" men running about with their swords pointing in entirely the wrong direction.

With Royalists like these, who needs Parliamentarians?

1 comment:

Xopo said...

Indeed, Scriblerus, I does get much better after the orals. Best of luck! (By the way, I like what I see in this blog.)