Mary's Library

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Becoming Well-Read

I came across an amusing little book the other day (in Box 101, as you’ve probably guessed) called HOW TO BECOME RIDICULOUSLY WELL-READ IN ONE EVENING: A Collection of Literary Encapsulations (1985), which is compiled and edited by E O Parrott.

Here is part of the summary of THE AENEID (c 27 BC), by Virgil:

“O wad the gods the giftie gi’e us
Bestowed by them on brave Aeneas,
Who staggered through unnumbered crises
While piggy-backing old Anchises,
And underwent extensive bathage
Before he landed up at Carthage.”
-- Mary Holtby

On THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE (1885), by Thomas Hardy:

“Never sell your wives to sailors when the booze is in the blood:
You may rise to civic honors, but your name will still be mud.”
-- Mary Holtby

And on a masterpiece by James Joyce (1939):

Is one long spelling mistake
With not a lot
Of plot.”
-- V Ernest Cox


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