Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Unintentionally hilarious

For my Victorian Poetry class, we're currently reading contemporary critics on Tennyson (contemporary meaning Victorian). The first of them, by a William Johnson Fox, had a few moments which were quite hilarious.

Here's the first (I italicized the funny bit--the rest of it you just need as background): "Now whatever theories may have come into fashion, and gone out of fashion, the real science of mind advances with the progress of society like all other sciences. The poetry of the last forty years already shows symptoms of life in exact proportion as it is imbued with this science. There is least of it in the exotic legends of Southey, and the feudal romances of Scott. More of it, though in different ways, in Byron and Campbell. In Shelley there would have been more still, had he not devoted himself to unsound and mystical theories." That one might only be funny to me. But the second one...this is how the author described a merman: "the finny worthy."

1 comment:

elizabeth said...

Nice. I have been wanting to read 'In Memorium' again, but it (my copy) is at home in MI...