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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

steepholm steepholm
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A Miscellany of Morning Maunderings
I love hypnagogia - my subconcious comes up with all its best lines when I'm in that state. This morning I woke to the thought, "The time for snottiness may come, but sheathe the fruit of your disdain in Patience's nostril." Isn't that just the kind of sentiment you want to work into a sampler and sell on Etsy?

Prior to that, I'd dreamt I was writing an article on Milton, looking at his use of long dashes in early editions of Paradise Lost and exploring the hypothesis that he was influenced by the Real Character of Bishop Wilkins, where God is represented by a single horizontal line, that having (in Wilkins's opinion) a simplicity and unity befitting the divine. The sad thing is, I now really want to look into the idea.

I read a couple of Kipling short stories last night, "The Mark of the Beast" and its sequel, "The Return of Imray". In fact Imray didn't appear in the first, so his "return" in the second wasn't a classic sequelish use of "the return of" as a title element, but in fact signalled something altogether more macabre. Still, it got me to wondering what the first example of that locution might be as a sequel alert. Hollywood gave it its great boost, of course, but is there any earlier example than The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1905)? I wonder whether in future years scholars reading The Return of the Native might wonder about Hardy's lost text, called simply The Native - and ask themselves whether the later book would have sold better if titled Native II: This Time it's Pastoral.

Also, if "The Return of..." is a 20th-century invention, what ways of alerting readers to a work's status as a sequel were current prior to that? Labelling something Part I and Part II was one option, of course, used by both novelists and playwrights, but were there no others? Wasn't The Spanish Tragedy a sequel, in fact, to a play now lost? Hence "Hieronymo's mad again". I like to think that had Kyd not had his unfortunate run-in with Sir Thomas Walsingham that play might have been followed by The Swiss Tragedy, The French Tragedy, The Swedish Tragedy, and so on, in a gazetteer of Senecan stychomythia spanning the whole of Europe.

Tonight is Midsummer's Eve - at least, as I was taught it. Many people identify midsummer with the solstice, of course - and I wouldn't like to say they're wrong. I am interested, though, in when Shakespeare thought it was. Any clue?

Well, Fletcher's sequel to The Taming of the Shrew was The Tamer Tam'd. Robert Henryson's sequel to Troilus and Criseyde was The Testament of Crisseid.

Richardson apparently did a couple of Pamela sequels called things like Pamela's Conduct in High Life, but they failed (though it's hard to imagine that they were more boring than the original). Twain similarly did Tom Sawyer, Detective.

So maybe a reference to the main character in question was the way if you weren't going to do a straight-up Part 1 and Part 2? Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, Tom Brown at Oxford, and The House at Pooh Corner could also be evidence for this.

Edited at 2014-06-23 01:44 pm (UTC)

I'm sure you're right about the "reference to the main character in question" idea - and yes, there are quite a few examples from children's literature (the Katy books also spring to mind, the first sequel being just a couple of years after Through the Looking-Glass).

I have to admit that Pamela is a guilty pleasure of mine, but the sequel (in which Mr B goes off the rails and Pamela throws herself into educating her daughter on Lockean lines) lacks the power of the original. As sequels to Pamela go, Joseph Andrews is better.

I have a one-volume edition of the Katy books where clearly no one looked at internal chronology, but just went by the titles: they go What Katy Did, What Katy Did Next, and What Katy Did at School. So they've got Katy married and traveling in Europe before she goes to boarding school.

It should clearly have been What Katy Did First, What Katy Did Second, etc.

I should have said that Mr B was quite thoroughly off the rails already. If Pamela had to marry him, she should have poisoned him shortly thereafter and become a wealthy widow.

Then there's also familial relationship: Bride of Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, Dracula's Daughter...that's twentieth century, of course, though.

Now of course I'm racking my brains for a pre-20th century example...

There's also "Revenge of the..." for a rather more antagonistic take on the theme of return.

These things go back a long way. The Aeneid is not only a fanfic sequel, it suffers from sequelitis.

Not that I'm in a position to read either it or the Iliad in the original (unlike some here), but based on what E. V. Rieu was able to convey, I'd have to agree.

Haha and ROFL at the Hardy references!

Native II: This Time it's Pastoral



I always thought I was supposed to read Brideshead before Brideshead Revisited.

How about Pilgrim's Progress II: Living the Dream? (Except that there already is a part II)

"Further adventures of..." Is frequent, no?

Yes, I think I had a similar thought about Brideshead. That was before I realised that stately homes - from Manderley to Brandham Hall - were machines for going back to, not for living in.

June 23 is St. John's Eve, which has been fairly often associated with Midsummer's Eve celebrations.