aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

What I'm reading

I recently finished Filthy Shakespeare, by Pauline Kiernan. It's a study of "Shakespeare's most outrageous sexual puns." Scholarly and free of axe-grinding, it opens up Shakespeare's language in fascinating ways.

I was struck by one thing. In Shakespeare's day, people talked about going to the theater to "hear a play," not "see a play." Scenery was at a minimum, and special effects were limited. What people of all social classes wanted was the language, the WORDS. They were drunk on words, and their ears were attuned to catch every last nuance.

I'm now reading Basilica, by R. A. Scotti, a history of the building of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The history of this huge project is, of course, all bound up with the sale of indulgences and the looting of the Americas, as well as outsized personalities of all types, ecclesiastical, political, artistic, and financial.

Through all the many changes in design over decades, one thing remained constant. The goal of the project was to pile the Pantheon (the largest dome of antiquity) on top of Maxentius's Basilica (the last and biggest of the civic basilicas of the Roman Empire). In the end, St. Peter's dwarfs both. Until the dictator of Cote d'Ivoire built his massive concrete church down in Africa, St. Peter's was the largest church in Christendom, I believe.

  • Men about town

    The grandcubs and I picked up Uncle Zach late morning and drove to Bub's Burgers, where we enjoyed elkburgers, mini-burgers, hot dogs, and waffle…

  • Church and Scouting Relationship at the Current Time

    As the BSA bankruptcy case nears its conclusion and the outline of a settlement hovers in view, attorneys are playing hardball over every dollar. To…

  • Psalm 62

    To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He only is my…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.