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Thursday, 3 March 2011

Evidence that some teachers would rather muck about with book titles than do their marking

What would happen if characters from one classic text got mixed up with characters from another?

Romeo and Cleopatra - in which an Egyptian queen falls in love with an Italian far too young for her and, to be honest, with a tendency to whine.  Her family is cool with her move to Italy, though, because she's such a pain in the arse, asking for milk baths all the time and wanting her hair straightened every morning even though it's naturally a mass of curls, that they are glad to get rid of her.  In the end, after a brief affair, Romeo gets fed up with her for the same reasons, as well as for the fact that until now he has only fancied girls with names of three syllables, and Cleopatra is a bit of a gobful, especially if you stumble over it, and look stupid in front of all your mates, and God forbid, the Capulets, who will pull out a sword faster than you can say, 'Capulets, Capulets, wherefore art thou so lairy?'  There is a passionate scene at the end of the play in which Romeo dumps Cleopatra, accompanied by some rather stirring music by Prokofiev with a Middle Eastern twist.

The Strange Case of Moby Dick and Mr Hyde - a ripping sea-based yarn in which a man who finds himself with well-hairy hands and nothing he can do about it all of a sudden decides to go looking for whales as an alternative to pretending to be a respectable Victorian gentleman (this wasn't working out too well).  He boards a ship.  He finds himself in the middle of a tale in which there are so many genres hanging about that he doesn't know whether he's coming or going, only being used to the prescription and the medical dictionary so far.  They are at sea for a long, long time, and the reader gets bored and starts yawning, but then suddenly the boat is rammed by Moby Dick, the whale, which wakes the reader up.  Everyone drowns except Mr Hyde, who then goes back to London and writes obscenities in a religious book, to the annoyance of his alter ego, who had settled happily back into charitable activities, thinking the worst over.



'Hm,' mused Hyde.  'There was something to be said for a quiet life trampling young girls and terrifying cab drivers.'

23 comments:

  1. Aw Fran you are a proper loon but you make me laugh. I love the fact that Mr Hyde survives and makes it back to London with his alter ego!

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  2. This game's a bit harder and I really must go and do my marking.

    The Importance of Being the Go-Between?
    A Picture of a Nobody?
    The French Lieutenant's Farm?

    No, not quite in the right spirit. Sorry.

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  3. Oh I just love your sense of humour, I needed a laugh today. Thanks.

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  4. I'm ashamed to confess that I've never read anything about RLS and Jekyll/Hyde.
    Hangs head in shame

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  5. I think you've been channeling Jasper Fford! Very funny!

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  6. Your posts are always good for a laugh!

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  7. Oh, oh, I suspect if you were (are?) on twitter, this post would spawn a hashtag of #fracturednovel ideas!

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  8. Cider with Frankenstein ?
    Brilliant fun.

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  9. I quite fancy reading Romeo and Ben - a story of man love behind the potting shed as Romeo finds himself distracted by a cute little flower pot man...

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  10. "Romeo and Ben" - brilliant. This has inspired me: "Antony and Gromit" - the heartwarming tale of a Roman general and his faithful and frankly alarmingly intelligent dog.

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  11. Who said teachers are boring, haven't laughed so much in a long time....... the mind is working overtime at the combinations

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  12. I'll buy both. Much better than the originals.

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  13. Yes, Karen W. Who did say teachers were boring? Eh? Eh?

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  14. Teachers are certainly getting a 'bad rap' in parts of the US. This should be required reading to prove them all wrong!!!

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  15. Loved it, Cleopatra was a bit of an early day WAG really with all that hair straightening and milk baths.
    Poor Mr. Hyde, even in your alternative genre, things didnt quite work out.

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  16. Pollyanna And Adrian Mole : The Wilderness Years .

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  17. Hee hee hee - what a fun post!

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  18. brilliant....who wouldn't want to read either of them!!

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  19. Hahaha! A "proper loon" indeed!

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  20. Wuthering in Wonderland - Alice falls for the dark and brooding Mad Hatter...?

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  21. 'Capulets, Capulets, wherefore art thou so lairy?' The line that should have been there the first time round. We who are not worthy...

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  22. Oh my goodness, you are so funny! On a side note, I'm going to put down the book I'm reading and order Precious Bane right now, unless it's not available as a free Kindle book, in which case I may need to reconsider since the Kindle was a bit of a splurge and my husband is now asking why I can't just read the classics like Jane Eyre and Walden which put me to sleep but are totally free. Life is hard.

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  23. I think you have failed to place your books on your bookshelves in alphabetical order. How else would Romeo end up alongside Cleopatra?! LOL

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