[Milton-L] Text message version of PL

Kemmer Anderson kanderso at mccallie.org
Fri Nov 18 09:10:56 EST 2005


Not all is lost. When PRI radio reported the 
story yesterday November 17 at 4:45 , the 
announcer lead out with a recording of a voice 
reading the blank verse of John Milton. The 
echoing sounds of the English pentameter 
permeated the airways and ear ways of listeners 
who had not tuned to Air America. The proof is in 
the sound. Compared to the text message sample of 
Paradise Lost, the poetry was superior in rhythm 
and diction. The barbarians may be at the gate, 
but simple poetics of the words stands firms like 
Leonidas at Thermopylai. Text message shorthand 
is a call for public readings beyond the classroom. Kemmer
At 09:37 PM 11/17/2005, you wrote:
>Brace yourselves
>
>
>----- Original Message -----
>From: <mailto:debbierayner at sympatico.ca>Debbie Rayner
>To: <mailto:jleonard at uwo.ca>John Leonard
>Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2005 9:03 PM
>Subject: just4u
>
>Hi John
>
>Thought you'd enjoy this......
>
>Cheers, Debbie
>
>
>You have a text message from Hamlet
>
>
>
>18 November 2005
>[]
>
>
>LONDON: Woe un2mnkind! The text message is 
>trying to summarise the great poet John Milton 
>and a respected academic thinks this may be a 
>smart new way to teach literature.
>
>A company offering mobile phones to students has 
>hired Professor John Sutherland, professor 
>emeritus of English Literature at University 
>College London, to offer subscribers text 
>message summaries and quotes from literary classics.
>
>The hope is that messages in the truncated 
>shorthand of mobile phones will help make great literature more accessible.
>
>"We are confident that our version of 'text' 
>books will genuinely help thousands of students 
>remember key plots and quotes, and raise up 
>educational standards rather than decrease 
>levels of literacy," the company, Dot Mobile, said in a press release.
>
>Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy is 
>rendered: "2B? NT2B?=???". At the end of Romeo 
>and Juliet, "bothLuvrs kill Emselves," while 
>Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice concludes when "Evry1GtsMaryd."
>
>"Woe un2mnkind," is part of its summary of 
>Milton's Paradise Lost. Milton actually wrote 
>"Woe to the inhabitants on Earth."
>
>"Dot mobile's unique service amply demonstrates 
>text's ability to fillet out the important 
>elements in a plot. Take for example the ending 
>to Jane Eyre – 'MadwyfSetsFyr2Haus'. Was ever a 
>climax better compressed?" said Sutherland, this 
>year's chairman of the judges for the Man Booker literature prize.
>
>That's "mad wife sets fire to house" in English 
>– the climactic event in Charlotte Bronte's Romantic classic.
>
>
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