« Cymbeline at the Barrow Street Theatre | Main | Shakespeare's Breasts »

January 20, 2012

Comments

SD

Your example of the museum guard's verbal shortcutting by having you "hit Egypt," reminded me of what an acquaintance living in my building recently said to me. I don't think he's had much formal schooling but to me he has a very shrewd way of looking at the world.

This is what transpired. He has a strapping young pit bull named Hannibal. When I asked where he got the name (I assumed it would have been from Hannibal Lecter in the Thomas Harris suspense books), he told me it was from a popular TV show of the 1980s called The A-Team, with a character nicknamed Hannibal who was a former special forces soldier newly escaped from a military police prison. He then described the provenance of the nickname:

MF: He was named after an old-time general. He marched into Italy.
SD: The one who crossed The Alps with his elephants and tried to invade Rome?
MF: That's the one. And he did it a long time ago, before education.

His "before education" I suspect was a verbal shortcut for something like before man's enlightenment, before common knowledge of worldly complexities, or before sophisticated insights. I guess it seemed to him that the ancient world was a brutish and benighted one -- as in some ways it certainly was -- and that the general's feat, especially while he conducted ponderous beasts over steep mountainsides, was all the more remarkable for partially succeeding as well as it did. And I thought his word choice conveyed this so vividly that I understood the import of his phrase as soon as he uttered it.

Viva Hannibal!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Blogs I Read

Archives