Sunday, October 24, 2010

Adrian Mole and The Prostate Years

I should say something about Adrian Mole's Medieval play. It was unfortunately abandoned once the cancer treatment started because Adrian simply could not direct a play with a large cast and go through chemo.
However, the play was going to be called Plague and it was going to be about the Black Death of course. Although the Crusaders are said to have brought the plague back to Europe and John's brother was the one of the biggest Crusaders of all time, Richard the Lionhearted, there is a problem. Problem is that Adrian was setting his play in the time of King John I's death (in 1216)and the bubonic plague did not reach England until the 14th century. You would not find a bishop giving a hug to a plague victim who feels marginalized because of his disfiguring lesions. He probably would not have lived long enough to whine about the isolation and he would have been lucky not to have people throw things at him to keep him away from them.
We may never know what he intended with his play. Another would be classic has gone the way of the comedy about a serial killer, that Adrian failed to produce, called The White Van.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Adrian Mole Goes All Medieval

The lack of success for his novel 'Lo The Flat Hills of My Homeland' has not deterred Adrian Mole from writing. In the latest Adrian Mole novel, The Prostate Years, he is busy writing a Medieval play with a cast of 60.
I am still reading the book so I am unable to say much about the play except that so far it seems to be about a holy monk, Abbot Godfried, who is travelling about with a basket containing the entrails and anus of King John. Since John I's heart was buried at York, a place was needed to bury his anus. I shall make a prediction that the anus is buried in Mangold Parva in Leicestershire where Adrian lives in the Piggeries with his parents.
Truth is, John I, all of him, was buried at Worcester Cathedral.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Vergil The Sorcerer

That is right. Vergil - a sorcerer. The guy who wrote the Aeneid had magical powers. At least, so it was thought in the Middle Ages.
I am reading some glosses on Aaron's Rod in Exodus and the latin 'virga' is bringing this thought to mind.
Vergil's name was misspelled in the Middle Ages as Virgil, which is partly how he became known as a sorcerer, since 'virga' is not just a rod or a cane but a wand as well. In Andrew Lang's Violet Fairy Book is a story about how Virgilius acquired his magic, that is by a spirit trapped in a hole who promised him books about magic if he would release him from his hole. The Gesta Romanorum contain several stories about a magical Virgil as well.
Of course Vergil did not help himself by calling himself Thyrsis in his Eclogues. Thyrsis or 'thursos' means 'wand' in Greek. But then, Vergil was also sometimes called 'virgo' or 'the maiden' for his modest and retiring ways.
You might be wondering why Dante would choose him to be the guide through Purgatory in The Inferno if he had a reputation as a sorcerer. It goes back to Eclogues again. The fourth poem was seen as predicting the birth of Jesus Christ.
If I ever get some free time, I will post a wizarding story from the Deeds of the Romans about Virgil.