Yesterday’s visit to the local branch of Waterstones revealed that they now have whole sections devoted to books on ‘Painful Lives’, ‘Promiscuous Lives’, and – for those not famously painful or promiscuous – ‘Interesting Lives’. No doubt the Romans would have understood the current fascination with the last two, but I doubt they’d have wanted to read about other people’s suffering. Why bother, when they could (and did) go and watch it live at the local Amphitheatre? So I guess we’ve made some kind of progress over the centuries…
…although in other respects we’ve definitely gone backwards. It’s hard to think of an ancient equivalent to the recently-overheard, ‘Sorry I didn’t turn up. I don’t know what I’m doing because my Blackberry isn’t talking to my laptop.’
For a truly wondrous meeting of ancient and modern, however, ‘Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog’ is hard to beat. It’s been around for a while but I only found it recently via Sarah’s Bookarama – thanks, Sarah! These days it’s no longer being written by Geoffrey himself. After a long silence it’s been taken over by a group of his contemporaries who are intent on bringing it up to date, and have rebranded it as ‘Geoffrey Chaucer Hath An Extreme Blog: Go England! It Ys Rad!’
Rad indeed. Also very funny.