More Frozen

For obvious reasons, I’m reading a lot of Frozen. Like in A LOT of Frozen. And since Frozen 2 is coming out soon, my future contains even more Frozen.

But it’s not a total waste of time. As I read the 164-page story for the fourth time, I reflect on all the ways in which today’s entertainment industry is indebted to the theater theory created by our great playwright Lope de Vega 400 years ago. For instance, the introduction of the goofy Olaf into the most dramatic, high-tension scenes. That’s Lope’s famous rule about mixing the tragic with the comic. We see it done all the time but we often forget who laid down this rule. The Greek theater, as we know, offered unrelieved tragedy, and the possibility of marrying the tragic and the comic (because that’s how things work in nature) only occurred to writers later.

Something Brilliant

I’m beat but here’s something brilliant from Jonathan:

Neoliberalism used be the enemy, twenty years or so again. Now it is neonationalism. And the progressives who used to be concerned about neoliberalism are now neoliberal themselves, since it turns out that neonationalism is worse. Even when it is neoliberalism, in part, that created the nationalist reaction.

It is like when we used to think that the enemy was a conservative view of the literary canon, when the true enemy are people who despise literature in the first place.

As a student said today in response to our tortured efforts to cobble together some sort of a half-decent course offering for next semester, “I just wish we could have a course where we read books and then come to class and discuss them. That would be nice.”