A Short History of English Literature

You know I never understand why people spend years researching English literature. By all means, read it, enjoy it…and if you are like me get tattoos of quotes etc. But life is way too short for reading and then analyzing Ulysses by James Joyce or Absalom Absalom or any of the god almighty soul sapping stuff from Virginia Wolf or Thomas Hardy.

And anyway, the overriding themes are pretty much similar. If we look at the history of English literature, we see

Druidic times – the Romans are coming – fear, anxiety, depression, we are all going to die, the weather is a bit shit

Roman times – Boadecea is coming – fear, anxiety, depression, we are all going to die, the weather is a bit shit

Post-Roman times – Grendel’s mom is coming – fear, anxiety, depression, we are all going to die, the weather is a bit shit

Anglo Saxon times – the Vikings are coming – fear, anxiety, depression, we are all going to die, the weather is a bit shit

End of 1st millenium AD –  the Normans are coming – fear, anxiety, depression, we are all going to die, the weather is a bit shit

11th/12th centuries – More taxes/ Robin Hood is coming/the goddamn black plague/ we are all going to die, the weather is a bit shit

Elizabethan times – the Scots are coming/ the trees are walking/ people are becoming homosexual/ moronic teenagers are fallign in love and committing suicide – fear, anxiety, depression with some added casual racism thrown in and of course we are all going to die/ the weather is a bit shit

Jacobean times –  same shit plus Guy Fawkes are coming – we are all going to die, the weather is a bit shit

Restoration times – the literary critics are coming – life will never be the same

Romantic times – the drunk poets are coming – we are all going to die, the weather is a bit shit

Victorian times – elementary poverty is coming – fear, anxiety, depression…with a few murders mixed in the mixture

 

Early 20th century – War is coming, and its bringing Hardy and Joyce with it (that’s 3 of the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse) – the souls of the readers died; we are all going to die, the weather is a bit shit

 

Post-Modern – nobody is coming, the tea is cold; we are all going to die, the weather is a bit shit

 

And in this 3000 years of shit weather, doom, gloom and misery,only a few people have rebelled against the norms and brought forth joy to the world.

Here’s looking at you William Shakespeare, Jerome K Jerome, Oliver Goldsmith, Sir George Bernard Shaw, PG Wodehouse, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, JRR Tolkien and Sir Terry Pratchett.

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