Monday, January 28, 2008

From a Google Ad

Leide nicht wie Werther.
Gewinne Deine/n Ex zurück! Kostenloser Report.

The translation:

Don't suffer like Werther.
Get your ex back! Free report.

The funny thing about this is that Werther's object of affection was never his to begin with. It's funny because it plays on what people think about Werther and not what Werther is about. It's a testament to the ignorance of classical literature in popular culture.

There can be all kinds of play. The title of this post has a Goethian air to it, as his poetry titles were usually descriptive, hiding the Sturm und Drang of his words like the lid on a Jack-in-the-Box.

But there will be no poetry here. And the cleverness of the ad is deceptive, and more indicative of the cleverness of the adman and not a sign of learning. Indeed, it is more a sign of what we as people in a community pick up here and there about great works, never having to really expose ourselves to them.

I made it through university essentally on the fumes of high culture belched out of the smokestacks of the cultural industries. I would like to think myself more sophisticated these days, but I leave that up to the reader.

And I promise next week I will have a whole new batch of posts available! I have a lot of ground to make up!

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