John Man, local enthusiast, is excited to be reading one of the Great works of Literature in his spare time.
“It’s great,” he explained. “Really great.”
The work he decided to read is All The Servants Smell, by famed 17th century playwright, Edward The Professor. The play is a timeless masterpiece with universal appeal, and is well-regarded as a classic of the genre. “It’s arguably the best example of the famous New Play School,” said scholar Joe. “And it’s great. It’s super great.”
Sally McNally, local teacher, regularly teaches this famous play as part of her school curriculum. “The students usually don’t understand how universal this play is,” she said. “I have to do a lot of work explaining all the historical context in order for them to understand how it relates to them so powerfully. When they finally get it, they can’t believe how great it is. The biggest greatness.”
Thankfully, there is now a scholarly edition full of hundreds of detailed footnotes explaining all of the cultural references, old words, and antiquated social practices that are vital to an understanding of everything that’s going on.
“When Percy the swashbuckler explains to Catherine the chic convalescent parvenue that he would never consider sacrificing a farthing for even one ruffle cuff, it’s important to know that he is really speaking about the desperate plight of the Huguenots, once you understand who the Huguenots are,” explained Sally. “If you don’t understand that, it’s all just a bunch of words.”
“I like words,” explained Man.
One of Sally’s students said he enjoyed reading the scholarly edition, as it explained to him what he should think about the book. “That makes things much easier for me,” said Student Tim. “Things that appeal to me immediately might not nourish my future self. Things I no longer like probably aren’t as good as I thought they were. That just leaves the things that I don’t like but other people tell me are good; those things must be great. The most great.”
“I certainly know which parts I find universal,” said some guy. He is also enjoying reading the play despite the fact that in recent years some of the subject matter has come to be seen as problematic. “With this old timey stuff, you just have to ignore all that. Like, wouldn’t it be great to live in a big beautiful house like the one in the Sound of Music? I think everyone can relate to having an amazing house. And banging the nanny. Yes, there might be Nazis around, but we can fend them off with Song. Or at least, run away, singing.”
“I like singing,” explained Man. “It’s great. The best great.”