Years ago when we were doing our masters in Literature, we had a professor who taught us fiction and drama. He was quite good in his knowledge of the subject but was a funny man with an equally funny diction. Once while doing the novel, "Persuasion" by Jane Austen there were these lines which was uttered by him in the most funniest way:
The lines are:
"Anne went to Bath
Wentworth followed her
They had their own ups and downs"
Now to a common English speaking person, the above lines will not seem funny but the boys in our class completely misread the lines. I hope you get what I mean. The place Bath was mistaken to be a place for bathing. And the way our professor rendered these lines made it equally unforgettable. He would start:
Ann went to Baaaaath (looks up and smiles for two seconds)
Weeentworth foollowed her (smiles again with all the teeth shown)
They haaaaad their oooown upssssss and downssssss (smiles for an extra few seconds) and our boys start giggling thinking that Ann and Wentworth had a 'bath' together.
Now this was a couple of years ago. In the beginning of this month after Belfast, I had a chance to go to London. In the three days I had in London, the second day was devoted to Bath and Bath Spa -- both lovely places with a quaint yet modern look. I loved walking the streets and thinking of Ann, Wentworth and Jane Austen. I was even saying aloud the above quoted lines much to the amusement of my two friends who accompanied me. It seems such a wonder to visit places you have read in novels and other works of art. It seems like living a page out of a dream. Some of the pictures you see in my side-bar are from Bath.
Yesterday while reading a book (I forget the name now), the writer was talking about spaces and mentions his visit to an old castle which is supposed to have been the place of Hamlet. He wonders about the castle and thinks whether the castle would have been the same if one did not have the knowledge that Hamlet had lived there. True. Just the knowledge that the place belonged to someone whom we have read and taught, makes a great difference. I know I would have enjoyed Bath nevertheless but the memory of my post-graduate days coupled with the information of Jane Austen made the place extra wonderful.
Image courtesy: Internet