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|Some thoughts on # 2.
Written by Mandy N
(1/24/2006 7:03 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Two comments, penned by Tate
My impression is in the C18th, to read 'a book that wasn't true' was considered a waste of time so Walpole may have hoped for greater public acceptance with 'a relic of the past', an early Medieval tale.
Yet, there was a fear of ridicule presenting supernatural or 'marvellous' events except through authentic products from an unenlightened time i.e old documents, translations of early medieval stories.
Actually, I'm reminded of NA, ch.21 when Catherine finds a roll of paper in the black cabinent in her room and blieves it is some manuscript of antiquity. Her candle was accidently snuffed leaving her in darkness to ponder it's contents.
'Nothing could now be clearer than the absurdity of her recent fancies. To suppose that a manuscript of many generations back could have remained undiscovered in a room such as that, so modern, so habitable !-'
Catherine's reaction to the laundry bills may've been similar to how Walpole's readers felt on finding out the authenticity of 'Otranto' as a medieval tale was a modern hoax.
Though of course, in Catherine's case, it was in her mind ! ;)
Actually, befor I read your post, the idea of horror movies put me in mind of a hoax perpetuted by smallfilmakers in the US a few years ago. I've forgotten the name but it was done as a docudrama and shown in cinemas round the world about 3 students who disappeared while checking out a 300 year old tale about a witch. Their car was found on the side of the road and 2 years later their film dug up.
I think you made a good observation about the echoes of Shakespeare in TCoO. I wonder if any C18th readers of the First Edition picked up on the comic relief of Jacquez & Diego.
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