...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Monday, July 24, 2006

If you say it loud enough, you'll always sound precocious

The other day I showed my family one of my best souveneirs of Europe: a brightly colored poster I found in Athens, advertising a local production of Mary Poppins. The title of the musical was in English, while the rest of the information--dates, location, time, price--was in Greek script. I loved it, I explained to my family, because of the unusual juxtaposition of the English and the Greek. My dad snorted at my use of the word "juxtaposition" and teasingly accused my of using a five-dollar word. With my brother egging me on, I continued that I liked how the poster called into question the place of Mary Poppins in popular imagination: can the musical, which is so quintessentially British, be successfully performed by a Greek cast, and if so, what does that mean for Mary Poppins as an icon and a representative of the British canon? What would the success or failure of the Greek Mary Poppins have to say about the possibility of successfully translating pop culture phenomenon to foreign stages and foreign cultures?

I had to stop there because my mom was pretending to throw up. Even now, several weeks after the incident, my dad teases me every time the word "canon" comes up (and it does suprisingly often, if you're looking out for it). But for me, it was only Reason #354 Why I Love the Liberal Arts.