Monday, July 4, 2011

The Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory of English Literature : A Satyrickall Diversion

Ben Jonson spilled the beans four centuries ago in an unwritten letter recently discovered bound between the endpapers of a nonexistent book in the London Library: The Looney Hypothesis is all true, every bit of it. The Earl of Oxford wrote Shakespeare's plays and Shakespeare wrote Marlowe's plays and Marlowe wrote Middleton's plays and Tommy the Kyd wrote John Webster's plays between rackings in the tower; Ben Jonson wrote everyone else's poetry and John Donne wrote Ben Jonson's; Donne also wrote most of George Herbert's poems (the ones not written by Marvell), Marston wrote all of Tourneur's works, the Countess of Pembroke wrote Sidney's Arcadia, Spenser wrote Francis Bacon's essays, and Bacon wrote Queen Elizabeth I, who wrote nothing save death warrants; Addison wrote Steele's essays and Steele wrote Addison's; Marvell wrote Milton's epics while Milton wrote poems, pamphlets and precious little else, being blind (surely no one still believes that Bennettian wives' tale about the blind bugger's dreary dictation to his dutiful daughters?); Alexander Pope wrote Homer's epics and Samuel Johnson wrote Swift's satires and Henry Fielding wrote Tristram Shandy and Sterne wrote Richardson's Clarissa over a single sleepless weekend; Wordsworth and Coleridge were inventions of William Blake, while Hazlitt and De Quincey were prosey aliases for Byron and Shelley; Keats wrote every Romantic poem but found criticism Byronically 'killing'; Mary Shelley wrote all of Percy Bysshe's poems and Percy wrote the tale of Frankenstein; Jane Austen's books were written by George Eliot, Eliot's by Anthony Trollope, Trollope's by Thackeray, Thackeray's by Dickens, Dickens's by Lewis Carroll, Carroll's by Michael Jackson, Jackson's by Walter Pater, Pater's by John Ruskin, Ruskin's by Marcel Proust, Proust's by James Joyce, Joyce's by Virginia Woolf, and Woolf's by a dustman from Sydenham named Willie Stoat; Flann O'Brien wrote the half of Finnegans Wake that was not written by Myles na gCopaleen, Brian O'Nolan wrote all of Flann O'Brien's works, James Joyce wrote Brideshead Revisited as a piece of high satire, and Graham Greene wrote the rest of Evelyn Waugh while vacationing in Jamaica; in the beach bungalow nextdoor, Ian Fleming invented John Le Carre as a pseudonym for a former spook from Cornwall, while James Bond begat Kingsley Amis who begat Another Amis, who wrote all his father's books; and Salman Rushdie wrote everything, including the Koran.

I hope this clears things up.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I think this just made my summer.