Thursday, December 9, 2010

Modern Day Shakespeare?

So you know how there are many common words and phrases coined by the great Bard bandied about in everyday conversations, whilst those who utter them are oftentimes oblivious to their auspicious origins?  This was the thought in my mind as I read my most current book.  Many of the most "quotable" phrases that have followed me throughout childhood and into adulthood were written by a man I likely would have never heard of and barely know anything about.  Nonetheless, he wrote the most amazing lines!(e.g. "I do not think that means what you think it means;" "To the pain," "Inconceivable;" and "I'm not a witch, I'm your wife!")
The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High AdventureFor those of you who haven't gotten it by now (where have you been since the 80's?), the book I speak of is The Princess Bride.  The constant favorite since the day it premiered as an 80's movie with the guy from Robin Hood: Men in Tights, is based on a much older manuscript by one S. Morgenstern.  Apparently the only way a modern, American reader should take his masterpiece in is by reading the abridged version by William Goldman (screenwriter, egotist, Fred Savage doppelganger).  This shortened version (as we are constantly reminded by the editor) cuts out all the boring stuff and gets to the real adventure. 
But back to the reason for this post - I was shocked by the lines written by none other than S. Morgenstern.  I would think Mr. Goldman, being such a successful screenwriter, would have been the one to put all the words into the character's mouths.  I mean they got ALL the words right.  And what screenwriter wouldn't love to gets his hands on a great work of genius if only for the purpose of ruining it with his own ramblings.  But, no! Morgenstern had it all! 
Or did he?
Rating: The book: 7.5; Goldman's ego: 10