I Know What I Know

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Tonight I rented a raft of movies. One of them was Pandaemonium, which claims to be about the complex relationship between Wordsworth and Coleridge. Everything is going nicely until, about 10 minutes into it, there’s a scene where Coleridge (high as a kite on opium) meets Byron, who has just finished discussing Wordsworth’s selection as poet laureate.

Wordsworth became poet laureate in 1843.

Byron died in 1824.

While this movie makes fine use of anachronism (jet airplanes in the background of balloon flights in the late 1790s, for instance), I don’t think this one was intended. I realize this is a movie that wants to be simultaneously historical and ahistorical, but I’m finding too much about it annoying to give it much more of a chance.

I just keep wondering why they would bother to muck with this story. The Wordsworth / Coleridge story is incredibly rich. There’s opium addiction, potential incest, the French Revolution, spying (seriously. CIA-type spying), and illegitimate children.

But if you want something sensational, why not make a movie about poor Charles Lamb, whose sister went insane and killed his mother?

Hell, why not Byron, who had sex with his half-sister and died fighting for the Greeks? Or Percy Shelley, who seemingly did anything possible to impress Byron? Or Mary Shelley, who was smarter than them all??

Ugh. As I watch Dorothy Wordsworth and Sam Coleridge pining after one another, I’m quickly losing interest in this thing.


Written by srogers

July 2, 2011 at 2:02 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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