Saturday, February 24, 2007

Laughing at Theory

I don't often laugh in the middle of prepping for classes, but today I was reading Bennett and Royle's Introduction to Literature, Criticism, and Theory (3rd ed), the chapter on ghosts, where they talk about Lacan's essay on Hamlet.

I lost it when I read, "In an appalling pun, [Lacan] calls Hamlet an 'hommelette,' a little man" (134-5).

Is there any chance that my students will laugh even a little at that?

8 comments:

  1. That's really funny, I'm sure they will!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, if they don't, *I* am!

    Except that I can't help but also think of "omelette," which then makes me think of a story that my Blake mentor told me about years spent in his father's study as an elementary school student, pondering a book on a high shelf entitled "Shakespeare and Bacon," and trying to figure out what Shakespeare had to do with breakfast.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Slim to none, but I think it's hilarious!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I should also add that at our library's cafe, which features such sandwiches as the moby dick (tuna fish) and the sylvia plath (any sandwich warmed in the oven instead of grilled), there's also a grilled ham/egg/cheese sandwich called the "hamlet." I always get this sandwich despite the fact I'm not a big fan of ham, because it cracks me up every time.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ah, but JM, is it a "little" ham and egg sandwich?

    We have Puget Pounders in my neck of the woods, but I think your cafe needs an Ezra Pounder.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Le Bourgeois Gentilhommelette, anyone?

    Bonzo

    ReplyDelete
  7. Jane: yes, actually it is smaller than the average sandwich, so I get two puns for the price of one.

    ReplyDelete
  8. When I was an undergrad, I thought it was hilarious that the Folger online catalog was called Hamnet (and I still do!), so anything's possible. :)

    ReplyDelete