SAD sign of the times, as noted in the best-seller list of...

Salmagundi

November 11, 1994

SAD sign of the times, as noted in the best-seller list of the New York Times Book Review this week. What was America reading? Its top choice in nonfiction was that pseudo-history slime-gossip book, "Nicole Brown Simpson," by Faye Resnick. More folks bought that book than the No. 2 listing, "Crossing the Threshold of Hope," by Pope John Paul II.

We sure have our priorities on crooked. Tabloid trash beats out pontifical musings.

* * *

YET again, we bring you highlights of world history compiled from student papers by Richard Lederer, an English teacher in Concord, N.H. Mr. Lederer's book is entitled "Anguished English" (Wyrick & Co., Charleston, S.C.).

"The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. Shakespeare was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday."

"The Renaissance was an age in which more individuals felt the value of their human being. Martin Luther was nailed to the church door at Wittenberg for selling papal indulgences. He died a horrible death, being excommunicated by a bull."

"In one of Shakespeare's famous plays, Hamlet rations out his situation by relieving himself in a long soliloquy. His mind is filled with the filth of incestuous sheets which he pours over every time he sees his mother."

"The clown in 'As You Like It' is named Touchdown and Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couplet."

"Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Dying, he gasped out the words 'Tee hee, Brutus.' Nero was a cruel tyranny who would torture his poor subjects by playing the fiddle to them."

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