Friday, December 16, 2005

What sin a name

Another quickie (it's that kind of day):

Every now and then Sitemeter will inform me that someone new has added a link to my blog. While I'm not particularly anxious about the readership of this blog, this always makes me happy - it's nice to know that someone else likes / enjoys what you're writing. Plus it makes the pretense that this blog is written for other people and isn't just about me being a narcissist with a poor memory that much more credible. And it's proved a useful way of identifying new blogs that it might be interesting to follow. (Not to mention that having more readers means that there's a higher probability that at least someone reading what I write will be deeply insulted.)

Take this person, for instance, who added me to his blogroll yesterday (or at least, yesterday was the first day that I saw the referral come through). I was mildly pleased to be mentioned on his blog, I would almost say I was grateful. Just one minor problem: MY NAME IS NOT FLAGSTAFF!!!!!!! It's Falstaff. Falstaff as in Prince Hal, Falstaff as in "The better part of valour is discretion", Falstaff as in the happiest, most life-affirming and least principled character that Shakespeare ever wrote. Falstaff who (as Harold Bloom has so cogently argued) is not Prince Hamlet, but his exact counterpoint; Falstaff, who is, in Eliot's incredible words:

"an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;

At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool."

Falstaff. Not some stupid pole to fly a country's rags from. Not flagstaff (flagstaff forsooth!) Falstaff.



J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Oy! Hands off those lines. They are MY anthem for doomed mandarins!

And Falstaff 'politic, cautious and meticulous"? HO! Tell me another one! Those lines are MINE, all MINE! (peals of maniacal laughter fade into cavern depths ...)


krishna kumar said...

sorry dude,i have corrected it now....

Neela said...

But falstaff, surely if falstaff were falstaff, the "happiest, most life-affirming and least principled character that Shakespeare ever wrote" then he wouldn't object to people mistaking his name, would he??? He'd be far too busy affirming his life away to notice the tiny little mistakes others make.


Jabberwock said...

*The light dawns* I always thought your blog-name was a mis-spelling of Flagstaff! Must read that play sometime
- an Avid Fan (who's blogrolled you)

Falstaff said...

JAP: Sigh. It was worth a try, wasn't it? Does this mean I can't come and go talking of Michelangelo either?

KK: No worries. Not a big deal at all, really. All forgotten already - including the telephone number of those assassins (where did I put it? it must be here somewhere?). So like I said, no worries. Just, uh, stay away from windows for a bit, will you? Oh, and whatever happens, never, ever turn the ignition on your car.

Neela: No, no. Names are really important things. Imagine if you spent years affirming your life and then people took you for someone else.

Jabberwock: Ya well, what can you expect from someone who names his blog Jobber work except he can't even spell that.