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To the editors of the Crimson:
I would like to bring to your attention two glaring, embarrassing journalistic faux pas that appeared in the "Arts" section of your publication on Thursday, April 11. The following excerpts are taken from Margaret H. Gleason's "Hamlet Unable to Sustain Innovation," and P. Gregory Maravilla's "Sadism and Flying Refrigerators," respectively:
But Mulford's Pirandellian-like staging, after drawing attention to the artificial nature of theater, eventually becomes gratuitous, most notably when members of the tech crew walk across the stage in mid-scene.
The Duchess of Malfi's dramatic content could easily have been drowned out if the actors had muddled the Shakespearian-like dialogue.
"Pirandellian-like staging"? "Shakespearian-like dialogue"? Does this strike you as amateurish-like ineptitude? I am unfamiliar with The Crimson's comp process for its arts staff, but surely the most prestigious college daily in the country must be able to procure writers with a better grasp of basic written English prose. These enormous gaffes almost distract the careful and intelligent reader from other, comparatively minor affronts to the English language, such as the unfortunate mixed metaphor "drowning out dramatic content."
The fact that not one but two such obvious-like transgressions occurred in the same section of the Crimson on the same day is even more disturbing and puzzling. Who proofreads these reviews? What is the job of the Crimson editor if not to hunt down and destroy such syntactical Jabberwockies? I'm not sure who deserves more rebuke, the writers whose apparently tenuous comprehension of their readership's dominant tongue allowed them to submit these pieces, or the editors, whose carelessness or ignorance led them to print the offensive reviews.
Incidentally, I would love for Ms. Gleason to define for the more theatrically ignorant of her readers what exactly a Pirandellian "staging" is. Enquiring and incredulous minds want to know. It is true that the plays of Luigi Pirandello did indeed "draw attention to the artificial nature of theater," but only in their content, not in their "staging." Furthermore, I'd like to point out to Ms. Gleason that although a group of people dressed in black who move furniture on stage might to the untrained eye resemble a "tech crew," these people may indeed be cleverly disguised actors. The fact that they are listed as "The Players" under the "Cast" section of the program is a dead giveaway to most audience members, if not to most reviewers. The tech crew is on the other side of the program, under "Tech Crew."
If you perceive these observations as nit-picking, you have my deepest apologies. If you expect your readers to take seriously the observations of your staff reviewers, however, you should be sure to stress to these reviewers that basic knowledge of their material and basic knowledge of the language in which they write are unshakable prerequisites for the serious consideration of their work. T.J.Mitchell '91
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