Worst back-of-the-book copy ever

This is from my Batam Classics’ copy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Apparently the editorial assistant, or whoever they put in charage of writing the copy on the back of the book, was adjective happy that day.  VERY annoying, and disappointing considering it’s Shakespeare:

An exciting new edition…

Vivid, readable introduction…

A lively, personal foreword…

An insightful essay…

Modern spelling and punctuation…

Comprehensive source material…

Up-to-date, annotated bibliographies

A convenient listing of key passages…

I mean, seriously?  I wish I was joking here.  The worst part is these sentences are short bullet points running down the back of the book, so it’s hard not to notice how repetitive and poorly written it is.  Seriously guys, way to drop the ball.

Oh, and don’t let me forget to mention how ridiculous the “lively, personal foreword” by New York Shakespeare Festival founder Joseph Papp was.  It’s clear the man is more of a “theater guy,” but if you’re nominated to write the foreword for one of Shakespeare’s most famous comedies, it should be required that you take a writing test first.  I couldn’t tell if Papp thought I was stupid (thanks for explaining that “wherefore” means “why,” not “where”) or in 8th grade.  Well, I guess I could be in 8th grade; this isn’t exactly the Norton Shakespeare anthology.  But then, the introduction was actually challenging.  Not so much Papp’s imaginative description of Shakespeare rushing back to his lodgings on Silver Street, ignoring the vendors hawking brooms (what??), and having his pen putz out on him as he writes “To be or not to be.”  I mean, that’s cute and all Joe.  But don’t be surprised when real Shakespeare scholars start to slowly back away from you, eyeing you apprehensively as they would a crazy person.


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