Friday, September 08, 2006

Will In The World

Have you ever wanted to read a certain book for a really long time, but just continue to never getting around to the actual reading of it?
Some sort of procrastinatory failure to begin, sets in?
← That’s how I have been with this book shown here.
Will In The World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare, by Stephen Greenblatt.
I’ve almost purchased the thing for about 27 years now!
But today’s the day. I realized it at about 2 p.m. [to pin down my exact moment of decision].
So, right after work I picked up the book and now I am sitting in a Starbucks, immersed in it.

I am fascinated by Shakespeare while being embarassed at how little of his work I have read. I’ve read maybe five or six of his plays, and much of his poetry.
But I intend to read so much more.
Reading Shakespeare thrills me in a way that no other reading does. Having said this, you may rightfully ask, “Why haven’t you read more of his stuff then, you pribbling puddle-puttock?”
It’s a good question. I honestly don’t know the answer.

As I turned this lovely book over and over in my hands, before tearing into it, I asked myself, “What is it about Shakespeare? Why is he so good?
And immediately, the thought came to me that when I read Will Shakespeare, I am afforded the feeling that a Bible believer would feel, reading scripture.
As though, in the English language, nothing could be said better. His sentences can be revered, so good are they.
I sipped my coffee and opened the book.
Three pages in, Greenblatt echoed my thoughts, saying:
“The work [Shakespeare’s] is so astonishing, so luminous, that it seems to have come from a god and not a mortal, let alone a mortal of provincial origins and modest education.”
I very much tend to agree. My feelings exactly.
I’m excited about this book… it is difficult to stop reading long enough to tell you!

This is a book, then, about an amazing success story that has resisted explanation: it aims to discover the actual person who wrote the most important body of imaginative literature of the last thousand years. Or rather, since the actual person is a matter of well-documented public record, it aims to tread the shadowy paths that lead from the life he lived into the literature he created.
[From the Preface.]

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3 comments:

S William said...

"I’ve almost purchased the thing for about 27 years now!"

I can't say that I've waited that long to make any purchase. You may hold a record for patience.

Until recently I had been avoiding many of the things "forced upon me" in high school. I guess it took a while to get over the residue left by someone telling me that such and such was good, without delving into the whys and hows.

Shakespeare was one of these "things." (among many others)

For me it took 20 years of maturation to overcome a good education.

cipriano said...

"I’ve almost purchased the thing for about 27 years now!"
I guess my hyperbolity knows no bounds! The book itself only came out in 2004!
20 years of maturation to overcome a good education?
Ye remind me of the late, and VERY great Robertson Davies, who said:
“I don’t speak against education; for most people it is a necessity; but if you’re going to be a genius you should try either to avoid education entirely, or else work hard to get rid of any you’ve been given.”
You've done well, s william.
The things I know best, I was never taught!

S William said...

That is a great quote. Let me know how the book is. I am headed over to Amazon to read a bit more.

You slipped youy hyperbolity right by my sleep deprived mind.