Sunday, April 30, 2006

We called him "Billy Shakes" at school

I've been reading (well, listening to) this book Will in the World by Stephen Greenblatt, and it's pretty darn good. I'm kind of an armchair Shakespeare ... um, well, the word "scholar" is so far away from what I mean. I've taken a few classes and read some of the plays and all the sonnets at one time or another. I like his work. He's good people.

Anyway, the author perks up the bare facts of Shakespeare's life with some speculation about his parents' lives, his "lost years," his marriage. That's as far as I've gotten so far, and it's really snagged my attention which is novel. The last few books I've read (listened to, rather; I listen as I process DVDs or mend books or repair AV material at work) haven't really grabbed me, so I'm happy to find a book that I'm not constantly tuning out. It's pretty pathetic when putting stickers on DVD cases is more interesting than the book I'm reading (listening to).

Because this book makes reference to all of Shakespeare's plays, most of which I haven't read, I'm strangely inclined to read all 37 ("Thirty-seven?!") of his plays. I think I own at least one complete works, and lots of individual volumes of some plays. My Mom and I had a sort of two-person book club going there, for a little while, but I can't really see asking her (or anyone, including my friends who teach Shakespeare professionally) to read along with me. Ah well, the life of a reader is naturally a lonely one (dramatic sigh).

(And if you haven't heard The Avett Bros. yet, you should. I heard them on NPR's World Cafe and found their songs at the i-tunes store, and you should too.)


Alison said...

Glad you like it so far. I read most of that but lost steam before finishing. I was more than halfway through, but it's a long book so there was still quite a bit to go. I love Shakespeare and found it really interesting, but I had trouble getting myself to sit down and read it for more than a few minutes at a time. Oh well. I'll go back to it someday. :)

Laura said...

I was given that book as a graduation gift, and have still not cracked it open. I'll have to get the book on CD and 'read' it that way as well.