Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shakespeare is still Alive ...

If only we'd notice.
From the Guardian 4/23/2009

Chris, you might be interested in this...since you are a windy city guy.

this, Boris: "Now, therefore, I, Richard M Daley, Mayor of the City of Chicago, do hereby proclaim Shakespeare's birthday, April 23, 2009, to be TALK LIKE SHAKESPEARE DAY in the city of Chicago, and encourage the citizens to screw their courage to the sticking place and celebrate Shakespeare by vocal acclamation of his words."

I really liked this article. I am a huge Shakespeare fan who proudly lugs around her leather doorstop of his complete works. Yes, that's a beach read for me. I am out an' proud when I say I absolutely love classical literature. I love its complexity, its page-long sentences, and its formal diction. It's pure poetry to me, and I, personally, feel the loss of it in much of today's modern writing. We are told to keep it simple, action packed, write in scenes, and keep the characters talking. But I think there is something to be said for good story telling. I do like spare when it comes to the objective descriptive stuff, but I do favour my prose a bit on the full and flowery side, and I like my plot lines and character motivations to err on the side of subtlety. I like intrigue, not just in the story, but in the language as well. So I definitely agree with the final paragraph of the Guardian Article today:

While Shakespeare is second nature to us, we have also, in our dumbed-down, all-art-must-be-accessible-to-all times, distanced ourselves from the genius of Shakespeare. I despair – I really do despair – when confronted by sites such as, where "difficult" Shakespeare is "translated" into modern English. Shakespeare is modern English, you blinking idiots! And you should sweat over Shakespeare's work, even if you struggle to comprehend as you cry at the beauty and power of the language. Ask yourself, do we deserve to produce a 21st-century Shakespeare – or a poet who could even surpass Shakespeare's influence on our language – while we live in a world of nosweatshakespeares?


Chris Gerrib said...

Cheryl - thanks, but I saw that already. I also have season tickets to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

Cheryl Anne Gardner said...

I am so jealous of you now.