Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Anyway, I moaned about this to (read: nagged) said spouse until, in the manner of beleaguered husbands everywhere, he tried to fix it. And proceeded to wreck the interface. No, I don't fully understand what happened, but suffice it to say it was completely FUBAR. Shortly thereafter, our company got a big design/software development contract, and fixing Gayle's blog quickly sank to the bottom of hubby's to-do list. Which I understand--putting food on the table and shoes on the kid must come first. Nevertheless, I didn't give up hope. It seemed certain that a golden window of blog-fixing opportunity was going to open soon, so I waited. And waited. But finally, I realized that--like a failed adventurer--I was going to have to cut my losses and move back home. You know, back to the parents' house--which is sort of what Blogger is, vis a vis my peripatetic blog. I miss my cool new/old site, although I only had it for a little while. But I am happy to have a place to go and continue my musings about the Bard here.
What I Did on My Vacation
I did learn a lot writing those posts, though. Academics--a tribe to which, as some of you know, I once belonged--have pretty much no truck with the whole alt-Shakespeare carnival. I never heard much about it at all, in all the Shakespeare classes I took in college and grad school. As a consequence, I never talked about it in any of the many Shakespeare classes I taught, either. But it's really a pretty interesting subject from a historical standpoint. Basically, every era has its own Shakespeare pretender, who more or less reflects the concerns, fantasies, and anxieties of the time. And the conspiracy theorists themselves--whose numbers include Mark Twain, Henry James, Sigmund Freud and several Supreme Court justices--are just as interesting.
But as I said, I'm not going to go back there right now. I need to read a play! Really read it, like for the next few months. And after a lot of ruminations on the subject, I decided to junk my whole "early plays first" scheme and go straight for one of the Biggies. No, not the Ultra-biggies--not Hamlet or Lear. Not quite ready for those yet. But right now, 2011, seems like a good time to read number three on my list of Will's Most Important Works. This play takes up many of the issues we looked at in The Merchant of Venice--outsider vs. insider, race/ethnicity, gender and power.
Yeah, okay--that could be a lot of plays. But I'm talking about Othello. It seems timely, when so many fantasies about race and leadership are playing out in our own political culture. And it's in many ways the most "modern" of all Will's plays--the issues, anxieties, and pathologies it dramatizes are still with us, virtually unchanged in essence.
So let's get started. It's going to be a long one, but I hope it will be fun, too.