A Confession and an Apology

First, the apology.

I’m sorry for any grammatical mistakes. Normally, I tend to be a grammar Nazi and hold back my writing until it looks presentable in public or can at least bear my own scrutiny. But if I did that here, my posts would take weeks and defeat the nature of a continuous blog that is intended as a reading companion.

While I’m not going to ignore proper form and good graces, you can tell already that I’m a highly excitable guy, especially when it comes to wordplay. With Shakespeare, all the worst tendencies in my manic nature come out. I’m probably going to drive you crazy with my enthusiasm, but that’s why my login is U2TIGGER. I bounce.

I’m not much fun when I’m not bouncing, but it makes rabbits and eyeores mad from time to time. I certainly don’t count for much in the land of owls.

And herein, the confession:

I’m a lousy scholar. But you could tell that already, I’m sure. I’m curious. And eager. And passionate. But then so is Ramona the Pest…

So if you wanna bail on this crazy year of Shakespeare together, I don’t blame you a bit. But for what it’s worth, I’m going to continue to be who I am — though I do plan on cleaning myself up a bit from time to time.

I’m only now grappling with how to present the books and my reactions to them. If this were a classroom, this approach would make a lot more sense. We’d arrange the chairs in a circle and I’d toss out a provocative question and we’d go round and round trying to make sense of it together.

I’m not the teacher here. Shakespeare is. I have absolutely no doubt that you have a LOT more to bring to the table than I do. In fact, I have no right to be standing up here in front of the class. The structure is all wrong. I defer to the venerable Harold Bloom and the shelves of Shakespeare scholars when it comes to serious matters. Good God, I am a trifling amateur here — just an avid reader.

I say that now because much of what I say and do will seem simple and wrongheaded to experts and professionals, especially those who specialize in English or Shakespeare or higher learning — you name it. To borrow from the Tao of Pooh, I am a bear of little brain.

But there you are. I am going to keep reading and posting and revising and hopefully improving. It’s just, well… I tend to get a bit worked up about the things I love. And Hamlet is definitely one of those…

Thanks for your patience and understanding as this blog evolves matures.

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2 Responses to “A Confession and an Apology”

  1. Linda OReilly Says:

    Tigger dear, this is your show.
    Shakespeare left us many individuals and many thoughts. We require many teachers.
    If your method is not to someone’s taste hopefully they will reply with reasoned argument.
    To thine own self be true, Tig.
    This year I’ll look at Shakespeare with you.

    Observation: Isn’t it wonderful that the Bard left us so much to ponder on while leaving not so much about himself? Or maybe all the characters and words and thoughts and wonderings large or small ARE Shakespeare–they all lived in him, certainly.

    What a piece of work is a man.

    L

    • What a wonderfully sweet comment. Thanks for those words of encouragement!

      Regarding Shakespeare’s biography — or lack thereof — I find it refreshing… and exasperating. If the man were well known and the works were lost — *that* would be a tragedy.

      On the other hand, whenever I’m confronted by individual greatness, I want to know more about that person.

      Another confession: I consider myself “old school” in my admiration for great men/women and their achievements. I do not accept that the post-modern notion that the text suffices and that the artist who created them does not matter.

      It’s a fine line, a delicate balance. In the end, all art must suffice independent of culture or context if it is to enter the canon and be remembered for all eternity. But knowledge of time and circumstances in which that work was created may indeed enhance our perception and appreciation of it.

      The pyramids, for example, are wondrous to behold no matter who built them or how. And yet, just knowing that they were conceived and erected by an ancient civilization which lacked the tools and architectural history that we take for granted… it can’t help but add another level of curiosity and wonder.

      Thus, I’m approaching Shakespeare with both these tacts in mind. On the one hand, I’m a complete nube reading as if (as Madonna would put it) touched for the very first time. On the other, I will not hesitate to deepen my knowledge and understanding wherever possible, to stand on the shoulders of the giants who have so boldly gone before.

      Yin/yang, a balance I hope to get right. Beginner’s mind, a Taoist might say. And one, hopefully, always ready to learn.

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