Another Book for the Book List

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Listening to NPR this morning I have a new book for my book list. (If any generous donors in St. Blogs feel moved to get it for me, I won't object--(just joking--it's the ONLY thing on my Christmas list so far)).

Stephen Greenblatt was being interviewed. I don't know if he won or if he is a nominee for the National Book Award for Biography. The book: Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare. It is a biography of sorts, trying to peek behind the scenes of the works and ferret out little details of this most secretive man's life.

Greenblatt's ultimate conclusion is that Shakespeare was very good at hiding much of his personal life because he had much to hide. Greenblatt infers that Shakespeare was a crypto-Catholic. He says there are "hints" hidden in the works (I don't know how true this is likely to be, but it certainly is intriguing.) I haven't read the entire book, but in the interview he mentions one thing in particular. At the end of Midsummernight's Dream the Faery troup circles round and sprinkles the marriage bed with field dew Greenblatt likens this to a Catholic practice of sprinkling the marriage bed with holy water.

There are other intriguing aspects that arose in the course of the interview. This sounds like a winner. I'm looking forward to it.

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I heard the author on C-Span's Booknotes and I'm tempted likewise. I've read Mutschmann and Wintersdorf's Shakespeare and Catholicism and they make a pretty convincing similar case. At that time Catholicism was more friendly to theatre art in general than Protestantism, so it makes sense on that level alone. You are welcome to borrow Mutschmann & Wintersdorf's book if so inclined. (If'n you pay the shipping of course.)



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on November 17, 2004 7:39 AM.

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