Thursday, December 18, 2008

Things were not as bleak as I thought Monday. A couple hours after my Angry Episode with the Toshiba, the Russian (my husband) got out of bed and put the cord back into the converter box whence it had become disconnected. Computer fixed. Then, when I asked him how he wanted to go about retrieving our only working vehicle from the distant parking lot under the current conditions (-15 degrees), the Russian said the car was in the garage, had been in the garage since yesterday evening, that he had not ridden home with another soccer player as he had led me to believe the night before. What a prankster.

Speaking of things that end well, the Shakespeare reading group in which I participate held its last monthly meeting of the semester last week. We meet for 3-4 hours to read a Shakespeare play aloud. I LOVE it. Our hostess is a Shakespeare scholar who brings key info and insights to the material but never seems to be "teaching." I go for the language, the sensuous pleasure of speaking Shakespeare's lines--feeling them on the tongue and hearing them spoken. I like, I guess, the kinesthetics of the tongue, the way saying links to understanding--the song and the sense. I read aloud to myself sometimes; I particularly like to read Hopkins, Yeats, cummings, and Melville--and perhaps oddly, Edward Taylor. Disparate, but they share a lot (besides being all Anglo guys!)--the first and the last, along with Shakespeare, for example, have a great deal of sound play, and all seem to me exemplary of a rich suggestiveness of language, signification that glances off big meanings. I like poems with enough mystery to hold me up--negative capability I think Keats called it. I like to feel on the threshold of an idea. The sound of the line is integral to that enjoyment for me. And plus Shakespeare's words are lovely in the mouth. So, we've been reading the comedies, which are my least favorite Shakespeare works, but I'm not complaining--they're still splendid. I prefer the tragedies. Lear. And I like to teach the sonnets.

One of my students put a book, a gift, in my mailbox yesterday. It's a 1908 copy of Shakespeare's stories--not plays--but stories distilled from the plays and rendered in prose for children. They're wonderfully illustrated, too, with pen drawings of little Kewpie-(Cupie-?) looking children dressed for different scenes of the plays, mainly the comedies and romances. I haven't had a chance to do more than poke around in the book, but it's a quirky, cool gift.

I am feeling disappointed by the blogging experience. I find that much of what I really want to blog about I don't have the guts to write online. A reasonable reservedness or out-of-date fear of transparency? I'm thinking of getting a new, more anonymous blog.

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