Michiko, Blogging the Renaissance Will Not Take This Sitting Down.
|Ron Rosenbaum's new book, The Shakespeare Wars, has been getting a lot of play recently, both in the New York Times and in its rival for ad dollars and readership, Blogging the Renaissance (see Simplicius' recent post). Of course, the writers over at the Times seem at least to have read the book, something which, I confess, I have no intention of doing. I cannot forgive its author for having passed me over as a potential source for evidence of in-fighting over the precise date at which Shakespeare invented the human (early June, 1597, by the way, during the plague closures), or for my opinions about whether or not we should be teaching the differently abled first Quarto of The Merry Wives of Windsor (we are crippling an entire generation of students by not). Hopefully he'll remember me next time around for his book on The Shakespeare Blog Wars, which have not yet erupted, but are sure to momentarily, especially since Michiko Kakutani ended her review of Rosenbaum's book thusly:|
Throughout this volume, Mr. Rosenbaum seems intent on proving that he has scholarly chops, that he can dish Shakespearean arcana with the best of the academics. The reader who manages to finish this very long book has no doubt that Mr. Rosenbaum knows a lot about Shakespeare — and clearly loves the playwright’s work — but his disorganized, free-associative efforts to show off his expertise belong on a Shakespeare blog, not between the covers of a book.
I cannot help but take this a wee bit personally. Disorganized? Free-associative? Michiko, how could you? Everything that appears here is part of an elaborate mosaic of insight and analysis, a cathedral of commentary that, when it is complete, will suddenly be revealed as the elaborately symmetrical and formally austere sestina that it has always been. (Only mixed metaphors can explain such an organized, non-free-associative project.) So, Mr. Rosenbaum, you can rest assured that when Michiko suggests your work belongs on a Shakespeare blog, she is paying you the deepest of compliments. You should consider yourself welcome to add to the project in our "The Very Comment" section, which is becoming quite popular with powerful media types. Embrace the show-offy chaos, and in it find your ordered home.