Dramatis Personae

Many-Headed Multitude
[+/-] academic blogs
[+/-] other blogs we like

Our Ongoing Series

In Sad Conference
... live reports from the field
[+/-] RSA 2008
[+/-] SAA 2008
[+/-] MLA 2007
[+/-] SAA 2007
[+/-] RSA 2007
[+/-] MLA 2006
[+/-] SAA 2006
[+/-] RSA 2006

Read On This Book
... our occasional reading group
About the reading group
[+/-] Inkhorn reads the Anatomy [+/-] FS Boas, University Drama [+/-] D. Shuger, Political Theologies

The Motto Thus
... our silly woodcut caption contest
[+/-] Past Contests

More Foolery Yet
... which we write periodically
[+/-] Holzknecht Redivivus
[+/-] EEBOnics
[+/-] Notes and Queries

Saturday, October 21, 2006

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.

  • At 10/22/2006 11:36:00 AM, Blogger Hieronimo wrote…

    I think Milton best explained the principle behind the beautiful, organized, and orderly chaotic form of BtR:

    "Yet these are the men cried out against for schismatics and sectaries; as if, while the temple of the Lord was building, some cutting, some squaring the marble, others hewing the cedars, there should be a sort of irrational men who could not consider there must be many schisms and many dissections made in the quarry and in the timber, ere the house of God can be built. And when every stone is laid artfully together, it cannot be united into a continuity, it can but be contiguous in this world; neither can every piece of the building be of one form; nay rather the perfection consists in this, that, out of many moderate varieties and brotherly dissimilitudes that are not vastly disproportional, arises the goodly and the graceful symmetry that commends the whole pile and structure."



  • At 10/22/2006 08:14:00 PM, Blogger Inkhorn wrote…

    Oh, I bet Michiko was being hard on that book. It can't be as bad as all that.


 Scribble some marginalia

<< Main