Shakespeare

Book Hunters in Brief #105: Shakespearean Spin-Offs

If nothing else, you have to admire the courage of a writer who can look at one of the acknowledged masterworks of perhaps the greatest single body of work in the western canon--Hamlet, The Winter's Tale, King Lear--and ask herself, "What if I...?" If that same writer takes it a step farther and answers the question for herself on paper for all the world to see, well, you just have tip your hat, hoist your glass, give a few hearty "huzzahs" and keep your fingers crossed that she isn't hoisted with her own petard (to borrow a phrase from Big Bill).

That's what Book Hunters in Brief is doing this week: saluting some serious literary chutzpah with these Shakespearean spin-offs.

Star Wars by way of Shakespeare

William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher combines the classic style of Shakespeare with George Lucas's  Star Wars episode IV: A New Hope. Wait! Don't write it off too quickly. As quirky as it sounds, the iambic pentameter and old English is rather charming in the Star Wars setting.

TROOPER 4: Pray, show me now thy papers.

OBI-WAN: Nay, thou dost not need to see his papers.            

WORKING FOR WILL

What would it be like?

Happy Birthday Will

We know a lot about William Shakespeare. We have the text of most all of his plays, we have baptismal records, a will, and other legal documents, and we also have attacks, criticism and praise of his works by his contemporary playwrights. We can infer from these much of what he thought about the world. But because what he wrote is spoken by characters in his plays and poems, we have very scant evidence about his own personality. Much scholarly ink is used to interpret his works, especially his sonnets, to find out what sort of person he really was. In addition to the scholarship applied to this task there is also the imaginative works of other authors, who have used him as a character in their own books.

SHAKESPEARE ON SCREEN

Or, Much to Do While You Wait Upon a Live Performance

Happy Birthday Will

INSULTING SHAKESPEARE

or, Toads, Beetles, Bats, Light on You! 

STARTING SHAKESPEARE

(FREE BEAR INCLUDED IN EACH BOOK)

Happy Birthday Will

 

Love Poems for Valentine's Day: Guaranteed To Throw Sparks Or Your Money Back.

Photo Credit: aliança by Rodrigo GianesiFor some people Valentine's Day is easy. They sow Necco Sweethearts like grass seed, believing each little saying imprinted on each little pastel-tinted heart to be meaningful if not oracular. Then there are the conspiracy theorists who claim to have documented proof that the Truffle Makers' Guild and the equally nefarious Greeting Card Poets' Bund are behind the whole charade.

And then there are the rest of us, swinging between hope and despair.

On Influence, Influenza and Outright Thievery

Photo Credit: Glad Day for Surfin,' after William "Hodad" Blake by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com Lately, I have been thinking a lot about this aphorism. It seems to have as many originators as it does permutations. The gist of it is, “good writers borrow; great writers steal.”

Hamlet in America

My neighborhood book club just read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski. It's a retelling of Hamlet, set in America, and the hero, Edgar, is a mute teenager, whose family raises and trains a unique breed of dog. Edgar's father dies, and then Edgar is visited by his ghost who reveals that Edgar's uncle murdered him.

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