30 January 2009

4| shakespeare, william. {or, what causes me to read}

i feel like by the fourth blog, one can start talking about their username. mine happens to come from a quotation in shakespeare's antony + cleopatra. funny enough, i didn't really know that this was the case until recently. i am one of those folks who likes to take pretty words out of context. last summer, i attended shakespeare's universe {her infinite variety}, a play at the stratford festival {stratford is about an hour and a half drive from toronto, and the festival is a tribute to the bard}.
now antony
must leave her utterly.

never, he will not:
age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
her infinite variety. other women cloy
the appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
where most she satisfies. . . .

in context, enobarus is saying that there's no way antony could ever leave cleopatra, because her charm never fades. variety is a species of excitement, to hold on to.

the play was a marvelous homage and discussion of the role of women in shakespeare's plays, as both actors and as characters.

i love shakespeare simply because he is so playful with words, and was in many was a feminist in his time. by no means am i a student of english literature, but i really enjoy reading him {for fun}.

as for what causes me to read. i have been using part of enobarus' words in my personal email signature. i sent an email to a professor regarding graduate studies, something that was not even closely related to shakespeare. in his reply, however, he mentioned how he had fallen in love with cleopatra when he first read the play. we spent a good portion of time in his office discussing the works of shakespeare, and then when we moved on to my thesis topic, another discussion on mordecai richler ensued, and i left with a list of three or four books to have a look through.

i love reading because it gives me something to talk about. i remember, when i lived in germany coming down to breakfast and my host brother talking about genetically modified sheep whose wool would be as strong as steel because they had spider genes in them. i had read about this two nights before in margaret atwood's oryx and crake.

the problem with this wonderful reading business is that i have very little patience for long forms of entertainment. books and movies will be the death of me, unless i have knitting with me. and knitting with a book in hand is not easy--i've tried. this means that i have to be hassled to read books, and to actually get into them. i can start a book five times before i actually get into them. it took me three years and five tries to get through the poisonwood bible, but i did it, and it's one of my favourite books!

so, in the name of the new year, which is now a month old, here is a short list of books that i have started, and would like to finish this year, no promises:
  • the yiddish policeman's union by michael chabon
  • antony + cleopatra by shakespeare
  • in praise of slow by carl honore
  • everything is illuminated by johnathan safran foer
  • the shock doctrine by naomi klein
  • the end of poverty by jeffer sachs
  • performing glam rock: gender and theatricality in popular music by phillip auslander
  • history of sexuality volume two by michel foucalt.

credit simple to enchant

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