Tuesday, December 27, 2011

True Confessions, pt 3

Me at Shakespeare's Birthplace

After the geek-out confession posted, I received a tweet from someone wanting to know why Shakespeare didn't make the list. Well... Shakespeare is his own post. That's fitting for the man who is the only author to have his very own classification number in the Dewey Decimal System. Shakespeare, and Shakespeare alone, is 822.33.

Here's a secret for my Austen friends: I started reading Shakespeare before I read Austen.

And a secret for my Shakespeare friends? I still haven't read nearly as much of his works as I feel I should have.

That's why I devised a plan shortly after my return from England last spring. I will read all of his plays in reverse alphabetical order. The one exception is that I'm planning to read all the histories in one go, chronologically. (I am willing to be talked out of that madness, if anyone would care to knock some sense into my head.)

More than any other author, Shakespeare formed the English language. I used to own a little book called Coined by Shakespeare, which detailed all the words and expressions he invented. Granted, he had the good fortune to live in a period when the language was still fairly elastic, but I think there's something to be said for that level of creativity and imagination, no matter what era he lived in. If the word he needed didn't exist, he simply created it.

I may not be able to invent words, but I hope I can be even half as imaginative as he was.