Some theatre each day keeps the doctor away…

Bloom on Shakespeare

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From Harold Bloom’s The Anatomy of Influence (through a Google Books preview of it):

Consciousness is the materia poetica that Shakespeare sculpts as Michelangelo sculpts marble.  We feel the consciousness of Hamlet or Iago, and our own consciousness strangely expands.  The experience of reading Shakespeare is one of a greater widening of our consciousness into what initially must seem a strangeness of woe or wonder.  As we go out to meet a larger consciousness, we metamorphose into a provisional acceptance that sets aside moral judgment, while wonder transmutes into a more imaginative understanding.”

My current theory on a writer creating characters being, basically, the turning on and off of various parts of the writer’s personality, or the exaggeration or dampening of such parts, this above quote makes me rather interested in just what Shakespeare’s consciousness was, to contain all of those characters inside him.

But then one thinks of, say, Dickens, with his quirky characters – usually the less significant ones – and one imagines that there was very little of the turning-on-and-off-parts-of-your-personality in the creation of those characters.  I have more trouble believing that Dickens contained all of his characters inside him, whereas I feel that Shakespeare could do it easily.  Dickens’ quirky characters seem more to come from observation, or the exaggeration of observation, than from the interior of his mind.  Shakespeare’s characters seem to come from inside him, with a benevolent understanding of the entire psychology of humanity.  (Well, not the entire psychology, but more than anyone else has written about.)

I really need to read some more Dickens, though, because I’ve only read The Pickwick Papers and Great Expectations, I think.

Also from it: “Nietzsche emphasizes that anything we can express is already dead in our hearts.”  I haven’t read any Nietzche, yet I’m fairly certain I’ve seen this quote a few times, and I think it might have sunk in, while reading it tonight.  Though I don’t think it’s as much of a cause for despair as I’m guessing Nietzsche thought it was (if the stereotype that I have of him in my mind is correct).  I think that expressing something between the lines, as it were, is a way around it, quite possibly.  Allusion.  Subtext.  Maybe I’m misunderstanding the quote.  Does it, for instance, apply to music?

Anyway, thoughts, thoughts, and more thoughts.

9 lines on ze play today.  But that includes a brawl, so, you know, it’s more than it seems.


Written by epistemysics

October 27, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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