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Cold stuff

I received my free book yesterday. The agreement is that I post a blog review of it, so it's not quite free. It's the not terribly inspiring Winter's Tale. You know it's the one with the bear and the coast of Bohemia.

The book is about 300 pages, 180 of introduction and notes and 120 of play. I'm not terribly keen on reading a play, and the language in this makes my task all the more unsavoury. Much of it only makes sense if you read it aloud which draws funny looks on the train to work. Even then I really do need to refer to the notes on a regular basis to try to understand what the hell the Bard is on about. This, of course, really throws the metre out and reduces the poetic impact of the lines.

It doesn't help either than the notes are not always too sure about the meaning. It's good that they make me aware of the range of interpretation of a particular passage, but when they say "this is the hardest passage to understand in all of Shakespeare", I'm not filled with a sense of delight.

I think I've managed to read about 5 pages so far, in about 20 minutes. My normal rate would be 60 pages in the same time.

So far, the King of Bohemia is bidding farewell to his childhood chum the King of Sicily who he has been visiting. Sicily tries to persuade him to stay but no dice. So he turns to his pregnant wife and asks her to have a go. She has more luck, which dumbass Sicily interprets as "my wife has slept with my pal and my child is not my own". Talk about insecure. I'm hoping it will become more enjoyable than this but I don't think my luck will be in.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 13th, 2007 06:20 pm (UTC)
They asked me to review the book so I'm guessing I should do both. It's an initiative run by Penguin Books to get people to read the classics. I'll probably have a different point of view from previous, more serious, reviewers.
Sep. 13th, 2007 07:50 pm (UTC)
But you have to read it all the way through, don't you? Just in case it's based on the 1603 Folio, rather than the almost ubiquitous 1607 (revised in 1772 and redacted in 1834). You know, before they exprugated the goats ...
Sep. 13th, 2007 08:48 pm (UTC)
I'll be happy just to get to the end of it and get back to watching Heroes on my nifty tablet. O tempora, o mores.
Sep. 13th, 2007 09:10 pm (UTC)
I think that Winter's Tale premiered at Gray's Inn, so you can console yourself with the thought that the audience of drunk, food-flinging lawyers probably enjoyed the hilarious misunderstanding.
Sep. 14th, 2007 12:12 am (UTC)
Watch out for the mot unbelievable retcon ending EVER.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )