sábado, outubro 08, 2016

Baixo Contínuo Music: "A Brief Guide to William Shakespeare Without the Boring Bits" by Peter Ackroyd



People live their lives at such a faster pace these days, and all multi-threading, that it takes a real effort to consciously slow down and listen and watch to something. It's part of the joy, I suppose, at least for me. I think this problem of attention (or lack thereof) has as much to do with cultural expectations regarding how Shakespeare should be read, watched, you name it. I can listen to some “Baixo Contínuo” from the baroque period lasting for a couple of hours, but some people come and go, fall asleep, eat dinner, etc. At theatres and opera houses, boring opera or play can be wonderful to watch the world go by with. At least that’s what I hear. I quite understand that attention is context-dependent - maybe 'Baixo Contínuo music' was intended to be not listened to. Bach pieces composed for flute and harpsichord are a good example. Finding crappy books like this one is a bit like turning off love. Sometimes for the sake of the whole, one is prepared to cherish even the ragged fingernails and that odd snorting sound when she laughs, but we see the relationship is doomed from the start. A great deal of the Shakespeare books that aspire to greatness — and indeed achieve it — demand patience in our tackling of them. Is that too much to ask? In literature, I'm thinking of Rilke, Celan, Mann, and of course, Shakespeare. Onstage drama: “Measure for Measure” has hardly any plot but is full of beautiful poetry, which requires very good understanding of what’s going on — something singularly lacking in this book. When it comes to great works of fiction, does anyone really claims to have read only their lookalikes? All of Rilke, Celan, Hölderlin, the Titus Groan trilogy, several Dickens works et al, can we really read them by skipping the longer chunks and “gibberish” parts?
If you don’t like the way they talk and all the fancy words in Shakespeare, this book is for you.


NB: I bought it in a book fair, almost for nothing.

2 comentários:

Book Stooge disse...

Phhhh, Dickens without the Details just isn't Dickens. So I can only imagine Shakespeare without the "boring bits". What is this world coming to?

Glad you got this cheap but sorry you had to waste precious time on it.

Manuel Antão disse...

sometimes boks are like some reviews. they fall into the anodyne category, i hate that! As you say, without the "details", a book is just toilet paper (if it's paper thin...)