Friday, February 02, 2007

Borrowed Books and a Labyrinth

Quote of the day: “Neither a borrower or a lender be…” LORD POLONIUS, Hamlet. Written by some guy… Billy Milkshake or something…

Song of the day: “Clocks” by Coldplay

State of mind: neutral

Date: winter. 2/2/07 Groundhog Day

A woman at work recently lent me a series of books that have been sitting on my side table for a few weeks now. I feel bad about that because I did want to read them, but haven’t had the time. Plus, I have a pile of books of my own that I wanted to get to first. Included in that pile is Ruled Britannia by Harry Turtledove. I have been on an alternate history kick lately and he was highly recommended. After looking on I realized that this book is a tiny tip of a very large iceberg. He’s written dozens of books! Woo hoo. A motherload. In this book, William Shakespeare is supposed to aid a revolution with a patriotic play. Reviews praise Turtledove’s deft use of actual Shakespearean dialogue throughout the story as well as dialogue he creates from whole cloth in the same style as Shakespeare. My only fear is that this book will be peppered with numerous asterisks the same as my copy of The Complete Pelican Shakespeare. The only reason the notations bother me is because no matter how hard I try I can’t not look down at the translation or comment the editors deemed worthy enough to put at the bottom of the page. Usually it’s just a translation and I get annoyed because I had already figured it out and looking down ruins the rhythm I had going while reading. Ah, the troubles a lack of willpower brings….
I was thinking of this over the past weekend when I had decided to go and see Pan’s Labyrinth. The movie is subtitled for those of us that despite many years of Spanish in High School can still only say, “no habla espanol” (Sad, but true.) Unlike Pelican’s Shakespeare, the subtitles do not get in the way at all. The movie is beautiful, sad, a little scary, at times brutal, and I loved it completely. I don’t want to say much about it though. This is a movie you should discover from beginning to end all by yourself. I will say though that my favorite line is this: “No. He will not even know your name.” Guess I’m kind of vindictive. But when you see the movie, you’ll agree.

Show quote of the day: “GULP”


fermicat said...

Let us know how you like the Turtledove books. He has been recommended to me before, but I've never gotten around to reading any of his stuff.

wa11z said...

Did you ever start that Tesla book?

mr. schprock said...

I am a minor Shakespeare buff, so that Turtledove book intrigues me. And I know exactly what you mean about the footnotes when reading Shakespeare's plays. In the end it's worth it, even though half the time they're telling you something you already know.

I have some 10 or 11 audio dramatizations of Shakespeare's plays. They are among my most prized possessions.

Beth said...

Shakespeare fan here. I'd also like to know what you think of the Turtledove books.

I like today's quote.