Saturday, July 30, 2011

12 Books in 12 Months: A Book from a Genre You Don't Normally Read

Book: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Author: William Shakespeare

Image via Simply Books

Alas, My Wife doth not swoon to my recitatals. Into the other room do they send her. Away, away, to read elsewhere she goes. Forsooth. Just because.

I haven't read a play since high school. In fact, I don't think I've ever read a play except for those that were assigned to me. I have no excuse. I like plays. I believe in plays. I love the Bard, in particular. I have seen more of his plays than I have read.

I have seen this particular comedy performed at DC's Arena Stage. I was probably in high school at the time. It was a somewhat modernized version. Demetrius and Lysander threatened one another with switchblades rather than swords. My strongest association with the play, though, is the film Dead Poets Society, one of my all-time favorites. That movie implies that the part of Puck is a more prominent role than it is, though, as My Wife points out, Shakespeare frequently wrote more interesting supporting parts than leads. Witness Mercutio vs. Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. I can understand the appeal of Puck to an actor but I think I'd prefer to play Bottom so I could wear the ass-head.

Shakespeare's awfully bawdy - double-entendres all over the place. I've got some good pick-up lines to try on My Wife sometime:

my heart unto yours is knit,
So that but one heart we can make of it (Act II, Scene ii, 47-8)

run through fire I will for thy sweet sake (Act II, Scene ii, 103)

Of course, Shakespeare's great for insults, too. I may use a few of them for fantasy football smack talk:

With the help of a surgeon he might yet
recover, and yet prove an ass. (Act V, Scene i, 303-4)


I hope that you, too, will join the 12 Books in 12 Months challenge. Details are here.

If you'd care to join the challenge, please let me know by commenting below or e-mailing me at Also, please tell me how and where I can follow your posts. Don't be shy about suggesting other categories, either. It is my intention to compile a new list of 12 once this one is completed. My only parameter is that no one should have to buy anything in order to complete the challenge - nothing beyond a library card required.

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