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Thread: Writers/books you grew into/out of

  1. #21
    CCL
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    Climbing Solsbury Hill CCL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nausicaa
    Well, I don't want to debate the age issue with you, since I don't have the textual reference to back it up and also since it has been beaten to death by Shakespeare specialists (Answer is still inconclusive, btw.)

    ETA: Out of curiousity, though, do you really believe that the play, considering its reputation as the Greatest. Shakespearean. Play. Ever. [/comic book man], would have as its titular character a Hotspur with slightly-higher brain cell count...as you've so far implied of Hamlet? How 'bout some RESPEITO for the granddaddy of our modern-day "underground heroes", huh?
    I never implied that Hamlet had a low brain cell count. And I don't feel the need to show "respect" for an inanimate character and/or a play.
    Last edited by CCL; 01-13-2005 at 04:25 AM.

  2. #22
    FORT Fogey nausicaa's Avatar
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    Okay, I'm going to drop this now. It's obvious I'm not going to make myself clear without risking being rude or pedantic, and after all you're fully welcome to your interpretation. 'Sides, I don't want to let this thread devolve into another case study of nausicaa's anal-retentiveness in all matters relating to anything she has the slightest (imagined) inkling about.

    Back to the original subject: I also used to have the hugest crush on Kathleen Woodiwiss's bosom-rippers (i.e. Flame and the Flower)...back when I though so-purple-it's-gonna-turn-black prose was at the height of literary fiction. I still have some of her stuff down in the basement, and I drag it up whenever I need a good laff:

    Brandon (male protagonist, pondering the love of his life):
    "I've known wenches here and abroad. Why does this simple one strike wisdom from my skull and make of me a bumbling fool? I've bade the most haughty spread their thighs and gladly they complied as if the greatest favor in the world I did them... This Heather, this tiny purple flower from the moors, has dined upon my heart and now it grows within her..."


    Doesn't it just rival the greatest Shakespearean blank verse?

  3. #23
    a star is born Katelyn&Carmen's Avatar
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    Hamlet was 28 years old.
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  4. #24
    FORT Fogey Salome's Avatar
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    I did some reading up on the issue last year, and the question of Halmet's age is complicated by the differing quartos/folios (for example, the earliest "actor's" verison does not include the gravedigger's references to Halmet's age, while the later version penned by Shakespeare does). I doubt there will ever be a right answer, but my intuition tells me that Hamlet was originally conceived as a young man. His conflicts reek of teen angst to me, not midlife crisis. His anger, disillusionment, etc. all seem very fresh, and I like to imagine him young.

  5. #25
    FORT Fogey nausicaa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salome
    I did some reading up on the issue last year, and the question of Halmet's age is complicated by the differing quartos/folios (for example, the earliest "actor's" verison does not include the gravedigger's references to Halmet's age, while the later version penned by Shakespeare does).
    Yes, thanks for that, Salome. And since playwrights are notorious about editing and revising their plays 'til they reach perfection, I do trust the later version in which the gravedigger does imply that Hamlet is 30 or so. (As for CCL’s thing about Hamlet being in uni…I just like to imagine him as a doctoral candidate. What other breed of man would be able to so over-intellectualize revenge? )

    However, people do like to imagine him young, and I respect that. I don't agree with it, for many reasons, including what occurs at the crux of the play – Hamlet’s decision to duel Laertes in Act II, Scene 5 signals, imo, both a resignation to and affirmation of the inevitability of his fate (see “readiness is all” speech) in a society where the archaic code of honor is decanted into virtue. That’s not something a teenager would have the capacity or maturity to handle, imo. Also, Hamlet’s play-within-a-play and the way its construction disturbingly mirrors his dual madness echoes, I think, of the schizophrenia and inner vision of many brilliant men who are slowly corrupted by their own nature and circumstances in their later years. Here is a mind deeply alienated by the mores of the world, torn between the polar burdens of filial and moral responsibility, and preoccupied as much with the malaises of the body (as many of his soliloquies indicate…a preoccupation with mortality being a strong sign of middle age) as with the malaises corrupting his mind. Again, my intuition tells me that the way Hamlet thinks through these issues and projects his feelings is much deeper than how a teenager would. And let's see... Hamlet is caught between the Present and the Past (as recalled through the Ghost), isn’t he? And isn't that the perfect metaphor for middle age?

    But, there are also a great, great number of reasons to support Hamlet’s being young and I would be foolish to discount them. The bottom line however, is that by picturing Hamlet to be really young, people tend to fall into (what I see as) the trap of pidgeonholing his suffering as “teen angst” or something equally awkward and inchoate, and since I refuse to see Hamlet’s anything as teen angst, I refuse to acknowledge him as an adolescent (or even an early twentysomething.) And judging by how profoundly Hamlet has prefigured our modern protagonists, from Raskolnikov to the absurdist heroes, I would say he’s Shakespeare’s best and most resonant protagonist. (No offense to Lear, who also rocks my world. )

    I’m out. I would prefer not to argue this anymore. Still, if anyone wants to offer a rebuttal, please pm me, ‘mkay?
    Last edited by nausicaa; 01-17-2005 at 09:52 PM.

  6. #26
    Retired! hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nausicaa
    ETA: And is VC Andrews whack or what? I used to just love her. It's like her books all deal with incestuous or near-incestuous relationships, and the recycled plotlines commit one big incestuous orgy with one other.
    VC Andrews is a complete nutter.

    Incest aside, could you really get four children to agree to living quietly in an attic? Those kids had no gumption.
    You've gotta hustle if you want to earn a dollar. - Boston Rob

  7. #27
    FORT Fogey nausicaa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hepcat
    VC Andrews is a complete nutter.

    Incest aside, could you really get four children to agree to living quietly in an attic? Those kids had no gumption.
    Well, they were extremely malnourished, so there's that.

    (I still think the attic was just a humongous prop to get to the 'get yer freak on!' sibling sex, though. )

  8. #28
    Laughing like a fool UHID's Avatar
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    I started reading Alias Grace a couple of years ago, but I found it boring, so I put it aside. A picked it up again about a year later, and really liked it. I don't really know why that is. I was probably just paying more attention the second time.

    On another note, nausicaa, I was wondering if you are an Infinite Jest fan? I just noticed that you used the term 'whingeing' and was curious. If not, are you from Quebec?.....if so, I didn't realize that it was an actual term.

    ......yeah.....I'm kind of a dork. Can you tell??
    -Other People can often see things about you that you yourself cannot see, even if those people are stupid.- Infinite Jest

  9. #29
    FORT Fogey nausicaa's Avatar
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    I think whingeing (or whinging, I guess...I'm bad with spelling) is a Britishism, UHID. It just means whining.

    I've never read Infinite Jest. Not David Foster Wallace, not Dave Eggers, not Carl Hiaasen. Usually that announcement is met by gasps of horror, and then they tell me I've been a bad, bad reader.

  10. #30
    Things Happen............ J1NVUPatricia's Avatar
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    believe it or not i have grown out of James Patterson books. i dont find them interesting anymore.
    Love is very complicated and complex thing that can be expressed in many different ways. No one really knows the true meaning of love.
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