It's been about seven months since my last post. I'm in the home stretch of my endeavor to read the canon, with a handful of plays left. You'd think I'd be keen to just power on through. It's already taken literally years longer than I initially planned. So what on earth happened? Last season, on "Dread Pirate Mama Reads the Canon"...Read More
I started this website July of 2015, with the goal of reading all of Shakespeare's plays in a year and writing about them. The project was initially conceived as a bit of intellectual headspace for a newly unemployed stay at home parent. It slowly morphed from low-key pretense at academia to a place where I told stories about what was happening in my life/head, all spurned on by reading plays by a man who's been dead for 400 years. Many of these self-reflections helped me to figure out what was going on in my head, sort of a cheap form of therapy. I learned so much in that first year -- namely, how to find success in failure.
So here we are, another year later, and I'm still not finished. In fact, my output slowed a lot this second year on the project. There are all kinds of reasons for this, and I can easily point to my hectic life as the cause (HR contract projects, increased volunteer work, shuttling the kids around in their ever-busier schedules, my recent decision to pursue my masters). But it's slowly begun to dawn on me that I'm actually sort of stalling. I don't want to say goodbye to this project. I've been dragging my feet because I don't know what I'll write about when it's over. Because, until recently, I didn't really know what I wanted to do next in terms of career or pursuit outside of my family. I've made good friends and life decisions as a result of working on this project, which never really had an intended audience. But for those of you who have checked it out (even just to peek in and run away when you see how long each post is), please know how much that support means to me.Read More
I initially planned on doing all plays and poems in just one year. I'm a little amused at my naïveté [I could definitely read that much in a year, but I should have known I would write each post both slowly and in great length.] I have not gotten through the canon in a year because...you know, LIFE (kids, occasional contract projects for my former employer, reading other books, creative writing attempts, etc). But I'm ok with that. And I'm not deterred from completing my goal, albeit on a different timeline. If I can complete the rest of the works within another year, I'll feel a massive sense of accomplishment. So what have I actually done on the project this year? Let's take a look on what I've done after 366 (leap year!) days in the name of the canonRead More
Late last year, I read in the news that to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death (which was kind of a big deal back in April, in case you were off visiting another planet), the Folger Shakespeare Library would release 18 of their First Folios to tour the United States. Each state would be able to display one in a single location for several weeks. California's stop would be the San Diego Central Library during June/early July. By January, I was all over my husband to agree to a family vacation in San Diego as soon as our daughter's school year ended. Luckily, San Diego is one of the most beautiful cities in America and a great place to hang out with little kids. He wasn't hard to convince.Read More
It occurs to me that I (belatedly) need to list out my previous exposure to Shakespeare's works, prior to starting this project. This way, I'll have a better comparison by the end to see exactly what kind of progress I've made in terms of...I dunno. Learning? Bragging rights? Something in between.
Note, there's some overlap in these lists.
Studied in School:
- As You Like It
- Merchant of Venice
- Twelfth Night
- Richard II
- Antony and Cleopatra
- King Lear
- The Winter's Tale
- Romeo and Juliet
- A Midsummer Night's Dream
- **It strikes me as supremely odd that only one history play is listed here. I swear I studied another one in college, but can't for the life of me think of which. If anything seems familiar later on while I'm reading, maybe my memory will be jogged...**