In Which I Surprise You All By Talking About Shakespeare. Sort Of.
How much do I want that shirt?! It's from my favorite online comic, Married to the Sea. You can see the full Shakespeare comic here, which is even more awesome (but naughty and therefore unpostable).
So. Yes. Shakespeare.
I'm surprising myself too. Truthfully, he's the kind of writer that makes me squirmy inside. Because he is SMART. Which makes me feel dumb. So in a generalized kind of way, I avoid him.
(I like Shakespeare. I respect Shakespeare. I just rarely read Shakespeare.)
Because the other thing about him? Depressing. I'm sorry, but no one will ever convince me that a thirteen-year-old girl in a suicide pact is a love story. Interesting, yes. Romantic? NO!
[SIDE NOTE: Did you know Romeo and Juliet was a preexisting story? Matteo Bandello (c. 1480 – 1562) was probably the original author, and then it was translated from Italian into a narrative poem called "The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet" in 1562 by Arthur Brooke. Shakespeare most likely wrote his version between 1591-1595.]
Anyway. I much prefer his comedies -- The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, and, my favorite, A Midsummer Night's Dream. And I've begun to appreciate his sonnets with age. And after seeing today's post at Jane Austen Today, I have an EVEN BETTER appreciation.
Because check it out, you guys.
Mr. Darcy reading Sonnet 29!
My favorite voice ever, Rufus Wainwright, singing it.
(The video happens to be set to Pride and Prejudice footage, which is a lovely bonus. Though I know you won't believe me when I say this, but I'd actually prefer just listening to Rufus, whom I passionately worship and adore. Still. If I have to look at SOMETHING...)
His voice is so beautiful! I had the honor of seeing Rufus two years ago, and it was one of the best shows I've ever attended. He's the only musician who has moved me to tears, during a gorgeous -- and microphone-less -- rendition of an Irish folk song called "Macushla" (translation = heartthrob).
Sadly, this is only part of the song, but you can get the idea:
Rufus's latest project is a French opera called Prima Donna, which will debut later this year. I'm so thrilled! I'm not an opera buff, but I'm interested by it. And I love this quote from him: "Opera seems to have been hijacked by intellectual elements. For a long time I wanted to make it a little less intellectual and have more emotional engagement. You have to remember it was a populous form, like the bandstand of its time."
Opera for the people! Cool!
But going back to Matthew MacFadyen for a minute -- because why not? -- he also recorded two additional poems for this DVD, including my very favorite poem (I seem to have many favorites in this post, but they're all true), "This Is Just To Say" by William Carlos Williams:
AND . . . Mr. Darcy will be in Little Dorrit on Masterpiece Classic starting this Sunday the 29th through April 26th. Yippee!
The costumes alone are enough to get me to watch.
Will you tune in?