The summer lull begins.
I find myself wasting a remarkable amount of time in the hopes that I will feel relaxed once my summer obligations come to bear. In a little over a week I’ll be back on campus, working on a small research project about Measure for Measure. It’s common knowledge (more or less) that Shakes lifted the plot from Machiavelli, but I think it’s worth investigating exactly how he’s dealing with Machiavellian politics in the play. (If I manage to get something useful out of this, I also suspect there are variations on this theme in Coriolanus and The Tempest, and maybe that will also be a profitable area for further research.) Anyway, that’s boring.
After I finish that up I’ll be a teaching assistant for a two-week course for high school students, during which they’ll hopefully read Hamlet and come to like it. I’ve taught high school kids before, but that was Anglo-Saxon lit, so they were understandably not very receptive. Hamlet, at least, can be related to by most teens in ways of differing profundity; the riddles from the Book of Exeter, not so much.
There are a few other things I could talk about here. For instance, how less than a week after I leave London the country is so lost without me that they just cocked things up royally. But again, that’s boring.
Instead I’ll leave off with a delightful glimpse into the past, when a little girl named Mary O’Connor taught a chicken to walk backwards. She also became one of the greatest American writers of the past century and probably my single favorite writer of all time (which is obviously saying something), but that all happened much later.