Shakespeare has an overwhelming affect on some of us. I remember my youthful frustration that one could no longer write Shakespearean blank verse and be taken seriously. (A fact I discovered in the trial, by the way.) But some of us can’t give up that easily.
Archive for the ‘Jack’ Category
“Only connect,” writes James Dickey in a poem about a powerline worker. I make a few small connections from time to time, and they always give me pleasure. Not much to do with them otherwise but report them, so here goes.
Here’s one: We have all frequently heard the phrase “common sense,” usually together with the popular remark, on the verge of cliche itself, that it isn’t really common at all. I suspect there is a confusion here between two senses of the word “common.” In the modern sense, we mean “to be found anywhere.” I suspect the phrase originally meant “common” in quite another way. The older meaning is “basic, fundamental.” In other words, if you had even the elements of the most basic rules of making sense, you had common sense. The implication is that it does not require a genius of logic or philosophy to tell what is what, but that even “common” or basic sense will suffice.
Okay, blame Professor Fury. He said I could do this. I aint taking the heat. This is a story, yes, an entire short story. Long for a post, but then, in hyperspace there’s infinite room, aint there?
Jack Butler: Not only do I plan to return to Mississippi in my fiction, but I am returning to it now, in a novel in progress, The Illumination of Elijah Lee Roswell. About a Mississippi sharecropper’s son turned bank robber in the fifties. He happens to share my home town, Alligator. Gets taken up in a flying saucer, sort of, and finds god, sort of. Not your usual Southern fiction?
This guy I know, Joseph (Joe) Graves, is an actor, a scriptwriter, a poet, and a movie-maker. For several years now he has been teaching in China. Teaching Shakespeare in China. Joe is from Arkansas. The Salic passage (I had to look it up) is the prolonged debate which opens the play about the law that prohibited French women from owning property. For me one of the deeply moving things in the poem is that for all the narrator’s protesting, it is obvious that the searchers have come to the right person. How many people would have even known what they mean? (more…)