Thursday, February 4, 2010
“I admire him (Jonson), but I love Shakespeare.”
That is how Mr. Dryden ends this excerpt from his “Essay on Dramatic Poesy.” I, of course, am ecstatic that he gives Shakespeare his props. Ben Jonson is indeed one of the giants in English literature, but Shakespeare was the writer I read that convinced me that we are all connected, that a man writing 400 years ago could still understand exactly what a 15-year-old girl was feeling and explain it so that the words jumped off the page and into my heart. I have a feeling that some of you may not feel the same rapture when you read "Sonnet 18" that I did, though, so I would like you to think for a moment of a writer you do appreciate. Why do you love him/her? What criteria would you use to judge your favorite writer against Shakespeare—and have your choice win? Tell us all who would fill in this blank: I admire Shakespeare, but I love ____________________.” Then explain why. Post your masterpiece by 9 February 2010 here.