Monday, November 21, 2005

Bill Bryson doing Shakespeare?

For those who do not recognize the name, Bill Bryson is perhaps best known for "A Walk in the Woods" (in which he walks the Applachian Trail) and "A Short History of Nearly Everything" which is pretty self-explanatory. I have not read either, personally, though both have been recommended.

So it was with great interest that I caught the tail end of this interview with the man:

What are you working on next?

I'm doing two biographies - one on me, one on William Shakespeare.

Actually, it makes for an interesting question -- is there really all that much new under the sun in the Shakespeare biography world that yet another one is needed? Over the last few years alone we've seen quite a few. I wonder if Bryson is going to bring any new insight to the Bard's life? Maybe reveal that the plays were actually written by Bottom or something? :)


Preya said...

I'm reading Will in the World at the moment (Greenblatt) and enjoying it...:)

Duane said...

Will in the World was all over the place for me. There were passages I really appreciated (I recall his coverage of Hamlet and Merchant of Venice being particularly nice tribute), but the book itself seems way too concerned with the politics of the era for my taste. You never know what each chapter is going to end up with. For instance the chapter supposedly on Merchant of Venice, called "Laughing at the Gallows", actually ends up being about some religious zealot who was laughed at for making a statement about his belief in Jesus before he died.

Preya said...

Yes, it's kind of scattered, but I'm enjoying the historical context (religious, political, etc) interesting and important to understanding Shakespeare.