Continuing our discussion on the nature of quality, what do you think about the idea of quality over time?
Specifically is Shakespeare “better” now, 400 years after the fact, than when he first wrote it? We know what would happen if a person from today jumped into a time machine and went back to watch an original. He’d come into it with all sorts of preconceptions about the inherent genius of the work. But what about the other way? What if someone only familiar with Shakespeare’s original jumped in a time machine, and basically skipped those centuries we’ve had to build him up in our minds? Then what?
How much of the quality lies in the source material itself, and how much do we bring to it? Is it at all possible to guess at a ratio? Which direction does it swing?