As I’m working my way through Catcher In The Rye (and not enjoying it) I was struck with a good question for the weekend:
You’re a Shakespeare fan, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. What other authors, modern or classic, do you or have you read that you feel … how can we say this… give Shakespeare a run for his money?
What do I mean by that? I’m trying to decide. As I read Salinger I’m trying to find parallels with Shakespeare, in character or theme or plot or something. Not finding much. So I’m wondering if there’s some author out there that I might read where you could clearly say “Ok, see, this guy is roughly following the tragic hero model, here’s where his flaw becomes his downfall…” That sort of thing. Am I making sense? Some other author that crafts characters or stories that you’d feel comfortable drawing a comparison to Shakespeare.
I used to work with a guy who was Hemingway Geek to my Shakespeare Geek. His job was much harder because Hemingway’s work is not in the public domain, so there’s no way that he could just search across the Complete Works like we do. But we had many conversations about similarities between the two. Personally I don’t see it, Shakespeare as a playwright was driven by plot and dialogue and Papa Hemingway could write 50 pages about a guy standing in a river by himself catching a fish.