Saturday, November 27, 2010

Episode 796: I Wish I Were Jewish And Reading These Plays...

So I've just finished my review of Jonathan Raban's Driving Home: An American Scrapbook. Didn't manage to read the whole thing because I'd put off getting started for too long, but I did get through about 200 pages out of 500+, which was more than enough for me to highly recommend it. Curiously, I got a lot out of Raban's own introduction to the volume, in the sense that it was easy to read the subsequent pieces against Raban's expressed beliefs and influences and see how these were reflected in his writing, a point that I think I came close to belabouring in my review. We'll see if my editor has anything to say about that. Now reading The Jew Of Malta, although I'm not sure how hard I should try to finish it, since Tuesday's seminar really sounds like I could get away with just doing research on Google Scholar, and only then reading the relevant scenes. We'll see if I can finish it by tomorrow, since I've got to re-read The Merchant Of Venice, which has always been one of my favourite Shakespearean plays. At one point, I used to be able to recite both Portia's speech on mercy and Shylock's speech about being a Jew. It's mostly gone now, but it's nice to think that there was a time in my life when I cared enough to commit stuff to memory.

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