Posts Tagged ‘ Coriolanus ’

Shakespeare: A Discussion and Review

This might be a weird article, because it’s the one where my geeky pop-culture blog discusses Shakespeare. And after praising a lot of trashy modern works, I might not have much credibility when I say that I’m not a fan of his.

In general, I have a complicated relationship with classic works. I think it’s very important to understand the past, and there is a lot of good that comes from a shared cultural knowledge for modern artists to reference. On the other hand, I believe that most art is and should be ephemeral. Whether it’s for pure entertainment or a deeper understanding of the human condition, a person picking up a book or listening to a song has different needs and cultural touchstones today than they did in past centuries. There’s nothing wrong with that. And while my personal rating system can be arbitrary, the most important thing is how much entertainment I get out of a specific work. (Being me, “entertainment” might be anything from amusement to deep thoughts and new ideas, but it has to be something.) If a story gives me an appreciation for its time and place, then that is a mark in its favor, but if it assumes that I already know the events it refers to, or the language of the time, then I’m not going to cut it slack for that. Half of the works that I give A grades to today will probably be irrelevant in 20 years, and many of the classics that I dislike would have seemed great if I’d lived in the right place and time. I’m ok with that; If I think that art is ephemeral, I can’t expect anything more from the opinions on this blog.

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