steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Giving Shakespeare the bumps

... because everyone else is.

When I was at university, G. K. Hunter G. Wilson Knight [ETA I had a senior moment in the first version of this post, and conflated these two very different Shakespearians] came to give a guest lecture on Timon of Athens. Because I'd found his books irritating (I can't now remember why) I didn't attend, but my friends afterwards painted a vivid portrait of a King Learish moment in which Knight, then in his eighties, stripped virtually to a loincloth with nothing but a lectern to cover his modesty. They'd found him odd, but I doubt they ever forgot his lecture. I do wish I'd been there.

Almost twenty years later I wanted to use the following as an epigraph for Timon's Tide, but was told that it really wouldn't do for that kind of book. I do wish I'd insisted.

Timon hath made his everlasting mansion
Upon the beached verge of the salt flood;
Who once a day with his embossed froth
The turbulent surge shall cover. Thither come,
And let my grave-stone be your oracle.
Tags: books
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