Posts Tagged ‘Shakespeare’

  • Beware the Ides of March

    March 15th, 2017 | Shakespeare | journalpulp | No Comments

    Ceasar: The ides of March are come. Soothsayer: Ay, Caesar, but not gone. — Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene 1. The word ides is derived from the ancient Roman calendar and comes from the Latin idus, which, as Oxford explains it, means “a day falling roughly in the middle of each month (the 15th day […]

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  • Cleopatra: Independent Thinker, World-Class Drinker

    August 30th, 2016 | Bartending | journalpulp | No Comments

    Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale Her infinite variety; other women cloy The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry Where most she satisfies; for vilest things Become themselves in her, that the holy priests Bless her when she is riggish. — Antony and Cleopatra Act II. Scene II. On this day, in 30 […]

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  • Shakespeare, Lear, and Math

    February 6th, 2014 | Shakespeare | journalpulp | 3 Comments

    Shakespeare was not only a poet. He was a thinker. Nowhere is this more clearly concretized than King Lear, wherein we see a curious concern with numbers and mathematics. King Lear is about madness — or, more specifically, the fear of madness and the redemptive power of love and charity as a kind of foil […]

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  • Eyeball, Lackluster, Puking — and Other Words You Didn’t Know Shakespeare Invented

    January 22nd, 2013 | Shakespeare | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    Of the nearly 18,000 written words in Shakespeare’s oeuvre, over 1,700 are seen for the first time in his works. This doesn’t necessarily mean he coined all those words — and in fact many of them most likely existed in other languages, like Latin, for a very long time before Shakespeare anglicized them. New words […]

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  • “Curiously Dull, Furiously Commonplace, Often Meaningless” (And Other Literary Virtues)

    October 10th, 2012 | Writers | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    “Rat-eyed” Virginia Woolf described Somerset Maugham as. “No man ever put more of his heart and soul into the written word,” said Eudora Welty of William Faulkner. “Curiously dull, furiously commonplace, and often meaningless,” Alfred Kazin said of William Faulkner. “Hemingway never climbed out on a limb and never used a word where the reader […]

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  • The Individualistic, The Eccentric, The Cool, The Anachronistic

    September 30th, 2012 | Writers | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    Jean Jacques Rousseau, who categorically believed in the existence of vampires. Persistent legend that the young Leonardo De Vinci was so strong he could — and frequently did — straighten horseshoes with his bare hands. Charles Dickens, a hyper-manic walker who sometimes went twenty-five miles at a headlong pace. A walk? What on earth for? […]

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  • What Makes Certain Art Timeless?

    What Makes Certain Art Timeless?

    July 19th, 2012 | Art, Beauty | journalpulp | 12 Comments

    “To produce a mighty book you must choose a mighty theme.” Said Herman Melville. And it’s true — true of any and all art: mighty themes are one of the distinguishing characteristics of timeless art. What is theme? Theme is the meaning that the components of your story or artwork add up to. In literature, […]

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  • William Faulkner Answers Student’s Questions

    William Faulkner Answers Student’s Questions

    June 17th, 2012 | William Faulkner | journalpulp | 11 Comments

    “No man ever put more of his heart and soul into the written word than did William Faulkner.” — Eudora Welty In 1947, at the University of Mississippi, William Faulkner — an extraordinarily inconsistent and difficult writer whose work is almost invariably frustrating, and yet a writer whom you cannot ever quite dismiss (the following […]

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  • Unsex Me Here

    Unsex Me Here

    May 6th, 2012 | Shakespeare | journalpulp | 6 Comments

    This is a famous and often misunderstood line from Macbeth (Act 1, Scene 5), spoken by the unforgettable Lady Macbeth, who says: The raven himself is hoarse That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan Under my battlements. Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to […]

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  • Heart Of My Heart

    Heart Of My Heart

    April 3rd, 2012 | Shakespeare | journalpulp | 3 Comments

    Like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favorite child. And his name is David Copperfield. Wrote Charles Dickens. Where does that phrase “heart of hearts” come from? Well, nowhere. It’s a perversion of Shakespeare’s heart of heart, which appears in Hamlet (Act 3, scene 2, 71-74): Hamlet: Give me that […]

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  • Shakespeare Glimpsed?

    Shakespeare Glimpsed?

    March 20th, 2012 | Shakespeare | journalpulp | 4 Comments

    William Shakespeare — who’s remarkable for so many things that it’s easy to forget the thing he’s perhaps most remarkable for: the fact that he doesn’t reveal himself in any of his plays — was born in 1564, in Stratford, a tiny village which at that time had a population of approximately 1,500 people. In […]

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  • What Is Poetry?

    What Is Poetry?

    September 10th, 2011 | Poetry | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    Poetry is a subset of literature, the art form of language, but it also legitimately belongs to another art: music. Poetry is rhyme and rhythm. It is cadence and count, meter and metric. Poetry is prosody. It is scansion. It is versification. And those are the elements of poetry that make it a part of […]

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  • What Is Beauty?

    What Is Beauty?

    August 27th, 2011 | Aesthetics, Art, Beauty, Esthetics | journalpulp | 9 Comments

    A reader writes: Dear Sir: Forget your politics. What is beauty? Is it anything? — Lily Alderman Dear Lily: It is everything. Beauty is the esthetically pleasing, it is the lovely. Aristotle wrote: “Beauty depends on size as well as symmetry” (ahem, ahem). But beauty is symmetry. Beauty is congruence. It is the bah-bah in […]

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  • Characterization (Part 4)

    Characterization (Part 4)

    July 29th, 2011 | Characterization, Plot | journalpulp | No Comments

    In the previous post, I said that to create convincing characters, the writer must first understand what motivates the people she or he is creating. This means that the writer must understand what moves the actions of his or her characters. The term “actions” in this context refers to plot — though it bears repeating […]

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  • Characterization (Part 3)

    Characterization (Part 3)

    July 27th, 2011 | Characterization, Literature, Plot, Storytelling, Style, Theme | journalpulp | 3 Comments

    Characterization is a presentation of the personality of the people who populate a story. Characterization is primarily a depiction of motivation and motive. The reader must understand what makes the characters act in the way that those characters do. It’s been said that one of the truest tests of good literature is when you can […]

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