RANDOM RANT WITH AN ELIZABETHAN SLANT #1
"YOU DON'T REALLY READ THE 'REAL' SHAKESPEARE BOOKS!"
It has been brought to my attention that some folks may not consider the "No Fear" Shakespeare series or anything resembling it or the fact that it is created by the makers of "Sparknotes", "real" Shakespeare reading. What exactly is not "real" about it? What constitutes "real" Shakespeare reading?
I find this insulting. I made it known that in fact the books DO contain the entire original texts of his works, as well as the translation into modern day English.
What is this unnecessary stigma on these types of books? Not that I'm a big fan of it, but this is also how I read the Bible. The New, International Version.
First of all, a quick note on "Cliff Notes" and all the rest considered "cheat sheets". Personally, I've never used them, because I always liked to read the actual book. But that's just me. To each their own. As far as THAT issue is concerned, I think it's better than NOTHING. I run a monthly book club, and if someone decided to bring one of those to the meeting, I'd be fine with that. It's at least one hour they took into reading that instead of watching "Dancing With The Stars".
Second, I believe there is nothing wrong with reading certain books or works from certain authors whose language you may not understand in a format you can easily comprehend. I mean, seriously, what is the harm in that? I think it would be wrong attempting to read it, knowing you don't understand it. A lot of us grow up learning about Shakespeare in school, then grow out of it, and choose not to continue reading his work. I think we'd enjoy it a lot more when we are given a chance to understand it. I believe most people don't appreciate Shakespeare just because they can't understand what he's saying. When I hear people say, "I hate Shakespeare." I think to myself, "Yeah, it's probably because you don't get it."
Finally, I don't like pretending to know about something if I really don't. If I don't know, I don't have a problem asking questions, or just saying, "I don't know." For those who do naturally understand without any translation, and speak, read, and write fluent "Elizabethen", congratulations to you. Some of us aren't that gifted. Myself included. I admit, (from my first entry, the intro) how I read it. I make no apologies for that.