I promised you that I would continue...whether you wanted me to or not.
So I am now almost halfway through Shame in Shakespeare. This is good news – it means that the introduction, rather than being a reflection of what was to come, as it probably should have been, was merely an annoying prelude*. The number of Greenblatt/Lacan/Kristeva etc quotes is now exceeded by the number of quotes from literary texts. Huzzah. No, really, I am excited about it. Fernie gets down to the business of examining shame in the Renaissance and in Shakespeare. Brass tacks suit him much better than general theorising, and I find that the book is pointedly excruciating in its subject matter as well as thought-provoking and interesting. Huzzah again. Consider this your halftime report then, and expect one more. For now, to borrow from Forster**, it is two cheers. Not quite three, but who knows what may yet happen. You’d be surprised at what denouements literary criticism can furnish.
What do you say? You want me to just shut up and quote the Tenth Doctor at you instead? All right then, anything to humour the people. I’ll just quote this – if only we could all handle our past so charmingly:
Tenth Doctor [to the Fifth Doctor]: You know, I loved being you. Back when I first started, at the very beginning, I was always trying to be old and grumpy and important, like you do when you're young. And then I was you, and it was all dashing about and playing cricket and my voice going all squeaky when I shout. I still do that, the voice thing, I got that from you! Oh, and the trainers, and [puts on his glasses] snap. 'Cos you know what, Doctor? You were my Doctor.
*Like some other annoying preludes I can think of. Norton edition of Wordsworth’s Prelude, anyone?
**See E.M. Forster’s Two Cheers for Democracy for unnecessary explanation of my gratuitous reference. Hey, it’s a blog, what do you expect?