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The Review Man

Formerly of Goodreads, now of both words, in the coming times only here?

Currently reading

Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature
Margaret Atwood
Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals
Robert M. Pirsig
Simulacra and Simulation (The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism)
Jean Baudrillard, Sheila Faria Glaser
Leaven of Malice
Robertson Davies
The Salterton Trilogy
Robertson Davies
Effi Briest (Penguin Classics)
Theodor Fontane
Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World
Nicholas Ostler
Cases And Materials On The Law Of Torts
Robert M. Solomon
Public Law : Cases Materials and Commentary
Philip Bryden, Craik, Neil, Craig Forcese, Forcese, Craig
A Property Law Reader
Bruce H. Ziff
King Lear - William Shakespeare I think they should make you read King Lear when you're expecting your first child. Screw the high school classroom -- who has kids then? (Well, lots of people do, but that's another matter entirely.)

But seriously, the relevance of King Lear's themes is a function of the reader's age. Maybe a 16-year-old kid doesn't care if Lear was a crappy parent, but a twenty-something who's about to raise another human being for 18 years is under a bit of pressure and King Lear shows what not to do.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about King Lear, however, is the lack of Lear's wife. My high school English teacher (in that wisdom which is also a function of age) brought this up, asking us why Mrs. Lear never shows up. Is she dead? Are they divorced? Does she not care about her dysfunctional daughters? Or has she recognized that they are past the point of saving?

This is one of the better uses of negative capability in Shakespeare, making the play more of a psychological hide-and-go-seek and less of a rote senility story.