22 March 2013: As my Whimsey Takes Me?

Congee, Shakespeare’s Henry VI Part 1 (retitled by the Complete Oxford Shakespeare to be The First Part of Henry the Sixth now said to be written after parts 1 and 2 in response to audience demand).

Certainly there’s a control in the First part missing in the “second part” which confusedly introduces all sorts of misogynist drama (Gloucester’s wife’s sorcery, Pucelle, etc.) while the FIRST part seems to manifest a bit more control. You can cleanly separate the first part into scenes controlled by specific individuals (Pucelle, Winchester, etc) whereas in the second part, writ first (my head hurts my butt hurts), for example, the “miracle” scene (in which a peasant can miraculously see but is quickly discovered to be a fraud by Suffolk), although excellent in execution as a scene,doesn’t fit the theme of the act which is Margaret’s increasing wrangling with her enemies. It’s “just” a fun bit.

Perhaps the real deal is that I like the fact that Wells and Taylor are so disliked by the American critic Harold Bloom, who in recommending collected works editions emphatically rejects the Oxford edition. To be fair I find that many British academics reject Oxford in favor of Pelican. But Bloom seems to dislike the specialist artifices of the Oxford which in parts seems to resemble the old “Varorium” editions, academic tomes that would present the different possible versions of each passage. I do have Wells and Taylor’s “red book” in my library in which the editing of each line is justified minutely because this is as my whimsey takes me but enough. I need this month or early next month to ensure payment to my land-lord Ming the Merciless in order to protect my latest and greatest Library of Alexandria.

Which means that today cannot be spent “as my Whimsey takes me” but instead verifying, once and for all, that I have a Social Security pension, of such and such an amount to be deposited at such and such a date.

E strano! It is indeed strange that when I picture staying at Grantham I see a circle

Horatio: Where, my lord?
Hamlet: In my mind’s eye, Horatio

Probably, Grantham is sustainable until I die. Whereas when I picture

Picture what will be so limitless and free (Jim Morrison, The End)

going back out into the world I see an old man with a cane who, just yesterday it seemed was still youthful, and who cannot walk with grace.

The moral, the action plan, the thing now is tracking social security and walking with a cane as well as rowing. Not being quite so comfortable in bed all day.

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