Thursday, April 23, 2015

Shakespeare Unwither'd: April 23, 2015

Bookcase containing Woolf's Collected Shakespeare, 

I read Shakespeare directly I have finished writing.  When my mind is agape and red-hot.  Then it is astonishing.  I never yet knew how amazing his stretch and speed and word coining power is, until I felt it utterly outpace and outrace my own, seeming to start equal and then I see him draw ahead and do things I could not in my wildest tumult and utmost press of mind imagine.  Even the less known plays are written at a speed that is quicker than nobody else's quickest; and the words drop so fast one can't pick them up.  Look at this, "Upon a gather'd lily almost wither'd." (That is a pure accident.  I happened  to light on it.) Evidently the pliancy of his mind was so complete that he could furbish out any train of thought; and, relaxing, let fall a shower of such unregarded flowers.

Diary for April 13, 1930 (AWD 154)

Happy Shakespeare's Birthday

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