Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Say wha', Jimmy?

Not only does I-don't-approve-of-speculative-biography author James Shapiro approve Graham Holderness' imaginative biography, Nine Lives of William Shakespeare (Continuum Books, 2011), but he has recently also praised Germaine Greer's 2008 biographic speculation, Shakespeare's Wife. In a short article titled "Fact and fiction don't blend well in biographies" that appeared in the January 23, 2012 edition of Hindustan Times writer Antara Das reported:  
Shapiro is less dismissive of [Greer]‘s attempt to add substance to the somewhat sketchy portrait of Shakespeare’s wife (in the book of the same name). “Greer does bring her own preoccupations, concluding that Shakespeare died of venereal disease for which there is no evidence. But she did manage to shift perspectives and liberate Shakespeare from a clutch of mainly male biographers,” he says. In the end, the bravery of her attempt outshines the flaws of her book. Contesting the authorship of Shakespeare’s work is a phenomenon not more than 150 years old. But if one is patient, Shakespeare is bound to “emerge as a figure of the moment, responsible to the moment”.
" . . . emerge as a figure of the moment, responsible to the moment"? Fiddle-dee-dee, Jimmy, what the heck does that mean?