Reading the books from the Hogarth Project of re-telling Shakespeare I was wondering what makes the books successful as the new versions of Shakespearian plays and stories that they tell us. I had some ideas, maybe not that bad but suddenly it hit me what it actually is that is most important to me. In many forms of art and in-depth conversations with likeminded people I consider the biggest value for myself to discover questions to which I feel compelled to find new answers, my answers. Writing seems to be the most obvious and natural form of art to ask questions in the process of telling a story. Not necessarily give readers answers but pose questions that readers consider relevant to their own lives. Maybe they can get some ideas while reading what the answer for their own lives could be, maybe not. Maybe in pondering on our personal answers we do searching that is important to us as individuals. Maybe we experience epiphanies, maybe not but this type of thinking usually makes us understand ourselves or others a little better. Sometimes I joke that thinking hurts and at times it is not that funny. Discovering some truths may be painful.
Looking from the perspective of questions the recently read books made me think about, I came to a conclusion that Macbeth did not ignite in me any interesting questions I needed to find answers to. This may not be the fault of the book, it may be just that I have not found anything particularly interesting or applicable to myself at this point of time.
Shylock Is My Name prompted me to think about intolerance leading to unjustifiable hatred. The two major questions, I still do not have answers to, are: Why do I respond so emotionally to injustice done to Jews over the ages? Why Jews cause hatred the way other nations/people do not? Is it their “fault” so to speak? They are the questions I will be coming back to for a while.
I just finished the fourth Shakespearean book – The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson and the question of the book (at least for me) is about the past. Faulkner said: The past isn’t dead. It's not even past. My question is how is it about past? Why do I dwell at times on things that are past and I am concern with people who are not in my life for quite some time or are not even with us? Maybe just because of that they are not past to me?