Complete Works of Shakespeare

Complete Works of Shakespeare

The Complete Works of Shakespeare — from the old days. 37 Plays.

Complete Works of Shakespeare

My birthday, 1988, “Kramer — read this cover to cover then we can discuss —”

The Complete Plays of Shakespeare – Shakespeare

The sad part is, I don’t think I’ve accessed the actual data in the book since, I don’t recall. I graduated in 1991, but I’ve toted that book around with me ever since. Been thirty years now, according to the inscription.

Text is held together with duct tape — not kidding. Can’t make this stuff up. Real duct tape.

Plonking — plodding — through the more recent releases and updates to Shakespeare’s canon, the original 37 plays in that collection, the end matter (notes at the end of the text) included some of the earlier and later plays, but that scholarly text discounted those plays as “probably not” as in, “probably not really written by Shakespeare,” while, in more recent times, at least some of the material is attributed to the Bard.

Classical versus modern? One way to see it.

Complete Works of Shakespeare

The cover image, and more important, the inscription inside the cover? For starters, until I looked, most near thirty years later, I didn’t realize the date.

Doubt I’ll be able to get away with the “I’m 29” line — but that one started failing back in the bad old days in Austin, like, “Kramer, I’ve known you for what, ten, fifteen years now? You were 29 when I first met you….” The other comment that started following my 29 claim? “Yeah, the 29 – teens.” Usually followed with an eye roll. For some reason, I elicit eye rolls.

However, over the years, perhaps once a year, I would grab that big red “Complete Works” to look up whatever play was most recent that I had a question about. Some of the notes are amusing, at best, more than one phone number that I have no clue what they lead to, not now.

There are notes, some legible, some clearly illegible, but still there, and the table of contents has marks by certain plays. As an undergrad, I would have the list of plays covered in the coming semester, and I would endeavor to read them all ahead of time. Made for a better kind of time management.

These days, though? There’s an app for that.

Complete Works of Shakespeare

Meandering down those long, dark corridors of memory, I was thinking, I didn’t access that book — at all — in the last three or four years. No, I use an app for that. Or just digital versions of the text itself. No, mostly the app because it has the line numbers I like.

Still, I hold onto that book. In part, it has some relatively interesting historical scholarship — dated to the publication — but that shows what was the current thinking at the time of publication. What the noted scholars at the time thought about the Shakespeare apocrypha, always of intellectual interest.

Complete Works of Shakespeare

The Complete Plays of Shakespeare – Shakespeare

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“I’m seventy-two years old.”
#Sagittarius
#Birthday

About the author: Born and raised in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel, settled in a South Austin trailer park before trailer parks were cool. He now lives in San Antonio, Texas.

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