Quote Originally Posted by Siri Kirpal View Post

My current updated list:

1. Loose Ends: Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett. Done. [Beautifully written memoir of Patchett's friendship with Lucy Grealy. Liked the writing; didn't like Grealy.]
2. What You Read: Mopsa the Fairy by Jean Ingelow. Done. [Episodic and sometimes confusing, but lovely details.]
3. What Your Great-Grandparents Read: The Sketch Book by Washington Irving. Done. [Could also be Bits & Pieces, a mixed bag, some soporific, some delightful.]
4. You Really Shouldn't Have: Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler. Done. [How I got it was more dramatic than the book. Book is now out of the house.]
5. No Cliff Notes This Time: Othello by William Shakespeare. Done.
6. Bits & Pieces (or No Hablo): Forty Poems by Juan Ramon Jimenez translated by Robert Bly. In progress.
7. I've Met Them: Playing with Fire by Tess Gerritsen.
8. Ripped from the Headlines: The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale.
9. Support the Home Team: Of Marriageable Age by Sharon Maas [AKA aruna]
10. Steady There, Cowboy: Horseman, Pass By by Larry McMurtry.
11. Better Known For...: The Toughest Show on Earth by Joseph Volpe.
12. Enter, Stage Whichever it was : Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling. [Or maybe it should be whatever the category was named with the book based on a movie.]
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Finished Othello. When I was in high school, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, it was standard practice for seniors to be assigned Macbeth as their senior Shakespeare read. But it wasn't mandated. So the teacher of our AP class offered us a choice of 4 tragedies. I attended one of America's few naturally integrated schools, so the clear choice was Othello. I intended to read it, and no I didn't use Cliff Notes. (Were Cliff Notes even invented then?) But right around that time, a friend of mine asked the teacher if he could do an independent study, and the teacher said yes, provided another student joined him. I volunteered. So I never read Othello until this year, although I knew the story from listening to the opera many times. At first I was fine with my decision, and then it bothered me that I hadn't finished up. So, here I am.

Although racism permeates the play the way the stink of sweat permeates a locker room, I don't think that's what the play is really about. Gullibility and jealousy seem more like it. It's a powerful depiction of a schemer bringing down a basically decent person.

I was hampered by reading a very old edition with notes that hindered, rather than helped my understanding. I already knew most of their smaller notations. (I use the word "forfend" myself, for instance.) The editor(s) also seemed to think that Iago had no real reason for his attack. But since a coworker once put a lot of energy into getting me ousted when I was promoted over her (she had seniority, but couldn't pass the test), I find Iago totally plausible. Plausible, not likeable, you understand.

The play is well worth reading for Shakespeare's language alone.

Glad to get this little niggle off my chest.


Siri Kirpal