Shakespeare is the true multicultural author. He exists in all languages. He is put on the stage everywhere. Everyone feels that they are represented by him on the stage.
Shakespeare is universal.
The world does not get to be a better or a worse place; it just gets more senescent.
But in the end, in the end one is alone. We are all of us alone. I mean I'm told these days we have to consider ourselves as being in society... but in the end one knows one is alone, that one lives at the heart of a solitude.
What matters in literature in the end is surely the idiosyncratic, the individual, the flavor or the color of a particular human suffering.
In fact, it is Shakespeare who gives us the map of the mind. It is Shakespeare who invents Freudian Psychology. Freud finds ways of translating it into supposedly analytical vocabulary.
Criticism in the universities, I'll have to admit, has entered a phase where I am totally out of sympathy with 95% of what goes on. It's Stalinism without Stalin.
If I were to sum up the negative reactions to my work, I think there are two primary causes: one is that if there is discourse about anxiety it is necessarily going to induce anxiety. It will represent a return of the repressed for a great many people.
What I think I have in common with the school of deconstruction is the mode of negative thinking or negative awareness, in the technical, philosophical sense of the negative, but which comes to me through negative theology.
I take it that a successful therapy is an oxymoron.
The world gets older, without getting either better or worse and so does literature. But I do think that the drab current phenomenon that passes for literary studies in the university will finally provide its own corrective.
Shakespeare will not make us better, and he will not make us worse, but he may teach us how to overhear ourselves when we talk to ourselves... he may teach us how to accept change in ourselves as in others, and perhaps even the final form of change.
What we call a poem is mostly what is not there on the page. The strength of any poem is the poems that it has managed to exclude.
We read deeply for varied reasons, most of them familiar: that we cannot know enough people profoundly enough; that we need to know ourselves better; that we require knowledge, not just of self and others, but of the way things are.
In the finest critics one hears the full cry of the human. They tell one why it matters to read.
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