Is Hamlet Better Than Lear?

Is Hamlet Better Than Lear? 😎
Post Created by jk the secret keeper
Abstract Digital Art by j. kiley
Created 03.11.13
Posted 03.12.13

“How To Read” By Virginia Woolf from Common Reader
(Top Section — Part 1)

virginia woolf by george charles beresford 1902

virginia woolf by george charles beresford 1902

…is Hamlet a better play than Lear? Nobody can say. Each must decide that question for himself. To admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries… …Few people ask from books what books can give us. Most commonly we come to books with blurred and divided minds, asking of fiction that it shall be true, of poetry that it shall be false, of biography that it shall be flattering, of history that it shall enforce our own prejudices…

…Do not dictate to your author; try to become him… …open your mind as widely as possible, then signs and hints of almost imperceptible fineness, from the twist and turn of the first sentences, will bring you into the presence of a human being unlike any other…

…the quickest way to understand the elements of what a novelist is doing is not to read, but to write; to make your own experiment with the dangers and difficulties with words…

…To read a novel is a difficult and complex art… be capable… of great fineness of perception… great boldness of imagination… …is a book influenced by its writer’s life

…poem… …profound depths we visit… …sensation begins to spread in wider rings through our minds; remoter senses are reached… …we are aware of echoes and reflections…. …intensity of poetry covers an immense range of emotion…

…If to read a book as it should be read calls for the rarest qualities of imagination, insight, and judgment, you may perhaps conclude that literature is a very complex art… We must remain readers; …we have our responsibilities as readers and even our importance. The standards we raise and the judgments we pass steal into the air and become part of the atmosphere which writers breathe as they work. An influence is created which tells upon them even if it never finds its way into print…

(1) book letters flying dark backround

(Middle Section — Part2)
Reading Is To the Mind — from History of Reading By Steven Roger Fischer

“Writing freezes the moment. Reading is forever.”

What music is to the spirit, reading is to the mind. Reading challenges, empowers, bewitches, enriches. We perceive little black marks on white paper or a PC screen and they move us to tears, open up our lives to new insights and understandings, inspire us, organize our existences and connect us with all creation.

Surely there can be no greater wonder.

Though reading and writing go hand in hand, reading is actually writing’s antithesis — indeed, even activating separate regions of the brain. Writing is a skill, reading is a faculty. Writing was originally elaborated and thereafter deliberately adapted; reading has evolved in tandem with humanity’s deeper understanding of the written word’s latent capabilities. Writing’s history has followed series of borrowings and refinements, reading’s history has involved successive stages of social maturation. Writing is expression, reading impression. Writing is public, reading personal. Writing is limited, reading open-ended. Writing freezes the moment. Reading is forever…

…Reading has always been different from writing. Writing prioritizes sound, as the spoken word must be transformed or deconstructed into representative sign(s). Reading, however, prioritizes meaning. The faculty of reading has, in fact, very little to do with the skill of writing…

…What is reading, then? The answer is not simple, as the act of reading is variable, not absolute. In its most general modern definition, reading is of course the ability to make sense of written or printed symbols. The reader ‘uses the symbols to guide the recovery of information from his or her memory and subsequently uses this information to construct a plausible interpretation of the writer’s message’. But reading has not always been this. Initially it was the simple faculty of extracting visual information from any encoded system and comprehending the respective meaning. Later it came to signify almost exclusively the comprehending of a continuous text of written signs on an inscribed surface. More recently it has included the extracting of encoded information from an electronic screen. And reading’s definition will doubtless continue to expand in future for, as with any faculty, it is also a measure of humanity’s own advancement…

by j. kiley © jennifer kiley

by j. kiley © jennifer kiley

(Bottom Section — Part 3)
My Comments: jk the secret keeper

Being on both sides of this interpretation of writer versus reader, it is a phenomena to do both. No the level at which you write or what knowledge you have going in when you read a book, you will discover something each time you try either of these, being a writer and being a reader. Both are extremely important. After I have written something, whether it be a poem or essay or a comment, no matter what, when I come back later and read what I have written, I don’t often recognize that it is my own writing that I am reading. I use to think it was because I just had a short term memory problem. But now that I think about it, after reading what Virginia Woolf has written and Steven Roger Fischer has, also, written, I believe that when I read what I have written, as a reader I am definitely approaching the words from a totally different perspective and that would explain why they may seem so foreign to me. There is a great deal to be learned from approaching words from both angles. You learn a great deal about yourself and also about what it is you are writing about.

When writing a poem, you leave tracts of symbols and meaning that you may not even realize until after you left it to sit for awhile. You need to step away. Get fresh eyes. Then when you are in a different frame of mind read it as though for the first time, see what you see. Is it different to you? Are you able to approach it from a completely new imagination. Do the words speak to you? Do they ask to remain the same or do they want you to clarify what you are trying to convey in the meaning of the subject of your writing. Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer or a poet, sometimes just putting words on the page may help you to understand something that you are trying to work out inside your mind. Writing it down, no matter how well or how badly it comes out, it may be just what you need to open that door to let in the light that will open your eyes to what it is you wish to understand.

I use writing for all sorts of purposes and in all manner of expression. There is no need to limit ones self to any form of art or creativity. I love words and I love the use of them in expressing myself. But also love other way of using creativity to bring a meaning to my life or to open my eyes or heart to a deeper level of expressing my soul.

Being a reader is just as important as being a writer. I love to do both. They have the potential of taking you to the most impossibly thought of places and to free your mind and heart and soul and body to soar across the universe or to go to the bottom of the sea. Anything is possible with creativity and releasing the imagination.

When you read what ever you choose, particularly fiction, do you not find that you enter into the book and it becomes part of you and you of it. If it is really good writing and an excellent story, I find I can join up with the characters as though I were in the place and with the people interacting as a participant or watcher of what is happening. And sometimes join in the adventure and actually feel what the characters are experiencing.

I don’t believe that the writer freezes time when they have written a book or a poem. The reader sets the writer’s words free and they soar.

It is good to be creative in whatever way that you choose. It can be as someone who knows what to do with food. I am a great sandwich maker or maybe a good one, I love my sandwiches, but I cannot cook very many things with any kind of food. I never really learned except to make pasta sauce and a great vegetarian lasagna. Plus, I do have a pretty tasty zuchinni squash recipe that I created. But, that is what I am talking about, being creative, experimenting. If you are a reader and want to just be a reader, that is great. In the book & film “The World According to Garp” by John Irving, one of my favorite books, Garp’s girlfriend, as they are getting to know each other tells him that she reads and that she is going to marry a writer. She is not a writer but she is a reader. It works out well with some rather fucked up turns that are quite bloody extreme, but a great book just the same. It was okay that she was a reader. Marvelous. We need more readers of books and poetry.

Well, I have gone on and need my sleep. Need to put this one to bed. Hope you find this amusing, helpful, inspiring in some way. Be part of your life. Do what you feel is inside of you. Be good to others as you would have them be good to you. Read. Write. Eat. Be Merry. Be Gay if you are using either definition. Gay did mean to be quite happy when Cary Grant was alive. Experiment with your life and enjoy it as best you can. With lots of good love & peace & caring. jk the secret keeper

ps. Be Careful Out There…


Philip Glass — Choosing Life

QUOTATIONS on Reading & Writing:

“Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” ― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.”
― Anaïs Nin

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.” ― Oscar Wilde

“I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of. ”
― Joss Whedon

“You get a little moody sometimes but I think that’s because you like to read. People that like to read are always a little fucked up.”
― Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides

“We live and breathe words. …. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world, its colors and textures and sounds, I felt–I felt the way you thought, hoped, felt, dreamt. I felt I was dreaming and thinking and feeling with you. I dreamed what you dreamed, wanted what you wanted–and then I realized that truly I just wanted you.”
― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.” ― James Baldwin

“Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.” ― Virginia Woolf

“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.
Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” ― William Faulkner

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
― Kurt Vonnegut

“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.”
― Joyce Carol Oates

“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.”
― Stephen King, Different Seasons

“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours” ― Alan Bennett, The History Boys

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
― Sylvia Plath

“It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.” ― C.S. Lewis

“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.” ― Lloyd Alexander

“After all, reading is arguably a far more creative and imaginative process than writing; when the reader creates emotion in their head, or the colors of the sky during the setting sun, or the smell of a warm summer’s breeze on their face, they should reserve as much praise for themselves as they do for the writer – perhaps more.” ― Jasper Fforde, The Well of Lost Plots

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” ― Ernest Hemingway

“Don’t ever apologize to an author for buying something in paperback, or taking it out from a library (that’s what they’re there for. Use your library). Don’t apologize to this author for buying books second hand, or getting them from book-crossing or borrowing a friend’s copy. What’s important to me is that people read the books and enjoy them, and that, at some point in there, the book was bought by someone. And that people who like things, tell other people. The most important thing is that people read… ” ― Neil Gaiman

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
― Madeleine L’Engle

“I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”
― Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

“The reason that fiction is more interesting than any other form of literature, to those who really like to study people, is that in fiction the author can really tell the truth without humiliating himself.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
― Madeleine L’Engle