Sunday, October 06, 2013

Bean Man

Finished I AM NOT ASHAMED by Barbara Payton and then I was poking around to figure out what to read next. I picked up a volume of Paracelsus. Don't worry, I'm not reading that next! But I opened to a page at random and read this sentence: "Nature also forges man, now a gold man, now a silver man, now a fig man, now a bean man." I found the reasoning problematic! But I had a good time imagining Fig Man and Bean Man. Then Lee Durkee came over and we watched the recent film version of CORIOLANUS (pictured). It was hung on a similarly dubious metaphoric spine! Some people, the play seemed to argue, are naturally lions, eagles, and ospreys, meant to prey on other people who are naturally geese, crows, doves, and fish. I'm not buying it. Continuing a theme, this one dude says that Coriolanus has as much mercy as a "male tiger has milk." And I was like, I don't mean to tell you your business, Shakespeare, but you could have done better! Tigers, as mammals, do have milk, of course, which is why you had to stick that awkward "male" in there. You should have said, I don't know, "basilisk" instead of "male tiger." Besides which, you don't want to tussle with no female tiger! Come on! Are you kidding me? DO you? Do you want to tussle with a female tiger? I think not! Okay then! If only Shakespeare had been in one of my writing workshops. At one point Coriolanus is asked to show his battle scars and he says he doesn't want his "nothings monstered." Monstered! What a great word! And "nothings"! Also pretty good! And "nothings monstered"! Put them together and they're like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup of negativity. Then some dude says that Coriolanus would be "a kind of nothing, titleless, till he had forged himself a name o' the fire." "Nothing was Shakespeare's favorite word," Lee said.