The Corner


Shakespeare the Universal

Impromptus today is the usual mélange, comprising education, literature, religion, the War on Terror, selfies, baseball, etc.

There happens to be no Jenner or Dolezal. You can see I’m not a true American.

(By the way, am I the last to know that Bruce/Caitlyn is a Kardashian, sort of? That is almost too poetic to be true.)

I begin the column with the English teacher in Sacramento who won’t teach Shakespeare to her students — because he’s a “dead white male” who doesn’t “speak to” her students, who are “diverse.” You know the drill.

The most interesting thing this teacher says is, “Shakespeare lived in a pretty small world.” Has anyone’s world ever been bigger than Shakespeare’s? His gift for understanding the human condition in its variety and complexity was . . . well, “superhuman” is the word that comes to mind.

There is a story I hope to heck is true, because I’ve been repeating it for years. Apparently, Maya Angelou once said, “When I was young, I thought that Shakespeare must have been a black girl. How else could he know exactly how I felt?”

I close my column with a little WFB (having closed yesterday’s with his sister Priscilla). A woman from Florida is rowing herself across the Pacific Ocean. A news story listed the provisions she’s taking, including “plenty of peanut butter.”

Bill always packed plenty of peanut butter, too, for his transoceanic journeys and his shorter journeys as well. He would have packed plenty of peanut butter for a trip down the block.

And here’s an added dollop: He liked to put butter — regular butter — under his peanut butter. That is living.


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