Tuesday, March 2, 2010

English major-y stuff: A Bardful of Fun Monkeys

It really shouldn't be this way, but I guess it just might be.

Reformed (or failed, some might say) English majors like myself are invariably interested in Shakespeare.

In a way, the bard is a bit of a substitute for religion, for me. Thy Will be done, so to speak!

So, when I heard of a contest featuring Shakespeare's quotes, I was immediately intrigued.

"Words, words, words," in the words of Hamlet, interest me greatly. Always have. I remember reading the word ptarmigan (basically an Arctic bird) as a child and being enthralled with its look and sound. I turned it over again in my mind and in my mouth, polishing it until it was a smooth stone.

In any case, author Lisa Mantchev is throwing around prospective titles for her newest book, the third in a series of Shakespearean-titled tomes.

She has drawn on Hamlet thus far, with a working title of So Silver-Bright (King John) for her third.

It is for her third title that she seeks submissions.

I'd like to pitch another from Hamlet--that most quotable of Shakespeare's works, if I may say so myself!--that I've always loved.

"Quintessence of dust."

It appears amid a great monologue by Hamlet, who is despairing about the human race and pondering which path he ought to take in his life. There are a few other great candidates in that same speech--namely, "most excellent promontory" and "infinite in faculties," but they just don't have the novelesque ring to them that "quintessence of dust" does. The other best candidate there, which I thought long and hard about using, was "paragon of animals."

I wish I could say I've read Ms. Mantchev's two previous titles, but I haven't. YET! Would I love to pick up Perchance to Dream and Eyes Like Stars--which is echoed, methinks, in a movie I DID just see again, and appreciate more, recently: "2001: A Space Odyssey," as well as its sequel, which basically quotes it ... "My god, it's full of stars!"--absolutely!

You can search for the aforementioned works by Ms. Mantchev here, for those of you looking to gift {or bribe} me with something wondrous strange.

What three-word title would you use, friends, followers, and countrymen? Enter the contest here and you'll enter a brave new world.

One that has such people in it! And it's probably full of sound and fury, as it struts and frets its hour upon the stage.

And now I'll get me to a punnery and then, you Will hope, be heard no more.

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