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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: December ::
Shakespeare's Library
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2431  Wednesday, 24 December 2003

Date:           Tuesday, 23 Dec 2003 18:11:21 -0800 (PST)
From:           Rolland Banker <
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Subject: 14.2404 Shakespeare's Library
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2404 Shakespeare's Library

Was the library imprinted in his Hot Brain (Wint.IV.701) and his
teeming, photographic "Book of Memory"?

In H6A.2.4.101,

which is perhaps one of the earliest London theatrical writings
attributed to William Shakespeare as he began to shake the scene there,
Plantanagenet says:

   I'll note you in my *book* of memory,
   To scourge you for this apprehension:

Later, in Hamlet, as he ruminates on the Ghost's commanding utterance of
'Remember Me!' he says:

    Yea, from the table of my memory
    I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,
    All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
    That youth and observation copied there;
    And thy commandment all alone shall live
    Within the *book and volume* of my brain,
    Unmix'd with baser matter' yes, by heaven!

Although there must be books about Shakespeare's brain, I haven't read
them yet, I would recommend the book

Genius : The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, by James Gleick.

By some considered the smartest man to have ever Lived (or at least the
smartest since Einstein). This book gives some insight into an honest to
goodness real iconoclastic genius from our time period. The workings and
training of a youthful brain that was boiling, and thirsting for
knowledge, teeming with ideas is interestingly brought out; and the just
plain human foibles and charisma of such a one is depicted with charm.

Physics, isn't it after all a poetry too, glancing heavenward and giving
shapes to airy nothings, local habitations (applications) and names to
our strong imaginings of things unknown, all with the same pen a poet
uses in a fine frenzy?

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