Who Touched My Breast?
This post was originally featured at MasterKoda as part of the TTC/MK VBT 2012.
There is a writer who touched me.
Who wormed his way into the beating heart within my breast.
Whose words sing out at me through the pages of his works, across space and time; whose prose and witticisms make me weep or laugh or both at the same time. Whose genius has spurred hundreds fellow writers to pen hundreds of thousands of words debating the meaning and purpose and symbolism of his pieces. Whose identity is ever in doubt and whose mystique sends literary scholars into heated debates.
Yes, I am referring to Shakespeare.
Now, this may seem like a little bit of an obvious choice. Who wasn’t influenced by the Bard at some point? Who didn’t marvel at the queer-but-brilliant turns of phrase or read aloud the metered couplets and be amazed at how they flowed from the tongue like silk?
…no one? Was that just me? Oh.
Anyway. I am a fan of Shakespeare’s work, no matter if it was scribbled by Anne Hathaway’s wayward husband, a female writer who could not reveal her identity, some uppity lord afraid of sullying his reputation by slumming with theatre folk, or by some futuristic alien mastermind who sent it back in time to screw with humanity’s collective mind. I still love me some Shakespeare.
Romeo & Juliet, that’s how it began. Reading that in middle school and finding it to be so beautiful and tragic and – pardon my language – effed up. Wedded, bedded, and deaded in five acts. Ah, young love.
King Lear. Macbeth, The Tempest, Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, Othello. And the sonnets. I’ve tried a thousand times – at least – but I have never mastered the form. Its so rigid and I am so chaotic. Yet somehow, his sonnets never seem perfunctory or forced. When I write a sonnet, its as if big, rolling round syllables are crammed into cube-shaped Tupperware. Its not a pretty sight.
Frankly, I could probably go into a million words about authors who have helped inspire me to read and write. From Laura Ingalls Wilder, whose books made me fall in love with the Westward Expansion when I was seven, to Jackie Collins, who taught a twelve-year-old me more than I should have learned about Hollywood crazies and orgasms like freight trains, to Victor Hugo, who brought me to tears every time, to GRRM, Paula Volsky, David Gemmell, Eve Forward, JV Jones and – oh! – Melanie Rawn, who all set my love of fantasy on its ear and made me its bitch. And I cannot forget Jane Austen, and Tolkein, and Patricia Cornwell, and Dean Koontz, and Stephen King, and Neil Gaiman, and Tim Fields, and Dave Duncan and… so on…
I could do that, but I won’t. Because when it comes down to it, there is only one writer whose brilliance keeps us laughing and crying and re-vamping, and debating as a whole, huge collective 400 years after his death. And that, my friends, is Shakespeare. I do not aspire to be as legendary as he (or she, or them, or whoever) but I do aspire to touch at least one person as deeply as The Bard touched me.
But not in a naughty way.
So tell me, friends, who is your favorite author? Who touched your breast (metaphorically, I hope)? When you’re old and decrepit and sitting on your deathbed, whose words will be dancing about in your memory?
Love & Rainbows,