Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Schrodinger's Hamlet & Tarantino's Cat

Literature saves lives; it conquers death, erases impermanence, and counters irrelevance; it preserves the essence of life, and thus offers resurrection and even immortality. And despite my having spent decades teaching literature and language and acquiring an advanced degree in literary studies, it took a teenage student of mine to uncover and reveal to me the life saving power of literature.

Years ago in my AP English Language class, I opened a lesson by saying something crass like “OK, so, it’s time to kill Hamlet” because we were about to finish Shakespeare’s masterful tragedy that day in class. That little quip led to a fascinating discussion of the lives of literary characters and the roles they play. Out of the discussion, we coined the phrase Schrodinger's Hamlet, and I joked that our ideas would make a great master's thesis or dissertation for one of them someday.

For years, the idea stuck around in the back of my mind, and as I've been writing a lot more in these strange times, I finally gave in and went for it myself, crafting a piece that was published this week on Curator Magazine. It was a great deal of fun to write and then edit with the staff at Curator, and I'm really happy with the final product.

No comments: