The Gap of Time
It’s not like we’re starting with an easy play on this one. Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale is sort of weird and convoluted, just at the outset. Part of the later masques and more formalized material, it was also — probably — coauthored with other playwrights.
“But what do you do,” said MiMi, “if to be free you demolish everything around you?”
“But if you don’t, you die?” said Xeno.
“Yes. If you don’t, you die.” Page 52.
Sets a tone, don’t it?
Tangential to the text, there’s the idea, as I was reading this text, that the authors tapped to write the novels are exceptional, if a bit entrenched in wordsmithing. It is witty, articulate, layered, and nuanced. Like those pretentious wine descriptions, or coffee tasting sessions, and there are layers and quite compact writing in this one, and the one before. By comparison, Hag-Seed was more by being less.
Under separate cover, I’ve noted that the role of Autolycus is a remarkable character role. In the book, he’s played off as a consummate used car salesmen — with the concomitant patter and otherwise unctuous appeal.
It’s an example of the way the book can add depth to the play’s original intent. Furthering meaning, or, at least, furthering a sample with the possible interpretation.
The past is a grenade that explodes when thrown. Page 166.
As an astrologer, though, it felt even more true, as their were several generations present. Way I read it, clear to to me, the astrological differences between characters, with the lines between generations clearly drawn. More so in this book, did I see the clear personality traits associated with each generation, the In-betweeners (1960-70), Millennial (1980-2000), and Crystals (2000-present).
In the sliced and slicked up version of the book, each group had a strong — iconic to me — representative, behaving in a fashion, as dictated. Kind of a side bonus plus.
The used car salesman, the individual characters drawn out like they were, and the tale’s convoluted back story all, sort of, explained in an novel form, adapted, as such, to the modern novel format? Held together well, and for me, helped further my understanding of the original play itself.
The central figure, blind with jealous rage, felt so familiar. There was an element that made this tale seem even more plausible, in its updated format.