Skip to main content

Shakespeare in Manchester

Having come, and converted to Shakespeare as a mature student in London I was able to ponder whether or not I would have taken to his works so enthusiastically had I remained in Manchester. I'm not just talking about whether, had I never moved away, I would have studied English Literature as a mature student, but, if I had, would I fave FELT the same way; would I have had the same revelations, interpretations, structures of feeling? I wondered this, and continue to do so every now and then because I remember, not so long ago, saying to my sister in Manchester, that I didn't think I could have got into it on anywhere near the level that seemed to be just right in London. I think a lot of it is due to the fact that I grew up in the turbulent inner-city, and so the question expands to 'can anyone get into the profundity of Shakespeare whilst growing up in a tough inner-city area?' 'Of course!' many people would reply, loudly. But I'm not so sure. Things that need to be taken into consideration include, for example, cultural support. If your 'mam' and dad or siblings and friends are making snide remarks like 'Whatcha ya readin' that for?' then it's difficult. But more so, I imagine for myself, it would have been difficult to be engaged when there's a car being joy-ridden around the estate again, then sat alight near your back yard. Maybe it's the exact opposite, maybe it's MORE possible to become engaged if given the oportunity and the cultural and academic support?


Belinda's blog:

http://belindawebb.blogspot.com/

Popular posts from this blog

Who was Mary Burns?

On 7th January 1863 Mary Burns was found dead from a suspected heart attack. She was 43 years old. Since her death Mary has received barely any attention despite the fact that she spent over twenty years as the common-law wife of Friedrich Engels, one of the world’s most influential thinkers and the co-founder of Marxism.

Born in 1822, Mary was the oldest surviving child of textile dyer and factory operative, Michael Burns, and Mary Conroy, Irish immigrants from Tipperary. Mary’s parents had married at St. Patrick’s in an area known casually as Irish Town, one of few Catholic churches in Manchester at that time. The year of Mary’s birth and her infancy were significant in that Manchester was still dealing with the aftermath of the event that became known as the 1819 Peterloo Massacre, a peaceful protest of the working-classes on the site of St. Peter’s Fields in which several people were killed and hundreds injured. The Massacre occurred when magistrates, alarmed at the size of t…

Booker Shortlist announced

It's been a while... I know. Dog walking on the Downs, a bit of theatre, a bit of baking, a bit of writing etcetera etcetera. I also managed to read two complete books in the past month, which I was so pleased about. I had not read a whole book for about a year. The first was A Lie About My Father by Scottish poet/writer, John Burnside; a very well written memoir about father and son, but like all memoirs, some unreliability I felt. Poignant and tragic in equal measure. Then my husband returned from Cyprus (too hot for me this time of year, I can barely cope with England!) with Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong. He loved it. And then I read it and also loved it. I had originally picked it up several years ago but didn't get beyond Amiens, where the first section is set, but was really glad I did this time around. Another incredibly well written book in the style of a good Victorian! I felt a bit unsure about bits of Elizabeth, in the later section, but I have never learnt so muc…

Days Without End and Mosul's Avengers

So fed up am I of buying books that I don't finish, that I decided I would go to the local library for a copy of Sebastian Barry's latest novel, Days Without End, which has just been awarded the Costa Prize. Unfortunately, I could only borrow it on the proviso that it was return by 1 February. I returned it the day after, without having finished it. I was about three quarters through, and will now have to go out and buy it for the final quarter. I loved Barry's The Secret Scripture, and on every publication of a new work, his star rises. Days Without End follows two boys, one descended from native Americans, and the other having arrived on one of the notorious coffin ships from famine struck Sligo. The tale is brave, funny, touching, but most of all Barry has achieved the perfect pitch. It is quite remarkable.

Another remarkable work comes in the form of reportage in the New Yorker (February 6, 2017) The Avengers of Mosul, by Luke Mogelson 'A Reporter at Large'.

Mo…