4/23/2020 Another Shakespeare Day on The Farm re-post. Originally published April 25, 2016. See here for background on the stage and cast of characters.
Before I begin to reflect on what it’s like to see– in real life person– a book that is ~400 years old, I’d like to apologize to you Edumacated City Mice out there who already know what a Folio is, and to explain to my fellow Country Mice why it is incorrect to say that I saw THE first Folio. (Tip of the Yamaha to The J-Man for this literarily relevant grammatical point.)
Before I do that, here’s a story. One of the first original compilations of Shakespeare’s* plays– the First Folio–is currently on display at Ole Miss. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 750 or 900 or whatever copies were originally printed. There are 236 (234?) in known existence today. I italicize ‘known’ because the most recent copy of the First Printing of most of Shakespeare’s works was discovered just the other day.
On the occasion of the 400th anniversary (celebrate!) of Shakespeare’s death (celebrate?), a copy of the First Folio is being displayed in every state in the Union.
My phone rang as I was exiting the museum. It was Miss M. I told her how wonderful it was! While walking up the steps to the street, I tried to communicate to her the moment of having seen a book printed in 1623, a book which is under armed guard, a book no two copies of which are really the same.
Miss M asked, “Mom, are you okay?”
There’s a lot of stuff blooming on the campus of THE University of Mississippi right now and I sniffed, “Yeah. I’m fine.”
And Miss M said, “You sound like you are crying.”
And I sniffed and said, “Well. There may be a tear in my eye, but I am not crying.”
Anywhoo– as we like to say in 2016– it was really something.
This is a Folio page.
This is a quarto page.
There was an associated Philosophy Conference and post-Conference we reconnoitered at Daughter C’s and The J-Man’s digs to talk Shakespeare and Philosophy.
That Bebe just does not sleep. All evening long, all she wanted to do was talk and talk and talk. The more adult dogs in the room were content to listen to their betters. But not Bebe.
No Sir! Not Bebe. She knows what it’s like to be Bebe.
All the world’s a Farm.