Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Is He Trying to Impress the Smart Girl so He Can Invite Her to Prom?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Is He Trying to Impress the Smart Girl so He Can Invite Her to Prom?

In her Saturday New York Times column, "Much Ado About Reading," Maureen Dowd is still looking at the Prez's summer reading list. Apparently he's claiming to have read 53 to 60 books (when you read so many in just a couple of months, I guess it's just to be expected that you're going to lose count). You probably already noticed that he'd claimed to have read Camus's The Stranger. But did everybody see that Tony Snow clarified the fact that Bush read it in English? Because we all would've assumed that he'd gone back and read it in the original French, otherwise. But now he's apparently reading Shakespeare, as well. Dowd thinks that's a good idea, but she's quickly contradicted:

But I'm tickled that W. is reading Shakespeare, even if it's just to please his wife or win a bet with his strategist. The president has been so tone-deaf in dealing with the world, and even with his own father, that he can only benefit from a dip in the Bard's ocean of insight about the vicissitudes of human nature and war. Not to mention the benefits of being exposed to the beauty and precision of the language.

Stephen Greenblatt, the Harvard professor and author of "Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare," demurs, noting that "there's no reason to think reading Shakespeare necessarily makes you a more reflective or deeper person. Otherwise, the Nazis who kept the German Shakespeare Society going in the '30s and '40's would have learned something."

Oh, well. The optimism was good while it lasted. Read the rest of Dowd's column at donkey o.d.


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