Bryson’s Shakespeare: of genius and confabulations

The Dutch subtitle of Bill Bryson’s book Shakespeare is “Een biografie” (A Biography). I read the book and found this subtitle misplaced.

The subtitle of the english original is “The World as a Stage”.  How does that translate to “Een biografie”?bryson shakespeare nl

Bryson writes right in the beginning of the book that very little is known about Shakespeare. So little, that you realistically can not expect more from a book about Shakespeare than the description of a handful of meagre facts, augmented with assumptions, phantasies and preliminary conclusions about the life and times Shakespeare.

Bryson even admits this is the reason the book has such a modest modest size.shakespears_bryson-en

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Austin Kleon and Johnny Rotten: a desire to constantly evolve

I hate self

To start with the same introduction that Austin Kleon uses in the beginning his Show Your Work.

I just read in Walden from Henry David Thoreau, a book that I had to let go. I could not consume these long elaborations on his simplified way of life any longer. Though I found his world views interesting. And the way he exchanges philosophical elaborations with down to earth statistics and lists of stuff he bought and sold for his house or from his gardening.Walden_Thoreau

But Show Your Work reads very well. It is practical and motivational.

And the conclusion: Do The Work. This keeps coming back so often. Pressfield wrote a book about it. Get the fuck out of their chair. Start typing.

Kleon takes the myth out of most things. Everything is basically common dothework_booksense. Don’t bullshit. Find an easy way of sharing work.

Do not do networking, but let the network do the work, while you add value to your network.

The amateur is king: the amateur is not afraid to do things a new way, another way than the established professionals.

Naivety = openness to new things.

“Watching amateurs at work can also inspire us to attempt the work ourselves. “I saw the Sex Pistols,” said New Order frontman Bernard Sumner. ‘They were terrible. . . . I wanted to get up and be terrible with them.’ Raw enthusiasm is contagious.”

Interesting, as Johnny Rotten/Lydon has always referred to punk as a similar notion:rotten

“Punk is a state of mind open to new ideas, with a desire to constantly evolve, to find the next step, not only in music but also in the world around us.”

Full article (and the french original article): Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten On The Real Meaning Of Punk

“I constantly try to deliver this message: “Admire someone’s work, but don’t imitate it, don’t lose your personality.”

Kleon is a buddhist I think. He writes:

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”

Some time go I read Buddhism for Dummies, Jonathan Landaw, Stephan Bodian, and Gudrun Bühnemann:buddhism for dummies

“Buddhism has always considered death to be one of the most powerful teachers, but this doesn’t make it a joyless or life-denying religion. Buddhism simply acknowledges that death has an unparalleled capacity to force you to look deeply into your own heart and mind and recognize what really matters.”

Klein later on expresses:

“The experience of shaping the work is what matters”

Klein does bother about sharing his knowledge and experience with competitors. He knows his value. He even put it stronger, as a competitive advantage:

“Teaching people doesn’t subtract value from what you do, it actually adds to it.”

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