The other day I happened upon a copy of The Tempest and was struck by the thought that despite having studied English at university my knowledge of Shakespeare is actually pretty woeful. A trip to my local library led to me coming away with stacks of the things and a resolution to fill these gaps in my knowledge.
But while I was there I thought, why limit it to Shakespeare? There are loads of other great plays out there that I’ve never seen performed and can’t know for sure that I necessarily ever will… So I grabbed some of them too.
And why limit it to plays? I’ve mentioned before on this blog that my poetic knowledge is seriously lacking, so I popped a few volumes of poetry in the pile too. I was also interested to see recently that a graphic novel, Sabrina by Nick Drnaso, has been longlisted for the Booker Prize, sparking discussions in the press and online about the comic-book art-form, and I realised that (apart from my childhood favourite Tintin of course) I’ve never read any of those either.
I now have a heap of around thirty plays (from Euripides through to Moliére, Aphra Behn, Henrik Ibsen and Harold Pinter), ten poetry books (eg Lorca, Yeats, Neruda and Wendy Cope) and ten graphic novels (such as Maus, Persepolis and The Sandman) that I’m going to plunge into and write about on here as I go. A slight broadening of my reading horizons hopefully awaits! I’m going to call it the 4P’s, or the Plays, Poems & Panels Project (that’s panels like the artwork boxes in graphic novels? I scraped the barrel really, anything for alliteration…). I hope you enjoy it!