I want to discuss a popular TV show my wife and I have been binge-watching on Netflix. It’s the story of a family man, a man of science, a genius who fell in with the wrong crowd. He slowly descends into madness and desperation, lead by his own egotism. With one mishap after another, he becomes a monster. I’m talking, of course, about Friends and its tragic hero, Ross Geller.
The cold equations of “realism,” some claim, suggest there is little scope for women taking an active and interesting role in epic stories set in fantasy worlds based in a pre-modern era. Women’s lives in the past were limited, constrained, and passive, they say. To include multiple female characters in dynamic roles is to be in thrall to quotas, anachronisms, Political Correctness, and the sad spectacle and dread hyenas of wish-fulfillment.
Is this true?
An absurdist autobiography is either a contradiction in terms or a redundancy, depending on how you look at it. Either the purpose of an autobiography is to make sense of the writer’s life, in which case absurdity would be a severe impediment — or else life itself is absurd, and all autobiographies are too. In his new autobiographical novel, “Gone With the Mind,” Mark Leyner seems to split the difference: He makes sense of his life by unpacking just how ridiculous it is to be alive.
“Curst be he that moves my bones” reads part of the inscription above Shakespeare’s grave at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon. But apparently, someone did.
Researchers led by Kevin Colls, the project manager at the Center of Archaeology at Staffordshire University, have uncovered evidence that they say indicates that Shakespeare’s skull was stolen from his grave by a local doctor in 1794.