Editing, in itself, is not the problem. Editing is usually necessary if we want to end up with
something satisfactory… [But] The habit of compulsive, premature editing doesn’t just
make writing hard. It also makes writing dead.
— Peter Elbow, Writing Without Teachers
When we have a good memory of our childhood, we shouldn’t visit it after we grow old.
I was saddened like most of the world, when I heard of Robin Williams’s death. I was sad not only because he was gone, and I would never be delighted anew by his acting or his comedy or even his smile, but also because of the way he died. To take one’s own life is such an admission of hopelessness. It was hard to take.
Each fall semester, I anticipate him. I keep open a substantial space in the syllabus for one of his plays. I move through Beowulf and trek through Chaucer until I arrive at that sweet spot – Shakespeare. But however giddy I am about the bard, each year I field the same question that, when pared down to its bare bones, asks – What does dead old Shakespeare have to do with me? What does this centuries old story have to do with my field of biology or law or business?