Friday, January 22, 2016

The Giftie Gie Us

22nd January 2016

Sometimes as writers, we forget what most people in life disregard, which is that this business is supposed to bring pleasure. Just once in a while we should think on the words of Victorian novelist Samuel Butler: Man, unlike the animals, has never learned that the sole purpose of life is to enjoy it.  Writers are the only sub-category of human beings who think it is their sole purpose in life to be profoundly "serious."

Scotland's bard, Robert Burns famously wrote: O wad some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as ithers see  us.
The best rule for a writer is not to take himself/herself too seriously.
I am in New York City, home to many a serious writer, death to more than a few - my favourite Dylan Thomas among them after eighteen straight whiskies!
Tonight, I'm going to see Something Rotten on Broadway, a spoof on the life of Shakespeare, the really serious bard. People get so uptight and self-righteous about Shakespeare because he has become the touchstone of all "serious literature."

This irreverent romp has Shakespeare's Hamlet in competition with a new musical by Nick Bottom called, "Omelette."
As the great bard Mae West once said, To err is human, but it feels divine.  And so does laughter. So, be not afraid, ye scribblers. Allow yourselves a moment to lighten up, and be divine.

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