Has written Shakespeare novels

The world of William Shakespeare

Dear Mr. Twain,

i love you for a long long time. “Tom Sawyer's adventure”, “A Yankee at King Arthur's court”, “Prince and beggar boy”, when I trotted to the public library, everything was always safe decisions, excitement and amusement were guaranteed, well, and “Huckleberry Finn”, in the Basically a non-translatable book where you kept asking yourself what this Berlin boy was doing there on the Mississippi, for heaven's sake. That was of course due to the translation, which was far from adequate to the original, that southern accent in Berlin diction - but I didn't care at all! The stories you have to tell were just, along with Stevenson and Dickens, the most wonderful thing that could have happened to me as a young reader. I couldn't care less that this book was also considered a milestone in American literature when I took a self-made raft down the Erpe (a small river right in front of our front door), which flowed directly into the Müggelspree and then a little further to the Limit of what is allowed, so that you could just swim back when the loosely tied wooden planks slowly dissolved, sank into the Spree and my buddies and I reached the bank with the last bit of strength, exhausted but happy.


This was also your strength, Mr. Twain, which reached our hearts over the decades up to our century. Your personality, that connected with us young adventurers who were trapped in bourgeois structures and whose imagination rose and flew over every picket or border fence, made you our fellow sufferer, our closest confidante, and was more than formative for me: the non-educational, this Tom Sawyer, a boy through and through, a horror for every feminist.

II
I am sending these eulogies first, dear Mark Twain, to make you weigh me for what I still have to say. Because I will have to contradict half of your theory and dare to break out of the cover of my dangerous half-knowledge, in which everyone is trapped when they deal with a person who probably didn't even exist, neither as Francis Bacon nor as anyone else. Because I believe, William Shakespeare, there were many, very many - which led this man directly into religion , right up into the sacred, into the realm of worship, and that's where the most unscientific word of all comes into play: Faith.

III
I think "Shakespeare" was a brilliant group of actors who played and perfected these pieces and had a repertoire of knowledge. I know that in the educated middle class this often has no place in the idea that there were people who were well versed in history and in the legends handed down. Shakespeare was, as we would say today, uneducated. But it is precisely the “uneducated” who have the time, leisure and interest in stories. What the series is to us today, in its epic dimensions and ramifications, was probably antiquity and history, the battle tales and so on for people back then. I also like to imagine that while working on a new play, research was carried out accordingly: that Shakespeare was a kind of writers room. Mr. Twain, please, who's called Shakespeare?
When I try to imagine Shakespeare and all the writings that were written about him before and after your time, my brain gets as dusty as these rinds, and I think of the big sentence in that book I mentioned: “A hundred yards of picket fence , life seemed pointless to him and existence a burden. "


So if you only think of the kilometer-long, blue-bound, gold-embossed volumes that are now only published by the German Shakespeare Society, you could also freely exclaim with Claudius from Hamlet: “O heavy burden, he's coming, let's withdraw ! "
It seems that the less you know about someone, the more is written about them.
I can assure you, dear Mr. Twain, that since you passed away - and that was more than a hundred years ago - there has been hardly any progress in this tiresome discussion, whether it was HIM or not.


Shakespeare is like God. It doesn't exist. And it does exist. Apart from his writings and the representations, which despite the second commandment “You should not make an image of me” exist en masse and in the most varied of quality, there is nothing. These pictures have one thing in common: God has a beard on all of them. (Like santa claus) In Shakespeare, that's practically the earring. So far there has only been this one portrait of Mr. Shakespeare, even this one more in the realm of assertion than in scientific certainty. Some time ago a second portrait appeared that claims the right to portray Shakespeare. To protect myself from any confusion, I say: on both of the paintings, which depict absolutely different men, we see two men from the writers room named Shakespeare. Her mark was the earring, a mark of the traveling people.

IV
Now I would like to be your captain on the ship, Mr. Twain, with whom we steam down the Mississippi, because one thing is clear - studying Shakespeare is a delightful, if pointless, pastime. But there is no point in any good pastime, and there are the apostles who wrote the Bible. So several. From different perspectives.


Shakespeare is divided into different authors who have also written themselves. We know that the quartos were put together from different versions. We know that the actors got their roles back then, that is, paper rolls that really only contained the characters they had to play. You could only have read the whole play if you had collected the rolls of paper from every single actor. Since, as we know, Shakespeare's work is also a conglomerate of thefts of intellectual property, great care was taken at the time to ensure that no information about this piece leaked out, because back then, of course, the theater was primarily about disseminating what we were doing Call it Plot today, a service for the audience that has unfortunately gone out of fashion in the theater these days. When we look at how scripts are distributed secretly and under the strictest conditions these days, sometimes just the roles, by the way, one can imagine how material written by several authors in the performances, through improvisation and interaction of the actors with the audience, becomes a perfected material in the end to the profound workthat is so hard to imagine that it came from the pen of the man who is believed to be identical to Shakespeare.


I know you, Mr. Twain, would like to tie this to Sir Francis Bacon, who for you has all the qualifications of a high-class poet who is well versed in all fields of knowledge. But let's leave Bacon his work - it's as big as him, but it is overshadowed by Shakespeare. And we want to leave it there. Because Shakespeare is the name for something that, in addition to poetry, dramaturgy and characters, also tells of his genius and that makes his plays playable to this day: his practical knowledge of the mechanics of the theater. It cannot come from one man alone, it comes - I call out to you in the afterlife - from an entire generation of theater.


Anyone who has ever staged or seen Shakespeare and I can justifiably say that about myself, one thing cannot have escaped: the exorbitant length and the dramaturgically intertwined stories of his pieces.
Let's look at the “Midsummer Night's Dream”. You could say it was a masterpiece of dramaturgy, an almost mathematical solution for bringing together a wide variety of narrative strands. Every Berlin traffic planner can take an example from this. The “Midsummer Night's Dream” alone has, I believe, five different narrative levels, which I do not want to go into here, but I maintain that in addition to the fact that there are absolutely dispensable storylines, one has to set priorities that horror every Shakespeare purist would freeze up whether the iniquity in his work that one has to face if one does not want to lose the audience's attention. There is much to suggest that the complexity of this piece is the result of the work of numerous actors and participants.


The "Midsummer Night's Dream" is just one example among many, dear Mr. Twain, but I'll leave it with him for now. And thank you from the bottom of my heart for this little book, for "Is Shakespeare Dead?"because it made me occupy myself with HIM and you, with the theater and with my early inspirational reading of "Tom Sawyer" and the "Midsummer Night's Dream".

Your Leander Haussmann