Date: May 18, 2005 5:31 PM
Subject: big willie style
I’m cleaning up my archives… by cleaning I mean going through and deciding to take 90% of it with me.
I found this and had to type it up, it’s so good… it’s amazing how well it’s aged, and how little we have.
I’ll post it to trenchant.org later this week if you don’t mind.
Craig I. H.
R & G Are Dead
Mods 11 - 13
Dear Tom Stoppard,
I am writing to you after having recently read your play Rosencrants and Guildenstern are Dead, and I would like to extend my gratitude to you. It seems as if everyone nowadays hails me as some sort of literary genius, and that my works are often placed on a pedestal they truly do not amount to, as if they were somehow “untouchable” and impeccable. Truth be known, I really had no idea how to make a character amount to anything more than the situations he was thrown into, and my plays usually lacked continuity and coherence, especially to an audience in this modern world who doesn’t really give a damn about “biting thumbs” or killing kinds when they have to worry about where they’re going to get their crack-rock that day.
I feel that your play really reaches out to an audience that would normally be turned off by my mundane, tedious works by using humor more effectively than I ever did or could. My plays always had jokes and puns thrown in without any relevance to the plot, and were even delivered by unnecessary characters (the “Gravedigger” in Hamlet.) The witty banter that flows throughout your play makes me want to burn Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and basically every other play I’ve written that is current a part of the Niles West curriculum.
At first, I must admit, I was really thrown off by your cynicism, and thought it was rather unpleasant and excessive. I, too, had my moments when I was skeptical (“Only my life. Only my life.” “This too too solid flesh.“), but it seemed that the play drove at the futility of humankind the entire time… and then I saw Titanic. The movie exemplifies everything that is wrong with today’s youth, and the world in general. Doesn’t anyone realize those two misguided kids could not act? Doesn’t anyone realize that it is not “the greatest movie of all time” but simply the lowest common denominator? Don’t teenagers feel used the way they were targeted for the marketing ploys of corporate America/
Titatnic just sucked, and I am now able to appreciate your play in its entirety and glory. I hope someday your play receives the literary praise I don’t deserve, and that Leonardo, Titanic, Hanson, white-hatters, and Mr. Alesi all disappear like dear Rosencrantz and gentle Guildenstern did at the end of your play.
Big Willie Style,
[Editor’s postscript: this is even funnier when you realize Craig’s refusal to take any Shakespeare courses in college led to him not graduating initially, and being forced to take an extra course after leaving the University to finish his degree.]
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