Coincidence? I finally (it’s been on my to-do list for a while) started re-reading Thornton Wilder’s Ides of March… in March? Actually I started re-reading it the last few days of March and casually finished it at the end of April. Reason? I had put it off long enough–and it was time. For I knew, dear worst-reader, after #Trump was elected there would be new & improved worst-criticisms galore–don’t you know–relating to certain aspects of human history. And so. Toilet literature moments of worst-writer have been revealed. Which means I finally got around to finishing the book by the end of April. Indeed. The little things in life that motivate, resuscitate, intrigue are worth taking with a grain of salt-sugar as life goes flush-flush, swirling, heralding down that sewer–that sewer meant for me.
The worst-thing about the Ides of March is this: I’ve always been fascinated with Julius Caesar and I’m not sure why. Same goes for Napoleon–and the reason for that is even more confusing. Even though I’m not much of a history buff–on account of the way History has been mis-taught–a few parts of it do kinda stick out (in my worst-mind) and fascinate (me). With that in mind, I could give a hoot about Julius Caesar–the man. What does interest me, though, is to read about why so much of the limited, one sided, agenda driven history we’ve been taught, so often and so easily, comes back to haunt us toot-suite (idiom error) and it all seems to coincide easily with what’s already happened.
Here’s the short answer/reason worst-writer thinks Julius Caesar is (and should be) part of the history that is happening right now. After President Stupid was elected in my beloved (and missed) #Americant in 2016, I recall reading about a New York play production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. In that play Caesar was dressed up to look like–hair, suit, tie n’all–Donald Trump, aka President Stupid. (Interwebnet search: “julius caesar as donald trump” and look at the images.) Even though I consider President Stupid an abomination and deserving of the treatment he receives from Lefties and humans with half a brain, I immediately wondered why all the coverage from that particular NY play was only about the bloody death of #Trump looking like Julius Caesar. (Wait. Scratch that last statement. Reverse its ending). Don’t/can’t people understand that Julius Caesar by Shakespeare has a lot more to offer than just the bloody death of a lingering, sleeping, lazy, precursor to this/our world of tyranny? But I digress.
It’s been a while since I read the play. In fact, it’s now on my to-do re-read list–especially after trying to absorb The Ides of March which ultimately brings me back to Julius Caesar–the play. The only problem is, I might have to track down that guy from Bielefeld who I lent my only English copy of Julius Caesar. That’s right. He never returned it. Aghast! Nomatter. I still have a college anthology English literature book or two that is sure to have the play. So I’ll get to it soon enough. Also. It’s a big regret of mine that I’ve never actually seen the play on stage. Back in the day (when I was young) I had a list of Shakespeare plays to see (before the day comes that I turn into bitter worst-writer and stop going to the theatre). Yeah. Unfortunately I never saw Julius Caesar on stage. Oh well.
The one thing I recall about reading Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar that connects to Donald Trump being president of the land-of-free-to-be-stupid has nothing to do with his death. Shakespeare recreated the politics and human behaviour that not only gives us Julius Caesar but also taketh the man away. Put another way. The factions of politics, the believers of the Gods, the Senators, the wives, the wealthy, etc., etc., are a perfect depiction of human behaviour that still goes on today. Obviously Shakespeare–and, as I’ve recently learned now Thornton Wilder–saw all this vividly. I’m just wondering if Thornton Wilder saw it all through Shakespeare?
Coming back to what I worst-wrote at the beginning of this worst-post. I don’t believe History should be taught as a single curriculum. Instead, we should learn history as we learn other more important things. You know, we should learn things that help us think, help us teach ourselves to learn. You know, like reading, writing, science and, what the hell, studying the mechanics of politics. So. Is it possible that Thornton Wilder thought the same when he embarked on writing The Ides of March? I mean, for the life of me, why would anyone come up such a creative and entertaining take on the life of one of human history’s most notorious tyrants? But then again, if my question has even an ounce of validity… I’m more than tickled as every college sorority girl in spring time who can afford plans to win the lottery of fraternity brothers galore where tall, dark and handsome square jaw lines and eyebrows raised to prove the fear their mothers taught them have been right all along. It’s all about the end and never the means. Or. Put another way: In this day & age of #Trumpism and grabbing things by the pussy: you go girls! And so. The only thing missing from Wilder’s letter novel is a few more details on Cleopatra, the Rome visiting babe. But before I get too far off subject.
Yes. This worst-post is supposed to be about Thornton Wilder. But I’m not doing such a great job on that. Instead, I’m worst-wondering right now how much brilliance a man can possess to be able to turn out a historical novel like The Ides of March? This book will probably not leave my side for many years to come. It not only has few spelling errors but the whole idear of encasing such a historical event in letters written between those that made the event happen…? I know. I know. This is what an epistolary novel is supposed to be. But where the heck did Wilder get so much out of history to put this book together? From some history class? I think not!
Obviously it couldn’t have been Shakespeare alone that drove Wilder to write The Ides of March. Reason? Some of the letters of this novel come from pre WW2 western world politics. Specifically, some of the letters are supposed to come from Mussolini’s fascist playground of Rome, i.e. the Rome that is a bit closer to what we all know today (geographically). Oh yea, baby. At the least people should be required to read The Ides of March only to see how a brilliant mind can work shit out as though there’s no need for fake newz, faux newz or profit margins being evaluated before anything has ever even been done.
We’re living in times where millions upon millions of people who watch WWE also stand by the election of an abomination to the highest political office the world has ever mis-created. The Ides of March is welcome read to help one gather thoughts about a world of worst. Or maybe not.
I am somewhat taken aback at how good The Ides of March is, especially since I read it many years ago but seem to have misplaced what I read in the confines of my dark-mind. Why isn’t The Ides of March part of study in ALL school systems? I mean, it doesn’t matter if this is a pseudo-history or if Julius Caesar is only a caricature for what so many men have desired to become. What matters is the depiction of all that is wrong in human nature–which seems to be what this world is all about. It’s as though Thornton Wilder lays out for us effortlessly an easy-to-read soap-opera-like novel in the form of letters sent between neighbours of all sorts–like the ones next to you. And even though Wilder complicates things by interjecting and mixing up those letters, especially chronologically, it doesn’t matter. The feeling that you’re reading a story someone is able to piece together with a brilliant mind, with brilliant intent, is worth every moment. Human nature hasn’t changed one bit–according to Shakespeare and Thornton Wilder. And that’s the crux of what people misunderstand in these days of selfish, beguiled confusion about money, greed and pussy-grabbing galore.