Shakespeare is hot.
Consider several high profile films: Kenneth Branaugh's "Henry V," "Much Ado About Nothing," and "Hamlet;" Lawrence Fishburne's critically acclaimed "Othello;" Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, Callista Flockhart in "Midsummer Night's Dream;" Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, in "Romeo and Juliet;" and even Gwyneth Paltrow in "Shakespeare in Love."
What's the appeal? Yes, Shakespeare has stood the test of time. But how come?
This week's column is by Rochelle Logan, my Associate Director for Support Services. She announces an important new enhancement to our services. - Jamie LaRue
Twenty years ago or so, I had the opportunity to see behind the scenes at Disneyland. A family member worked there and took me back to where the employees prepared for their day. I wish I could say that I saw Minnie Mouse walking around without her head on or something equally as interesting, but I didn't. Nevertheless, it was a memorable experience.
Some years ago (1975, I believe) Will and Ariel Durant finished their astonishing Story of Civilization: one hundred centuries of human history in eleven massive volumes.
I'll be blunt. I own it. But I haven't read it. At least, not yet.
I have read, however, their much briefer "Lessons of History," in which they try to boil their long lifetimes of research down to a few, pointed essays. I recommend it. You'll find it at our library.
Many people have expertise. Few have wisdom. The Durants were wise.
I have been writing at least one weekly newspaper column since 1987. How come? In almost every community in this country, the public library does good work. It provides access to a staggering array of intellectual resources. It almost invariably puts bright, funny, helpful people at its service desks. It hosts story times, sponsors stimulating programs for adults, and, in often beautiful buildings, offers free public meeting space.