Feb 26Liked by Greg Olear

Good morning

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Feb 26Liked by Greg Olear

O who ?

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Because it was Stephanie, I broke down and joined Spotify to hear her latest. Glad to have done it. She is very talented! Proud to say I figured out "ICHBOK" all by myself!

Othello: I read it years and years and years ago. Suffice it to say was relieved that you provided "Cliff Notes" for us to refresh our collective memories.

The Five/8. Good show, once again. I always watch after-the-fact. I don't get an option to "Like" so don't know if that matters for your purposes? Hope LB is okay and will be all better next week.

Many thanks, Greg!

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Every time I read your Sunday pages, it occurs to me that you squeezed out every cent's worth of value from your education at Georgetown. You are a consummate lit crit grad.

Verdi's Otello (Othello) is my favorite opera/Shakespeare tragedy, and I must have grown up surrounded by very different people than you did because this opera/play has always made perfect sense to me ever since I first read it in college and then subsequently became an operaphile. There was no doubt in my mind that shitty humans like Iago slink the earth.

Especially since WWII when the Nazis let loose on the land the political movement borne of jealousy of what others have, but that you want and yet are too stupid, feckless, and lazy to do for yourself, can and should be yours by way of killing, stealing, and "othering" those who have what you want.

This play is and always will speak to lethal entitlement.

And yes, it's too long. All operas from the 19th Century are too long, too, even if I don't play Wordle.

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Feb 26Liked by Greg Olear

Awesome as ever, Greg. Shakespeare is one of the touchstones for me; the older I get, the more fascinated I am by how differently they read each time. For instance, I was struck watching the Coens’ Macbeth a while back by what a schmuck he is. He’s nothing more than the sum of the manipulations he swims in—his greed, the greed of those around him, various prides. He doesn’t seem to make choices. He just reacts. Othello as you note is much the same … all too ready a sucker who will throw away everything he loves on the basis of misinformation he should see through.

On the one hand, this is tragedy, but it’s also more subtle than that. One of the things that has always struck me in 1984 is that the proles could easily end the system if they wanted, but they’re happy with their beer and spectacle. It feels like the biggest implication of the book to me, and yet it’s almost entirely overlooked. So much of Shakespeare seems that way to me … as if he’s saying “the answers are so clear and so obvious and yet you’re caught up in this. You fall prey to the Iagos, but not in the way Othello does. You fall prey to their system. You fall prey to both Iago and Othello.” It feels like he’s undermining the premise itself, and of course doing it in the most subtle way imaginable.

Anyway, you’ve become one of the best parts of my Sundays … thanks as always for elevating the discourse!

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Feb 26Liked by Greg Olear

I really like how your interviews and the current events, big and small, influence your writing. Iago is another “cuck” whose only redeeming feature is his ability to shut up in the end, unlike a Chucklecuck we know.

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Feb 26Liked by Greg Olear

Wish I spoke Shakespearen

But English is my only reading language.

I once went to sn opera in NY. I left after about an hour as I didn't get it.

Oh well. NEXT LIFE.

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I found that


offers a

"Othello for Dummies."

I get at it as soon as I finish my required reading of the Great Gatsby.

So far it's kept me gasping.

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who anonymously

Mailed me a copy of

Pepe 2030?

I'll pass it along to my

Great grandson.

At three his reading comprehension is already greater than mine.

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