Birth of Consciousness [Flash Fiction]

He says what he days about Hamlet and Shakespeare and literature believing in the standards of Canonicity, even while disputing the hypocrisies involved in the full standards of inclusion. He has had no problem saying things like “Hamlet’s most famous soliloquy represents a hallmark moment in the birth of the modern.” Why should he, he would have said had the question of should or should not occurred to him. “It is in this soliloquy that we are presented most starkly with the fact of a character overhearing himself think,” he has said before ion these and other like words. “Before Shakespeare, ” he insisted, “and even contemporaneously with Shakespeare,” he added, “characters did not overhear themselves.” He paused. He thought again. He said that “maybe this is an over statement,” and then added, “but not by much.” He continued, “Self-consciousness was born in Shakespeare’s dramas, and we are given a glorious model to imitate,” he said smiling, about to sip from his freshly poured pint at the bar at Saint D.’s.  “Yes, in imitatio de Shakespeare.” He paused.  “There are literary Gods and that’s self-evident to me,” he said.

What is this about the birth of consciousness? “Hamlet is the father of modern consciousness,” he has said many times. “I know how grandiose that sounds,” he said. He paused. He sipped again from his imperial pint.

“I agree with Bloom when he asserts the same. I also agree with too many of the traditional notions of Shakespeare’s supremacy, which does have something to do with his existence preceeding any essence the resenters of the Canon try to assert. Social Energies did not write Hamlet. Detractors from the Canon still cannot explain why these social energies coalesced in Shakespeare and not a cobbler’s son or one of Elizabeth’s courtiers,” he said.

He paused. He took a gulp this time. He ordered the fish and chips. He spied a table to grab with his friends. He said he was hungry. He finished his pint in another gulp. He ordered another to have at the table.


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