A Preface in Search of a Story [flash fiction]

Prefatory Remarks

In five days, on April 23, we will commemorate the 402 anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, April 23, 1616. Of course, this is an Old Calendar date. In 1616, England was using the Julian Calendar. The Gregorian Calendar was introduced to Europe in October of the year Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, The Gregorian Calendar was not introduced in England until September 1752. When I say Europe, I mean to say Catholic Europe, which of course is not Protestant Europe or Eastern Orthodox Europe, ways of seeing more than just the religious in these distinctions, a way we have forgotten about, or should I say, have abandoned, and that being said without judgement, without rhetorical edge, if that were at possible at any time anywhere . . . to say or not to say what about Catholic Europe and Protestant Europe, and the Anglican Church is not a Protestant Church, although there are many who might imagine it to be, but then they would be wrong. Just because it is not longer a Church of the Seven Sacraments, as are the Catholic, the Russian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Churches, let us use as examples; the Anglican Church is still a Church of Four Sacraments. As if anyone listening wants to continue to think about this, about any of this–what then is the next point to make. Let us come full circle or fully elliptical, in a couple of days we will be commemorating the 402nd anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. And I have no problem, as we should have no problems in understanding that Shakespeare wrote his plays. Ands why would this be of concern here unless it has come up again, as it has before in the popular imagination, that Shakespeare could not have written his plays, or simply did not write them, but they why do owe imagine this. There is no less known of Shakespeare than any other writer of his time; and we surprisingly know more about him than we do many others we have no questions about. I have always dismissed elitist critiques, as if he had to have been a university educated man–and my prejudice, having spent as much time in theater as I have, tends toward believing that if he had been university educated, would never have written as he had.

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