Monday, May 5, 2014

A Little Shakespeare, A Little Surprise

I can't remember what got me going down this road (maybe talking about my upcoming five-year reunion with a friend?), but I found myself thinking lately that I am not a smart as I used to be.  Easy Exhibit A: I can't do calculus anymore.

Exhibit B:  Back when I was studying abroad at Oxford, I wrote this paper about the different outlooks on honor in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and Henry V for my tutor, who told me that it represented me finding my voice as a Shakespeare critic, which was a pretty cool thing to hear (especially in an English accent).  I submitted it to Connotations, an international journal for critical debate, and it was published.  Since then, I think I've misplaced my inner Shakespeare critic, because reading this over six years later, I'm not sure I could write this paper again.

Surprisingly, after it was published, someone published an essay in response to my essay (kind of like a Shakespeare smack down) and another person apparently referenced my essay in a college term paper.  I didn't find this out until recently and was pretty shocked.  It's weird to see someone referencing something you wrote.

What do you guys think?  Do you ever read something you incredibly wonderful that you wrote and wonder how the hell you did it?


  1. whoa amazing paper! and haha yes...any time I go back and read something from college--particularly political science essays or papers on philosophers, or any of my "hard news" articles for the newspaper I'm like...what am I even saying??

  2. That is so exciting! Not just that you had that paper published, but also that you're a full-fledged Shakespeare scholar! I'm desperately trying to track down a copy of the thesis I wrote in Hong Kong 18 years ago. It's not been easy, but if I ever see it again, the writing could frighten me. Sometimes when I read GOOD CHINESE WIFE, I think I'm reading someone else's writing.

  3. Calculus *shudder*

    I think I'm just as smart, if not smarter, than I used to be, just about different things.

    I keep telling myself that, anyway. Great paper!

  4. How fun to see your college essay living on and being discovered by others. And so true - I'm often surprised to see what I had written when I return to a manuscript. Years ago, I found a notebook from a college logic course - it was a foreign language!

  5. I don't ever think anything I wrote was that wonderful but when I am revising I will read something, feel like it needs a joke or a revision or a special word and then find that I put the exact same thing in the next sentence or paragraph. Sheesh. I guess I'm pretty predictable to myself…

  6. Haha, I think the kid who's phD dissertation on Prester John might be surprised if he ever finds out I referenced him, a lot. I never discount dissertations! Some good work goes into college papers.