Monday, January 29, 2007

William Shakespeare: OMOM Essay 37

"About the Sculpture" for this essay was challenging because I aimed to explain Ayn Rand's term "metaphysical value-judgments." By this point in Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan I had discussed so many ideas that were implied by sculptures (rather than explicitly illustrated) that I thought readers would have the necessary foundation for a discussion of MVJs. The essay's hook is the description of a laser technology that creates the equivalent of a 3-D photograph, which introduces the issue of why a mechanical reproduction isn't art, which leads to selectivity, and thence to why an artist would select a certain subject or detail over others.

"About the Subject" reviews New Yorkers' attitudes toward Shakespeare through the 19th century. Did you know that in 1849 twenty-two people were killed at Astor Place in riots over a certain actor's portrayal of Macbeth?

The Forgotten Delights calendar has a close-up of Shakespeare's head and torso along with Polonius's advice from Hamlet.

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