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  1. #1
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    Default one nature wrote and the same reads

    Please explain to me the meaning of 'one nature wrote and the same reads' in the following context; I'm totally clueless. Does it mean 'one nature wrote and the same nature reads'? If so, what is the 'nature'? Thanks in advance.
    * * * *
    My ideal reader (and lifelong hero) is Dr. Samuel Johnson, who knew and expressed both the power and the limitation of incessant reading. Like every other activity of the mind, it must satisfy Johnson's prime concern, which is with "what comes near to ourself, what we can put to use." Sir Francis Bacon, who provided some of the ideas that Johnson put to use, famously gave the advice: "Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider." I add to Bacon and Johnson a third sage of reading, Emerson, fierce enemy of history and of all historicisms, who remarked that the best books "impress us with the conviction, that one nature wrote and the same reads." Let me fuse Bacon, Johnson, and Emerson into a formula of how to read: find what comes near to you that can be put to the use of weighing and considering, and that addresses you as though you share the one nature, free of time's tyranny. Pragmatically that means, first find Shakespeare, and let him find you. If King Lear is fully to find you, then weigh and consider the nature it shares with you; its closeness to yourself. I do not intend this as an idealism, but as a pragmatism. Putting the tragedy to use as a complaint against patriarchy is to forsake your own prime interests, particularly as a young woman, which sounds rather more ironical than it is. Shakespeare, more than Sophocles, is the inescapable authority upon intergenerational conflict, and more than anyone else, upon the differences between women and men. Be open to a full reading of King Lear, and you will understand better the origins of what you judge to be patriarchy.
    Last edited by MadHorse; 08-Sep-2006 at 05:20.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: one nature wrote and the same reads

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    Emerson thought that the best books were those whose authors had the same nature (= personality/outlook/ideas/attributes) as the reader-- or at least, those for which the reader thinks so.
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    Default Re: one nature wrote and the same reads

    Quote Originally Posted by MadHorse View Post
    Putting the tragedy to use as a complaint against patriarchy is to forsake your own prime interests, particularly as a young woman, which sounds rather more ironical than it is. Shakespeare, more than Sophocles, is the inescapable authority upon intergenerational conflict, and more than anyone else, upon the differences between women and men. Be open to a full reading of King Lear, and you will understand better the origins of what you judge to be patriarchy.
    Does it mean: 'It may sound ironical but if you only see King Lear as a complaint against patriarchy, then you lose big time, especially if you are a young woman......'?

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    Default Re: one nature wrote and the same reads

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    Yes, interpreting Lear as a complaint against patriarchy is a very limited one. (Actually, I think it is a very mistaken one, in any case.)
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    Default Re: one nature wrote and the same reads

    Thanks Mister Micawber; I also need help on the highlighted part of the succeeding sentence:
    A childhood largely spent watching television yields to an adolescence with a computer, and the university receives a student unlikely to welcome the suggestion that we must endure our going hence even as our going hither: ripeness is all.
    I googled only to find it the words of Edgar in King Lear.
    Last edited by MadHorse; 08-Sep-2006 at 15:25.

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    Default Re: one nature wrote and the same reads

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    We must all suffer death as we suffer birth, but the appropriate time for these is the significant factor.
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