The Dinghy

The Dinghy

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Monday, April 21, 2003
 
I go: “I am not what I am.”

I say, I should say.

Iago says, I should say, to be fair.

But to be fair I should really say that Shakespeare said it. Right. Actually, to be right I should say that Shakespeare said it.

Write again.

To be right, I should write that Shakespeare said it.

“I am not what I am.”

Although, I suppose he wrote it himself. To be right, I should write that Shakespeare wrote “I am not what I am.”

Or so I am told. Or, in the spirit of accuracy--so I have read (read: red).

But various personages are now telling me that he did not write it. Did someone else named Shakespeare write it? “I am not what I am,” some other Shakespeare wrote. Or, possibly, the real, illiterate Shakespeare (Shaksper) wrote it. Or Shaykh Zubayr, or the Earl of Oxford, or an amalgamation of personages or Don Quixote.

To be (as we turn the tables here) fair to myself though, if it were Edward de Vere (or someone like him) who wrote it, the sentence “’I am not what I am,’ Shakespeare wrote,” would have, somehow, some degree of accuracy. (I think. Or perhaps not.)

If we, bemused by our own confusion, look to the learned Borges for some sort of guidance, we read (read: reed) that God has, in fact, spoken to Shakespeare (or his literate double, as the case may be), and told him that, for all practical purposes, he (Shakespeare) is God (dream of and dreamer of Shakespeare). Which puts a rather confusing spin on things (and negates much of the quibbling which has taken place heretofore herein).

“I am not what I am,” God says through his reflection (Shakespeare or someone like him), who is speaking through the mouth of Iago. O O O O, I myself groan at the asinine and unnecessary intricacies of it all. But let us be fair. And accurate. It is only write. Right, rather.

It goes like this: in the words of God in the words of Shakespeare (or his illiterate double), in the words of Iago, I say: “I am not what I am.”

Or rather, I write it.

But really, this is not about God, Shakespeare, Shaksper, Christopher Marlowe, Edward de Vere, the illiterate Shakespeare, Iago, or any of a multitudinous troupe of similarly bit players.

This is about me. Or, rather, it is not.

So I write: “I am not what I am.”

To hedge my bets a bit, I could write “’I am not what I am,’ is written.”

But of course, that would wholly obfuscate the point.

All of this is, obviously, about me.

No. It is not.

Sincerely,

i am a Weakish Speller.
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--the above text, most probably written by an illiterate madman (signs point to the perpetrator being my Ultimate Progenitor, an Ignorant Orthonym or an as yet Unnamed Interloper--though the question of authorship is still in doubt) was discovered, scrawled in a feminine hand on a crumpled folio next to my wastepaper basket. I aim to find this man (or these men) who has (or have?) tresspassed my locked study, and prosecute him (all of them) to the fullest extent of the law.


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