Hail to Thee, Okoboji U! A Humor Anthology on Higher Education

By Mark C. Ebersole | Go to book overview

The Shakespeare Interview

Brock Brower

William Shakespeare lives in a stylish, imitation-Tudor house at Stratford-on-Avon, a growing exurbanite community some ninety miles outside of London. He was born here in 1564, and not long ago decided to return, hoping that the country air would alleviate a pale cast of thought that has bothered him ever since his tragic period. The slanting half-timbers, the asphodels, the greenwood, and a new coat of arms give the New Place in Chapel Street a rich feeling of hey-nonny-no.

Mr. Shakespeare met us at the gate. We quickly recognized the firm, exopthalmic phiz of the First Folio portrait with bagged chin and five o'clock shadow. He looked saddened, but rested. With obvious pride, he began walking us over his freehold toward the garden. "It's really the movie sale of Hamlet that's done it," he admitted. "We've even been talking about taking a trip. I rounded up some pamphlets on Bermuda the other day. We'll probably never go, but it's nice to think about."

Through a mullioned back window, we noticed Anne--his accommodating, somewhat elderly wife--fluffing out the bolster on the second-best bed. In a far corner of the garden, his granddaughter Elizabeth sat, studying a chess problem. We reached a mulberry tree, where a much-thumbed Holinshed lay open on a bench, and, beside it, a copy of Plutarch, heavily underlined. We took our seats (a near-by armillary served as ground for our tape recorder), and he asked us for news of London. He wanted to know if we found the work of Beaumont and Fletcher at all to our taste, if Ben Jonson was still roaring around town, and if the Bear Garden had reopened next to the Globe Theatre. We reassured him on all counts, though he was grieved to hear that the Mermaid Tavern had temporarily lost its license.

INTERVIEWERS: Do you think the Mermaid Tavern has been an important influence on you?

MR. SHAKESPEARE: You mean, as a literary thing?

INTERVIEWERS: Yes. Taken as something typically Elizabethan.

MR. SHAKESPEARE: Now you must be very careful how you use that

-147-

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Hail to Thee, Okoboji U! A Humor Anthology on Higher Education
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction xi
  • A Short History of Higher Education 1
  • Solemnity, Gloom and the Academic Style: A Reflection 7
  • How to Get In 10
  • The Rich Scholar 14
  • Off to College 18
  • Gather Round, Collegians 21
  • Hail to Thee, Okoboji! 26
  • Wherefore Art Thou Nittany? 27
  • University Days 29
  • University Days 34
  • Taste of Princeton 39
  • Hell Only Breaks Loose Once 41
  • Hell Only Breaks Loose Once 45
  • Hell Only Breaks Loose Once 47
  • Hell Only Breaks Loose Once 51
  • Hell Only Breaks Loose Once 57
  • Hell Only Breaks Loose Once 63
  • Professor Pnin 72
  • The Rivercliff Golf Killings 76
  • Two Limericks 84
  • Professor Tattersall 86
  • Report on the Barnhouse Effect 93
  • Report on the Barnhouse Effect 105
  • Report on the Barnhouse Effect 107
  • Report on the Barnhouse Effect 112
  • Report on the Barnhouse Effect 114
  • Report on the Barnhouse Effect 117
  • Handy-Dandy Plan to Save Our Colleges 122
  • Jocelyn College 128
  • Reforming Yale 133
  • The Groves of Academe: Deep, Deep Words 135
  • Survey of Literature 143
  • Shakespeare Explained 144
  • The Shakespeare Interview 147
  • Professor Gratt 152
  • The Cliché Expert Testifies on Literary Criticism 153
  • Great Poets 158
  • Webley I. Webster: Wisdom of the Ages 164
  • The Immortal Hair Trunk 166
  • How to Understand Music 169
  • 1776 and All That. the First Memorable History of America 172
  • If He Scholars, Let Him Go 183
  • The Truth About History 185
  • The Truth About History 188
  • The Universe and the Philosopher 191
  • My Philosophy 193
  • My Philosophy 196
  • My Philosophy 198
  • My Philosophy 199
  • My Philosophy 200
  • Science 203
  • Philosopher 205
  • Mr. Science 208
  • One Very Smart Tomato 210
  • Botanist, Aroint Thee! Or, Henbane by Any Other Name 212
  • Nonsense Botany 213
  • Book Learning 218
  • Prehistoric Animals of the Middle West 219
  • Prehistoric Animals of the Middle West 224
  • A Pure Mathematician 228
  • Thinking Black Holes Through 231
  • The Purist 234
  • Theoretical Theories 235
  • Professor Piccard 235
  • How Newton Discovered the Law of Gravitation 237
  • Parlez-Vous Presidentialese? 252
  • The Secret Life of Henry Harting 255
  • Marshyhope State University 265
  • The Degree 276
  • President Robbins of Benton 282
  • My Speech to the Graduates 286
  • Graduationese 289
  • Grooving with Academe 292
  • An Old Grad Remembers 294
  • The Cultured Girl Again 297
  • Alumni News 299
  • Twenty-Fifth Reunion 302
  • The Final Final Exam - A Sentimental Education 304
  • Turning Back to the Campus 314
  • Improbable Epitaph 316
  • Acknowledgments 317
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