London Calling

For writers, London (where my wife and I have been this past week) is still the most amazing place to be:

You’re suddenly plunged into some 540 years of theater: walking the South Bank where Shakespeare had his heyday, visiting the recreation of the Old Globe, trying to get the hottest stage ticket in town (for a late Restoration comedy), or seeing an Alan Ackbourn play revival in the West End’s Harold Pinter Theatre…

You’re visiting Canterbury and walking the cobblestones Chaucer’s pilgrims would have walked and seeing where Thomas à Becket was murdered almost 850 years ago…

You’re hurtling through the tube and having a latte at Caffe Nero like the characters in William Gibson’s most recent novel, Zero History

You’re sipping champagne inside a private London Eye pod and surveying all of London as it preps for the 2012 Olympics and the rest of the 21st century…

And you’re glad to be part of that continuum and contributing what you can to it…

On the way back home, the plane offered the film Anonymous, the fanciful (if preposterous) alternate history proposing that the Earl of Oxford was the real Shakespeare. A last lingering spell in the London of the mind, before returning to the remainder of the semester at Santa Fe University, where we’ll try to make a little history of our own…

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