“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato” —Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality
When I think about Shakespeare’s influence on our lives and literature, I can’t help thinking about Whitehead’s famous quote about Plato. All literature in the English language consists of nothing but footnotes to The Bard. So why isn’t this a bigger deal, that April 23, 2014 is generally accepted to be his 450th birthday? They may be celebrating with a 20-foot-tall Lady Godiva marionette in Stratford-upon-Avon this weekend, but otherwise I’m not seeing a lot of hype about this momentous anniversary.
I’m adding my own small footnote by taking the title of my novel published this week from these lines spoken by the Chorus before the battle of Agincourt in Henry V.
Now entertain conjecture of a time,
When creeping murmur and the poring dark
Fills the wide vessel of the universe.
From camp to camp, through the foul womb of night,
The hum of either army stilly sounds,
That the fix’d sentinels almost receive
The secret whispers of the other’s watch.
Fire answers fire, and through their paly flames
Each battle sees the other’s umber’d face.
Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs
Piercing the night’s dull ear; and from the tents
The armorers, accomplishing the knights,
With busy hammers closing rivets up,
Give dreadful note of preparation.
Fire Answers Fire will be officially published at all ebook retailers on May 1, 2014, but is already available at Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes and Noble for your Kindles, iPads, and Nooks respectively. If you order from Smashwords (in formats for all ebook readers), please click on the pre-publication coupon tab up above for a 50% discount.