The Harold Bloom of Missouri Jail

I embed a lot of delightful web stuff over on my Tumblr, I’ve Said Too Much. It’s a handy place to save the ephemeral, the funny, the sad, the inriguing – the flotsam and jetsam of everyday websurfing. Normally, I’d embed something like This American Life’s 2002 show Act V over there. But when it came up on my run this morning, it was just so extraordinarily moving, human and interesting that I wanted to put it here.

I’m only halfway through, but already Big Hutch’s reading of Hamlet – or, more accurately, his rewriting of Hamlet in a prison setting – has got me thinking about story and character and challenges and conflict. His description of how a prison setting could give new resonance to Hamlet’s dilemma is chilling. He describes a society where a self-imposed personal honour becomes more and more potent while the normal self-respect that comes from being a contributing member of that society becomes ever harder to attain. It’s the rigid Catch-22 which every poorly educated male in the West now faces. Hutch is Hamlet is Us.

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