This blog started out as Michael Doherty's Personal Library, containing reviews of books that normally don't get reviewed: basically porn and cult books. It was all just a bit of fun, you understand. But when I embarked on a three-year Shakespeare study, Shakespeare basically took over, which is a good thing.
Friday, February 23, 2018
Shakespeare References in The Fan
Bob Randall’s novel The
Fan, told entirely through letters written by the characters, contains
several Shakespeare references. The novel is about a demented fan who carries
out a love affair with a star in his mind, an affair that turns deadly. The
first reference is in a letter from the actor, Sally Ross, to her ex-husband,
Jake: “This letter comes to you from the crankiest old lady the world has seen
since Mrs. Macbeth” (p. 24). The second is a reference to The Tempest, though it is not as obvious. I might think I was
reading into it a bit, were it not for the fact that there are other references
in the book. Anyway, this one comes in a letter from the fan to Sally: “This
is, of course premature, but dreams are the ‘stuff’ of which we mortals are
made and so I dream on” (p. 101). The line from The Tempest is “We are such stuff/As dreams are made on.” However,
the line might be a more direct reference to these lines from David Chalmers
Nimmo: “Of dream-like stuff, of
dream-like stuff/We mortals all are made.” In another letter to Sally, the
fan signs it by writing “All the love that the sonnets of Shakespeare contain,
Douglas” (p. 154). This book also contains a reference to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The fan, in another letter to Sally,
writes, “The course of true love, the poets have said, does not run smooth” (p.
175). That is a reference to Lysander’s famous line, “The course of true love
never did run smooth.” The final reference is to Romeo And Juliet, and also comes in a letter from the fan to Sally:
“It is the same love that befell Romeo and Juliet. Like them, we shall live on
in the hearts and minds of men for all time” (p. 239).