As the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death draws to a close, this wickedly irreverent book stands the great man on his head.
This is an exotic story about a fictitious Shakespeare we've never seen, whose agonizing dilemma shakes the foundations of Western thinking and introduces the Eastern approach to ‘not-thinking’.
Suffering under the commands of a tyrannical Queen Elizabeth 1st, Shakespeare urgently needs to produce a tragedy to save his neck. He begins to write Hamlet, but to the Bard’s horror, his literary efforts are sabotaged by his own wife, who, inspired by her love of Eastern mysticism, urges Ophelia and Hamlet to meditate instead of dying.
All Shakespeare is left with is…Nothing. That’s the naked bottom line. In this context, Hamlet’s famous question, to be or not to be, turns into a crusade for not-being and not-thinking.
With this radical change in gestalt, intellect becomes bankrupt. Without meditation, Western culture has no depth. In fact, all poets, philosophers and psychologists respected by Western society are seen as cowards, running away from “the great nothing” that dwells inside us all.
It’s a humorous book with a deadly message: four hundred years of Western thinking goes down the drain. It’s the last word on the Bard, and the last word is…no-thing-ness.
Author’s note: this book is inspired by, and developed from, a play originally titled, “Shakespeare the Meditator”, that was performed in India in 2012 and 2013. Later in 2013, the play was staged in Denmark and the title was changed to “When Shakespeare Lost the Plot.” The book’s narrative describes the challenge of staging the play in Pune, India, as well as examining the implications of the script itself.