Monday, September 13, 2010

Guest Blogger, Anne Fortier

It’s my pleasure to welcome author Anne Fortier as the special guest blogger here today at Thoughts in Progress on her virtual blog tour.

Anne is the author of JULIET, which was inspired by her mother, who always considered Verona her true home ... until she discovered Siena. JULIET is described as "an ambitious, utterly engaging historical novel on the scale of THE THIRTEENTH TALE and THE BIRTH OF VENUS, which follows a young woman who discovers that her family’s origins reach all the way back to literature’s greatest star-crossed lovers."


Anne is sharing her thoughts on ROMEO AND JULIET with us today.

Most people assume that I have always loved Shakespeare’s ROMEO AND JULIET, and that this was why I decided to write JULIET. The truth is, I have never really been able to make up my mind about that particular play. While I love HENRY V and JULIUS CAESAR (great fan of bombastic male rhetoric that I am) there was always something about ROMEO AND JULIET that bothered me.

It is not that I have a hard time pushing aside my modern sensibilities, trust me, but even seen through my most medieval glasses I can’t help wondering what it is that Romeo has, does, or says, which is so … well, irresistible. I mean, look at him! There he is, moping around because of Rosaline, presumably pale for lack of food and sleep, his wan cheeks still untouched by the razor blade.


I know. I am making ROMEO AND JULIET sound like a precursor to vampire literature. And that is no coincidence. An expert in human nature, Shakespeare understood the explosive
passions and tragic bent of teenage love, and so do writers of vampire fiction. Forbidden love, exile, death, crypts, and reawakening … it is all there, and either you love it, or you don’t.

I am not saying that these sorts of narratives are only for young readers, not at all. What I am saying is that the reason why some people – and I am one of them – have such a hard time identifying with the characters is that the realm of young love is not one we wish to revisit. Been there, done that, wouldn’t recommend it. And I think this is partly why the reactions to ROMEO AND JULIET are so much stronger than to Shakespeare’s other plays. Hamlet is disturbing, yes, and Othello is downright scary, but they don’t quite bite into our necks the way Romeo does.

Anne, thanks so much for guest blogging here. I like your take on Shakespeare’s writing. It is unique.

For a bit of background on Anne, she grew up in Denmark and emigrated to the United States in 2002 to work in film. She co-produced the Emmy-winning documentary Fire and Ice: The Winter War of Finland and Russia and holds a Ph.D. in the History of Ideas from Aarhus University in Denmark. For more information on Anne and her work, visit her website at www.julietbook.com.



23 comments:

  1. I have never considered Romeo or Shakespeare in that way before but you really got me thinking. Love the cover of your book. I'll check it out.

    CD

    ReplyDelete
  2. I admire writers who write historically. I can't keep modern day straight. Juliet sounds very clever.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like your take on Romeo and Juliet.Interesting post, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ha! I'd never thought about Romeo that way, but you've got a good point! Your book sounds interesting...thanks for sharing it with us!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, I loved The Thirteenth Tale and I like the blurb of your book, the cover looks great too!
    Interesting and surprising thoughts on Romeo and Juliet.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very facinating ideas - I will have to explore your book. Romeo and Juliette never did it for me, except for the nurse. I am mad mad mad for Hamlet though! Ann-Marie McDonald, author of Fall on Your Knees, and As The Crow Flies, wrote a wonderful play that included the cast from Romeo and Juliette. Hmmm...what was it called - just a second - Goodnight Desdemona,(Goodmorning Juliette) Try and get a copy - I think you'll love it!
    Jan Morrison

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anne, thanks so much for blogging here today. I'm going to look at Romeo and Juliet a little different now. Wishing you much success with Juliet.

    Hi all, thanks for dropping by. I appreciate it. Have a great Monday.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mason - Thanks so much for hosting Anne.

    Anne - Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Romeo and Juliet. The beauty of such a well-written play is that one can read or see it again and again, and always learn something and get different things from it. Thanks for showing us another depth/layer of the play.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for hosting Anne today. I loved this guest post. She really got me thinking.

    I hope you readers will stop by her website and found out more about her and Juliet.

    Thanks again.

    Cheryl

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yeah, I have a difficult time relating to teen angst and love.

    ReplyDelete
  11. That is a most interesting take on Romeo. Never thought about it from that perspective. Thanks to both of you.
    karen

    ReplyDelete
  12. I like how she's described Romeo and Juliet in a different way! Sounds like a very interesting book - thanks Mason and Anne!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I like that you see Romeo and Juliet from a different angle. I think Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet appealed to me when I was in my twenties, but not so much now. I have a different perspective now. Your book sounds great. Congrats on the success you're having.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great guest post! I'm with her - I don't wish to revisit young love either.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Intriguing take on Romeo and Juliet. Looking forward to taking a look at this one. Best of luck to Anne!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Enjoyed learning about Anne - I have a great deal of respect for historical fiction writers - all the research necessary! Best wishes for a great and successful tour!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I always love it when people reimagine Shakespeare, mostly because there is so much that can be done with these characters and plots. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh, man. Now you're going to make me think. I think that calls for chocolate. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I really enjoyed this book and the interview today!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for the different perspective on Romeo and Juliet. I have to agree with you on not wanting to revisit young love – at least there are some advantages to growing older and supposedly wiser!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've been hearing good buzz on this one! LOVE the cover. Thanks for sharin!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Mason and Anne.. interesting background to the book, and your life .. Anne .. coming from Denmark and being a film producer on the American animated film .. amazing to be a part of that experience ..

    I really like the idea of your take on the story line .. another interesting sounding book to add to the wish list - great to know about - Hilary

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.