I Searched for Shakespeare, and I Found Some in Taiwan

Well, in my previous post, I talked about searching for a book for my professor in Taipei, Taiwan. Unfortunately, about half way through my trip, I received an email from him stating that the book had been sent to him in the mail by the company that produced it, and he asked that my search be called off.

While I now didn’t have to look for a specific book for him, I still opted to search for Shakespeare in Taiwan and had fun while doing it.

The bookstore was only the second and third floor of the building, so don't get too excited.While in Taipei, I stopped into the Eslite Bookstore, the largest bookstore in Taipei, found the British Lit section and proceeded to search for Shakespeare. I found an entire shelf of Shakespeare, mostly in Chinese, and plopped down in front of the bookshelf and proceeded to go through EVERY copy of EVERY Shakespeare play they had in the place.

I ended up buying four books, and I will share each of them with you below.

The first two finds were a book of sonnets, with the English sonnet on the left side and the translated Chinese version of the sonnet on the right side. I had to get this book for myself because, last year, when I went to China, I bought a book of Shakespeare’s sonnets as well. I think I’m going to make it a tradition for myself to buy a book of Shakespeare’s sonnets from every country I go to. I had to buy a second copy as a gift for a professor that’s mentoring me on a Shakespeare project, the same professor that gave me the assignment to search for a more specific book on Shakespeare while in Taiwan. I figure this book will be a nice surprise.

Sonnet 90 is my favorite.
Sonnet 90 is my favorite.

The next book I found was not in English, and I can’t tell you the title, but it’s awesome! I think we’ve blogged about Shakespeare comics before, and I’ve found one in Chinese. This single book contains six plays and depicts the height of drama in each play.

If someone can translate the title for me, that'd be great. Just post it in the comments below!
If someone can translate the title for me, that’d be great. Just post it in the comments below!
Romeo and Juliet's famous death scene, in which Juliet has awoken and finds a dead Romeo.
Romeo and Juliet’s famous death scene, in which Juliet has awoken and finds a dead Romeo.

The final book I bought is a version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in English, but with added artwork and notes in Chinese that I, again, can’t read. It’s probably the most adorable Shakespeare book I’ve ever owned.

The cover is shiny and everything.
The cover is shiny and everything.
The scene where the queen of the fairies falls in love with Bottom as an ass.
The scene where the queen of the fairies falls in love with Bottom as an ass.

All in all, I think I did a great job of finding unique and worthwhile Shakespeare books in Taiwan and I look forward to seeking out Shakespeare in every country I visit.

– Amanda Riggle

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