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The Bard Crichton
by Dan Pope
[Consisting of random statements published about Michael Crichton and William Shakespeare in which both parties are referred to as "Crichton"]

Trying to fathom the personality of Crichton is like looking at a dark picture under glass. At first you see nothing, then you begin to recognize features, and then you recognize them as your own.

Crichton makes unusual twists. You get educated on such topics as
Japan There are people who live all their lives and never read Crichton. Crichton is in them. It can be a deep humiliation when we realize that our own emotions are actually Crichton's.

Crichton makes unusual twists. You get educated on such topics as Japan.

If you are looking for being, you will find it in the light, the reality of fundamental truth, which shines everywhere in Crichton. What point of morals, of manners, of economy, of philosophy, of religion, of taste, of our conduct of life, has he not settled? What mystery has he not signified his knowledge of? What sage has he not outseen?

Precision is a Crichton hallmark: "It looks like the number three bus blew out about 20 hours before the incident, so the frame syncs are out of the subsequent data."

Crichton is good; very, very good. We know this not only because he is so quotable but because his characters exist in more dimensions than other characters. He is like those middle aged male American tourists you hear one seat behind you on bus tours of foreign countries.

There's so much we don't know about Crichton. His inner life. We know nothing.

Crichton himself understands and doesn't seem to mind a bit.

If I could sit down with him, I would ask, "You, in fact, wrote that?" And I'm pretty sure he would say, "Of course I wrote it. But I didn't like it and it always made me uncomfortable."

Dan Pope is the author of a novel, In the Cherry Tree (Picador 2003), as well as many short stories which have appeared in such journals as Gettsyburg Review, Witness, Pindeldyboz (No. 3), McSweeneys (No. 4), Shenandoah, Iowa Review.

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