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The complete works of William Shakespeare
This is the simple title of the eight volume book that I am working on. Its originality and uniqueness lie in the fact that it is hand written. The work of art that I am trying to present to you here and now is the result of a three year long creative period, and it is not finished yet. Shakespeare, who knows the secrets of the human soul, and accepts its fine tremors and earthquake-like storms with love and wisdom, who never judges but still awakens in his reader the need to conform to the highest moral and divine laws that in our days are unfortunately more and more deeply dormant. I cannot undertake his appreciation; many have done so before me who are much more knowledgeable and experts, filling libraries with their works. But I also feel the urge to pay homage to this giant of world literature. My unique skills enable me to do so. Any adaptation of Shakespeare's works, even the highest level artistic adaptation, complete with illustrations, will necessarily distort the original meaning. Even the vision of the most sophisticated and sensitive artistic soul is only capable of providing a narrower interpretation than Shakespeare's universal, all-encompassing lines that embrace man's most inner and basic essence. Please, do not misunderstand me; I am not implying that all adaptations are unworthy. I have the deepest understanding for those who have been enchanted by this genius and spread his words like proselytes. We are all in the same boat, I in the last and smallest of them. In view of my ars poetica I do not want to distort the original plays by seeing them through my personal glasses, W.S. is still the protagonist. My work puts his lines in the limelight, emphasizing their aesthetic beauty through the beautiful handwriting. The calligraphic letters, words and sentences carrying the timeless message become the illustrations to these works. It is not one of the illustrated books. When you page through my book, even before starting to read the lines, look at the pages full of calligraphy as unique pictures. For these are pictures drawn with meticulous and laborious detail, free from my subjective opinion and interpretation. This approach to book illustration is unparalleled, to the best of my knowledge unprecedented since Gutenberg's invention. Finishing the complete series will take about three more years. The original manuscript will be bound in thirteen volumes, since due to the thickness of the paper the volumes can contain fewer pages. The order of the plays had to be modified for the facsimile edition, so that the different volumes are about the same size. That is why, although I have completed writing about half of the plays, at the moment I am only able to publish the first volume, containing the following seven plays: 1. The Two Gentlemen of Verona; 2. The Merry Wives of Windsor; 3. Twelfth night; or what you will; 4. Measure for measure; 5. Much ado about nothing; 6. A Midsummer night's dream; 7. Love's labour's lost. The next, second volume to be completed by summer 2011 will contain: 1. The tempest; 2. The winter's tale; 3. All's well that ends well; 4. The taming of the shrew; 5. The comedy of errors; 6. The merchant of Venice; 7. As you like it. The third volume will be completed in the same year, containing: 1. Macbeth; 2. Romeo and Juliet; 3. Othello, the moor of Venice; 4. King Lear; 5. Hamlet, prince of Denmark. And so on, until, according to my plans, the last volume comes out in the middle or at the end of 2013.