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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: July ::
Re: Essentialism; Brazilian *Othello*; Textual
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0594.  Tuesday, 5 July 1994.
 
(1)     From:   John Drakakis <
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        Date:   Monday, 04 Jul 94 10:42:00 BST
        Subj:   SHK 5.0582 Re: Essentialism
 
(2)     From:   Kenneth S. Rothwell <
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        Date:   Monday, 4 Jul 1994 10:08:11 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0588 Q: Brazilian or Cuban *Othello*
 
(3)     From:   Steve Urkowitz <SURCC@CUNYVM.BITNET>
        Date:   Tuesday, 05 Jul 94 00:58:15 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0589  Q: Textual Transmission
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <
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Date:           Monday, 04 Jul 94 10:42:00 BST
Subject: Re: Essentialism
Comment:        SHK 5.0582 Re: Essentialism
 
Sorry Bill,
 
You'd lose if you bet on it!  It seems to me that you have a choice.  Either
you insist that no matter what position anyone else takes up it can always be
annexed to yours- at best a liberal gesture. Or when they are in danger of
challenging THAT position, then you want to pick up your bat and ball and go
home.
 
Now if you are telling me that no matter what, everybody is an essentialist,
then I think my advice to you would be to go away and do a little more
reading and thinking.  Then, when you've done that we might be able to have
an intellectual conversation.  Just for the record when I use terms such as
"essentialist" and "liberal" I have particular conceptual frameworks in mind.
I don't agree with them, but what I register is my imaptience that those to
whom I ascribe such terms frequently (but not always) are reluctant to enter
into intellectual debate.
 
So, I'm afraid I deny your major, Bill.  Aren't you surprised!!
 
Have a good summer,
John Drakakis
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kenneth S. Rothwell <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 4 Jul 1994 10:08:11 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 5.0588 Q: Brazilian or Cuban *Othello*
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0588 Q: Brazilian or Cuban *Othello*
 
Dear Peter, Are you referring to the 1984 OTELO DE OLIVEIRA directed by Paulo
Grissoli for Brazil's GLOPBO/TV and starring Roberto Bonfim as Othello and
Julia Lemmertz as Denise (Desdemona)? It's a stylish "Latinization"  set in a
shanty town section of Rio de Janeiro. Otelo is the leader of a samba band,
Emilia an agreeable black woman, Cassio a guitar player, and Iago a malevolent
presence. The handkerchief gets entangled in voodoo rites. Several years ago
the New York office of Globo/TV helped me out with this one. Write 909 Third
Ave., NYC, NY 10022. Call 212-754-0440. Globo/TV does truly excellent work by
the way. Their production standards put US networks to shame in many instances.
There's also a partial list of credits and a brief note in my (w. Annabelle
Melzer) SHAKESPEARE ON SCREEN: AN INTERNATIONAL FILMOGRAPHY AND VIDEOGRAPHY
(New York and London: Neal Schuman, 1990). Ken Rothwell
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Urkowitz <SURCC@CUNYVM.BITNET>
Date:           Tuesday, 05 Jul 94 00:58:15 EDT
Subject: 5.0589  Q: Textual Transmission
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0589  Q: Textual Transmission
 
David Wilson-Okamura quotes the Barbara Mowat - Paul Werstine introduction to
Lear where they argue that we can't really know exactly how the Q and F LEAR
texts were generated.  Fifteen years ago, in that lost golden age when WWGreg
safely floated in the firmament above, I argued that Q1 was drawn from foul
papaers and F derived from a promptbook.  We've all since learned that such
neat labels ought not be applied to those early entities.  Somehow two
different bundles of paper got set into type.  But now we can, if warned, look
at the texts.
 
In our modern darkness, editors continue generally to print conflated texts of
LEAR. I can only suggest that in my experience sometimes little sparks and some
times bright flares erupt illuminatingly when you or your students or your
actors or your voice coaches take Q LEAR and F LEAR and rub them together,
hard.  But like one hand clapping, it's very difficult to get those sparkles
when all you have is one text  and a list of variant readings.
 
Enthusiastic reading seems necessary to build meaning from playtexts; the modes
of tehatrical interpretation that have produced exciting performances and
experiences for single-text plays or for modern editions will also generate
delight and insight for comparing Q and F LEAR or HENRY V or the other multiple
text plays.
 
By all means you should use whatever text you find valuable, but please
continue to hold editorial arguments that claim the final authority for their
own editions as good-humoredly suspect as Heminges and Condell's claims at the
opening of the First Folio.
 
                   As ever,
                           Steve Urquartowitz,
                           City College of New York
 

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