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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: October ::
Re: Contemporary Lear and Much More
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0769.  Sunday, 2 October 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Kenneth S. Rothwell <
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        Date:   Saturday, 1 Oct 1994 17:10:26 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0763 Qs: Contemporary Lear
 
(2)     From:   Kate Egerton <
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        Date:   Saturday, 01 Oct 94 18:46 EDT
        Subj:   _A Thousand Acres_
 
(3)     From:   Frank Whigham <
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        Date:   Saturday, 1 Oct 1994 18:54:35 -0500
        Subj:   Goneril on the farm
 
(4)     From:   Julie Dubiner <
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        Date:   Saturday, 1 Oct 1994 23:48:51 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0763 Qs: Contemporary Lear; Contemporary R&J
 
(5)     From:   Diana Akers Rhoads <
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        Date:   Sunday, 2 Oct 1994 00:23:06 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0763  Qs: Contemporary Lear; Contemporary R&J
 
(6)     From:   Bernice W. Kliman <KLIMANB@SNYFARVA.BITNET>
        Date:   Sunday, 2 Oct 1994 13:28 EDT
        Subj:   *MND* *100 Acres* *New Yorker Piece*
 
(7)     From:   Stephen Buhler <
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        Date:   Sunday, 2 Oct 1994 15:08:12 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Adaptation and Performance Queries
 
(8)     From:   J. Matthew Velkey <
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        Date:   Sunday, 02 Oct 1994 19:11:48 CDT
        Subj:   RE: SHK 5.0763  Qs: Contemporary Lear; Contemporary R&J
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kenneth S. Rothwell <
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Date:           Saturday, 1 Oct 1994 17:10:26 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 5.0763 Qs: Contemporary Lear
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0763 Qs: Contemporary Lear
 
Dear Annalisa, You must be thinking about Jane Smiley, A THOUSAND ACRES (NY:
Knopf, 1991). Perhaps you can write us and explain in 50,000 words or less why
her characters are (a) real, (b) fictional, (c) factual, (d)imaginary, (e) None
of the above. Have a good read, Ken Rothwell
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kate Egerton <
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Date:           Saturday, 01 Oct 94 18:46 EDT
Subject:        _A Thousand Acres_
 
The novel you're wondering about is Jane Smiley's _A Thousand Acres_ which sets
the Lear story in the 1980's Iowa farm crisis and is told from Goneril's POV -
her name is Ginny.  Knopf, 1991, ISBN 0-394-57773-6 in cloth, also available in
paper.  Smiley won the Pulitzer for this, and I recommend it highly (also her
novella/ story collections _The Age of Grief_ and _Ordinary Love & Good Will_).
Smiley is on the faculty at Iowa State in Ames.
 
Kate Egerton
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Frank Whigham <
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Date:           Saturday, 1 Oct 1994 18:54:35 -0500
Subject:        Goneril on the farm
 
The midwestern *King Lear* is *A Thousand Acres*, by Jane Smiley
(Ballantine/Fawcett Columbine, 1991). Excellent book.
 
Frank Whigham
University of Texas at Austin
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Julie Dubiner <
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Date:           Saturday, 1 Oct 1994 23:48:51 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 5.0763 Qs: Contemporary Lear; Contemporary R&J
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0763 Qs: Contemporary Lear; Contemporary R&J
 
The new take on _Lear_ was by Jane Smiley - the title is _A Thousand Acres_
 
 - Julie Dubiner
   
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(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Diana Akers Rhoads <
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Date:           Sunday, 2 Oct 1994 00:23:06 -0400
Subject: 5.0763  Qs: Contemporary Lear; Contemporary R&J
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0763  Qs: Contemporary Lear; Contemporary R&J
 
The contemporary *Lear* you have in mind is Jane Smiley's *A Thousand Acres.*
 
(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bernice W. Kliman <KLIMANB@SNYFARVA.BITNET>
Date:           Sunday, 2 Oct 1994 13:28 EDT
Subject:        *MND* *100 Acres* *New Yorker Piece*
 
Peter Hall's *MND* was recently re-released after being off the market for
several years.  It was recently available from Commedia dell'arte
Coomunications, aka Classic Drama Video, at 11 Secor Drive, Pt. Washington, NY
11050.  Phone 516-767-7576.  Try 1-800-555-1212 to see if the co. has a
toll-free phone.  The new version has *enhanced coloring* and is copyright
Walter Bearer Films, Inc. (1993).
 
Jane Smiley's magnificent book (recently praised in an editorial by Anna
Quindlan in the process of exposing the stupidies of censorship) is *1000
Acres.*
 
In this past week's *New Yorker* magazine, an essay "Queen Lear" by David
Denby, explores the author's changing perceptions of the play and familial
relationships, specifically his own with a difficult mother.  In the essay he
describes classes he sat in on at Columbia, taught by Jim Shapiro and by Edward
Taylor.
 
It's interesting to think about what *Lear* DOES for each of these writers,
Smiley and Denby--and in turn, what each does TO the play and one's [this
one's] perception of the play.
 
See *The New Yorker*, Oct. 3, 1994, pp. 88-96.  Also in this issue is a review
of Bergman's *Winter's Tale," now in Sweden but coming to BAM (Brooklyn Academy
of Music, which also produced Bergman's *Ham* a few years back) next spring.
Sounds like it would be worth a special trip.
 
Bianca:  I've said enough about her lately, but I would like to applaud Ken
Meaney's point.  Of course a director should decide on the kind of Bianca s/he
wants based on the kind of Kate s/he wants-- and according to the meaning that
production wants to give to the play.
 
Sunny day here, cool, crisp autumn.  Now, back to work!
 
Bernice
 
(7)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen Buhler <
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Date:           Sunday, 2 Oct 1994 15:08:12 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Adaptation and Performance Queries
 
The recent revision of >King Lear<, translated to the American Midwest and its
farms and families, is Jane Smiley's >A Thousand Acres<.  The original
publisher was Knopf (1991), but it's also in paperback from Fawcett Columbine
(1992).  Would anyone who has used this book in class care to comment on how
students reacted to it--and indicate if the students and their sense of
Shakespeare profited from it?  I'm strongly considering it for a course on
Shakespearean adaptations >as< interpretations.
 
For Helen Ostovich:
 
The 1968 RSC >A Midsummer Night's Dream<, directed by Peter Hall, is listed in
the latest catalog from Commedia Dell'Arte Communications of Manorhaven, NY.
Their number is (800) 892-0860.  I've ordered other materials from them.  The
video itself provides useful and productive contrasts to the BBC version.
 
(8)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           J. Matthew Velkey <
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Date:           Sunday, 02 Oct 1994 19:11:48 CDT
Subject: 5.0763  Qs: Contemporary Lear; Contemporary R&J
Comment:        RE: SHK 5.0763  Qs: Contemporary Lear; Contemporary R&J
 
This is regarding Annalisa Castaldo's inquiry about a narrative adaptation of
_King Lear_ as through the point of view of Goneril and set in the Midwest.
Sounds curiously like Jane Smiley's 1991 novel, _A Thousand Acres_.  It's a
Fawcett Columbine book published by Ballantine Books (New York), ISBN:
0-449-90748-1.
 
Hope this helps.
 
J Matthew Velkey
Millsaps College
 

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