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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: April ::
Re: RSC MND; Funeral Elegy
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0283.  Monday, 15 April 1996.

(1)     From:   John Chapot <
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        Date:   Sunday, 14 Apr 1996 00:59:25 -0400
        Subj:   RSC MND

(2)     From:   Shirley Kagan <
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        Date:   Sunday, 14 Apr 1996 17:04:26 -1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.02277 Re: RSC MND

(3)     From:   Richard J Kennedy <
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        Date:   Friday, 12 Apr 1996 08:16:43 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0274  Re: Funeral Elegy


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Chapot <
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Date:           Sunday, 14 Apr 1996 00:59:25 -0400
Subject:        RSC MND

I also was taken aback by some of the sexual innuendo in the performance (seen
here in San Francisco in January)  although I'm no prude about these things.
The climax of the first half in Brook's famous production was astonishingly
erotic and hilarious to boot.

Perhaps it was incongruous with the relativly austere design - the big empty
box of a set and the cool tone of the lighting, not to mention the scant
population onstage. Perhaps they just didn't pull it off. Someone told me that
the overt full-mouth kiss planted upon Oberon by Puck early in the show is a
gesture that has become a bit of stock business in the British Theatre in
recent years. Hence it would convey a specific meaning in London that it lacked
here. That would explain why it seemed out of place to me.

I saw the show at its preview. There was a very large contingent of young
schoolkids (second graders and up) in the center of the orchestra. To my
amazement, they sat rapturously still for the whole thing, and came to glorious
life for Pyramus and Thisbee. They didn't seem to mind the erotic stuff one way
or the other.

One last thing - let's take it easy on the little Indian boy.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Shirley Kagan <
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Date:           Sunday, 14 Apr 1996 17:04:26 -1000
Subject: 7.02277 Re: RSC MND
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.02277 Re: RSC MND

Stephanie Hughes and Clark Bowen;

I agree entirely that drawing the audience's attention to theatre as a
theatrical event is not a recent invention.  My point was that in the 20th
century we seem to have made a great headway with staging that emphasises this
approach and have taken to the idea, in general.

Stephanie Hughes just wrote:

>It seems to me much more of a challenge to break an audience
>away from the grip of "reality" and transport it to another time and
>place and keep it there long enough for the catharsis to occur that is
>the reason why we are willing to go to the trouble and expense of going
>to the theater in the first place. I don't agree either that breaking the
>frame is a recent development.

The exact point of Brecht's and other great 20th Century directors staging is
specifically to deny the catharsis.  Brecht, dwelled on the point that as long
as an audience exists in some hypnotic state of illusion it was passive and
incapable of making decisions, particularly if provided with a convenient
release.  His idea was tha an audience be denied a release, be forced to deal
with "problems" and become active.  That is one of the chief ideas behind
drawing attention to the theatrical event as such.  It is a politically loaded
idea, particularly in line with Brecht's Marxist ideaology.

I believe, along the same lines, that yet another aspect of what makes
Shakespeare intriguing to us today is that the high degree of interpretability
and potential subversiveness of his plays.  His theatrical sensibilities
transcend the politics of his own age and go hand in hand with modern (and post
modern) thought.

Sincerely,
Shirley Kagan.

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard J Kennedy <
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Date:           Friday, 12 Apr 1996 08:16:43 -0700
Subject: 7.0274  Re: Funeral Elegy
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0274  Re: Funeral Elegy

Michael, I saw that Larry King show (April 9) about the Unibomber. The name of
the FBI agent was Clint Van Zandt, and he spoke about their matching of
Kaczynski's language with that of the bomber. He said that no matter the
expertize put into this work, it was after all an "art".  Of course that would
explain why the Claremont McKenna College program doesn't agree with Shaxicon:
Ward Elliott and Don Foster are each artful in different ways.

The FBI says they have other evidence, however, a couple of typewriters,
papers, tickets, acquaintance and so forth which helps their case.  So far as I
know, and so far as Foster has given to us, there is nothing at all to support
the case that Shakespeare wrote the Funeral Elegy other than the promise of
Shaxicon that it's so.
 

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