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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: April ::
Re: Texts; Mount Sequoyah; Funeral Practices; Loose
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0321.  Tuesday, 30 April 1996.

(1)     From:   Andrew Murphy <
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        Date:   Thursday, 25 Apr 1996 18:12:05 +0100 (BST)
        Subj:   Texts

(2)     From:   Roger Gross <
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        Date:   Friday, 26 Apr 1996 16:15:24 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0317 Mount Sequoyah

(3)     From:   David Evett <R0870%
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        Date:   Sunday, 28 April 1996 1:12pm ET
        Subj:   SHK 7.0317  Funeral Practices

(4)     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Friday, 26 Apr 1996 07:33:21 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0319  Re: LOOSE ENDS


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Murphy <
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Date:           Thursday, 25 Apr 1996 18:12:05 +0100 (BST)
Subject:        Texts

Though I cannot speak for the general editors of the Shakespearean Originals,
as a contributor to the series I feel I must take respectful exception to
Gabriel Egan's recent passing reference to the series' fetishization of the
quartos. In fact, the series is _not_ limited to editions of quarto texts, but
includes editions of F1 texts as well. The aim of the series is to provide
affordable, lightly edited texts of the first printed textualisations of plays
from the Shakespeare canon. Surely this is a modest and unexceptional aim, in
the light of almost four centuries of the valorisation (fetishization,
perhaps?) of heavily edited/conflated texts.

Andrew Murphy

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roger Gross <
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Date:           Friday, 26 Apr 1996 16:15:24 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 7.0317 Mount Sequoyah
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0317 Mount Sequoyah

Because Milla Riggio asks, I'll tell you a bit about the Mount Sequoyah New
Play Retreat.

Each year I select six writers from a pool of over two hundred applicants from
all over the world.  These are what we call "the best of the emerging
professional playwrights."

They come to Fayetteville, AR, to an idyllic haven known as the Mount Sequoyah
Retreat Center.  There, with myself and Kent Brown as dramaturg/directors and a
professional company of 14 actors, we work all day and all night on the
works-in-progress these writers brought with them.

We have been fortunate in attracting very talented and very interesting
writers.  I always pick a diverse group of six and the interaction of these
writers is a wonder to behold.  They feed each other.  The writers are always
extraordinarily productive here.  It's impossible not to write in this
atmosphere where everything is designed to serve the writer.

On the last three days (June 6, 7, and 8 this year), we go downtown to a great
theatre complex called the Walton Arts Center (thank you Walmart) and we offer
script-in-hand stagings of the six plays, two world premieres each night with
talkbacks from the audience afterward.

It's three weeks of heaven.

Thanks for asking.
Roger Gross
U. of Arkansas
Director, Mt. Sequoyah New Play Retreat

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <R0870%
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Date:           Sunday, 28 April 1996 1:12pm ET
Subject: Funeral Practices
Comment:        SHK 7.0317  Funeral Practices

Early modern English graves were shallow or deep depending on circumstances.
Because ground adjacent to the church was always limited in extent, graveyards
tended to fill up; in order to make efficient use of the available ground
bodies were put on top of other bodies, and bodies buried long enough in the
past that their identity had been lost were often exhumed and the bones put in
a special structure called a charnel house.  Bodies were wrapped in a linen
cloth, the shroud, and then placed in wooden coffins unless they were of great
wealth and/or status, when a metal casket might be used; they were not
embalmed, and the funeral normally took place within a day or two of death,
though occasionally there was a delay, as in the case of Sir Philip Sidney,
whose friends wanted to give him a really splendid funeral but required some
weeks to raise the necessary funds.  Important people were often buried not in
the churchyard, of course, but inside the church, either under the floor or in
tombs along the walls and aisles.  For information of funeral customs in Europe
generally there are several books by the French historian Philippe Aries that
investigate various elements of the subject.

Funereally,
David Evett

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Friday, 26 Apr 1996 07:33:21 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 7.0319  Re: LOOSE ENDS
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0319  Re: LOOSE ENDS

Regarding the lack of explanation for Hamlet's survival and numerous other
loose ends in many of the plays: I believe that Shakespeare's best plays were
revised a number of times over the years, such loose ends being one of the
dangers that threaten the writer when revising. I also believe that the
so-called memory versions are in most cases probably revisions for travelling
companies or early and less polished versions.

I think any of these explanations might serve for a given version, and that
there is no one explanation that covers all of them. I realize that the
sacrosanct chronology forced on commentators by Shakespeare of Stratford's
biography will not allow for early versions, one more reason for a fresh and
openminded examination by professionals of the authorship question.

Stephanie Hughes
 

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