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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: November ::
Re: Hymen, Adam, Edzard, and Touchstone
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0875.  Monday, 25, November 1996.

(1)     From:   Thomas Bishop <
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        Date:   Friday, 22 Nov 1996 14:43:00 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0869  Re: Hymen, Adam, Edzard, and Touchstone

(2)     From:   Herman Asarnow <
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        Date:   Friday, 22 Nov 1996 11:07:59 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0869 Re: Hymen, Adam, Edzard, and Touchstone

(3)     From:   David Evett <R0870%
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        Date:   Friday, 22 Nov 1996 16:19 ET
        Subj:   SHK 7.0869  Re: Hymen, Adam, Edz

(4)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Friday, 22 Nov 1996 22:45:00 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0869  Re: Edzard's AYL


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Bishop <
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Date:           Friday, 22 Nov 1996 14:43:00 -0500
Subject: 7.0869  Re: Hymen, Adam, Edzard, and Touchstone
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0869  Re: Hymen, Adam, Edzard, and Touchstone

Steve Neville writes of the old woman in AYLI:

>....  The writer commented that he and
>his friends thought that Barbara Bush had decided to take in the show, and then
>decided to take part. You have to have been there to know how apt this is. But
>hasn't this poor woman's Hymen taken enough of a battering now ?

To which my only response was: "Wha---???"

Yo, Hymen, Hymen, eh?

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Herman Asarnow <
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Date:           Friday, 22 Nov 1996 11:07:59 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 7.0869 Re: Hymen, Adam, Edzard, and Touchstone
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0869 Re: Hymen, Adam, Edzard, and Touchstone

Regarding Adam in _AYL_, I would argue strongly against his dying during the
play. (Disappearing may be another matter.)  As has been said, he suggests the
"good" old order of the society, which, in a new key, Orlando and Rosalind will
again establish.  There are Adam's wonderful lines when he is offering his life
savings to Orlando and says of it:

        Which I did store to be my foster nurse
        When service should in my old limbs lie lame
        And unregarded age in corners thrown.

What's interesting here is that, not only do we expect Orlando (& later
Rosalind) to be better, more moral masters, but also we expect that Orlando
will create a better society than his father's, in which, good as it was,
"unregarded age" was still "in corners thrown."  So, now that I think of it,
I'd argue that Adam should be there at the end to signify that, lame as he is,
he won't be thrown in some corner.  Of course, it remained for other plays to
take things further to the point of _The Tempest's_ more sweeping recreation of
society.

Herman Asarnow
University of Portland

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <R0870%
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Date:           Friday, 22 Nov 1996 16:19 ET
Subject: Re: Hymen, Adam, Edz
Comment:        SHK 7.0869  Re: Hymen, Adam, Edz

Edward Atienza did memorable takes on all the Robert Armin-type fools at
Stratford, Ont. in the late 70s and 80s.  His Touchstone was a vaudeville ver
sion of the baggy-pants, including a loose-soled shoe with which he mocked Co
rin's crackerbarrel philosophy.  He took the retorts around and then on a
farmcart full of hay (a nifty visual echo of the pre-Agincourt speech in
Olivier's H5), with a big finish at the top, and then, if I remember it right,
an almost-topple that turned into a modest bow.  It was much the funniest
treatment of the moment I've seen, but like lots of great clowning resistant to
analysis (and reproduction, alas).  The memory is partially provoked by a
comment in Anthony Lane's stimulating essay (in this week's _New Yorker_) on
the film boom, noting the hash most contemporary productions make of the
lower-comic moments (except for Pyramus and Thisbe, which apparently is nearly
actor-proof): not much training for modern actors in physical comedy, and they
don't spend the time studying old films they could in order to learn the
reliable tricks for themselves.

Pastoral-comically,
Dave Evett

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Friday, 22 Nov 1996 22:45:00 -0500
Subject: 7.0869  Re: Edzard's AYL
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0869  Re: Edzard's AYL

Douglas M Lanier:

>Mention of the Edzard *As You Like It* raises a question:  is this film
>available in the US in NTSC format?

Sam Crowl at Ohio University (Athens) had a copy 18 months ago at the 1995 Ohio
Shakespeare Conference.  I am not sure of the format, but we were able to watch
it. As I recall, Sam told us he got the copy directly from Edzard. Herb Coursen
discusses it in _Shakespeare in Production: Whose History_ (Athens: Ohio UP,
1996) 98-102.  He indicates that it has not been distributed in the US when he
wrote these pages.

That's all I know.

Yours, Bill Godshalk
 

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