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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: June ::
Re: English Xenophobia; Nationalism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0649.  Tuesday, 10 June 1997.

[1]     From:   Harry Hill <
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        Date:   Monday, 09 Jun 1997 07:50:52 +0000 (HELP)
        Subj:   English Xenophobia

[2]     From:   Andrew Murphy <
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        Date:   Monday, 9 Jun 97 15:44:18 BST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0647 Q: Nationalism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <
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Date:           Monday, 09 Jun 1997 07:50:52 +0000 (HELP)
Subject:        English Xenophobia

When I made it down to the last eight out of three hundred for a
directing apprenticeship at Granada Television in Manchester in 1963, I
saw clearly the prevailing elitism of the English, when I from Aberdeen
and another lad from Leeds were passed over in favour of six Oxbridge
boys.  Of course I suppose they may have been better..

When my Aberdonian friend Mildred Imray was hired as the BBC "continuity
girl" her first name was changed to June and her vowels went through the
same sort of training as Eliza Doolitle.

The superb North American actor Douglas Campbell's Glasgow "u"'s had to
soften themselves a bit. Nowadays, however, a provincially accented
speech is considered colo[u]rful, thank heavens.

My own recording of "A Funeral Elegy" has one Aberdeen vowel in it that
a Canadian colleague noticed...to my shame, as I thought I'd anglicized
the whole thing.

        Harry Hill

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Murphy <
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Date:           Monday, 9 Jun 97 15:44:18 BST
Subject: 8.0647 Q: Nationalism
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0647 Q: Nationalism

Actually, Philip Edwards wrote about the anomaly of England's becoming a
'sceptred isle' in _RII_ as long ago as 1979 (_Threshold of a Nation_).
There is now quite a rich literature on Shakespeare & nationalism-see,
eg, the relevant sections of Richard Helgerson's _Forms of Nationhood_
and very interesting recent work on Renaissance lit & the 'British
problem' by Willy Maley. A new collection of essays on _Shakespeare &
National Culture_ was published just recently, edited by John Joughin
and published by Manchester University Press (UK) / St Martins Press
(US).

Andrew Murphy
 

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