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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: June ::
Re: peripetia; *Comedy*; Lear
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0688.  Thursday, 19 June 1997.

[1]     From:   David Crosby <
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        Date:   Thursday, 19 Jun 1997 09:13:32 -0500
        Subj:   Re: peripetia

[2]     From:   Cary M. Mazer <
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        Date:   Thursday, 19 Jun 1997 11:33:19 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0679  Re: *Comedy of Errors*

[3]     From:   Ed Pixley <
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        Date:   Thursday, 19 Jun 1997 12:30:32 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0678  Re: Lear


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Crosby <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Jun 1997 09:13:32 -0500
Subject:        Re: peripetia

Dear Susan:

I'm sure you'll get many responses to your request for elucidation. I
would suggest that you may want to find a fuller dictionary. My copies
of the Random House Collegiate and American Heritage both list
"peripeteia" with "peripetia" as an alternate spelling. Its meaning is a
sudden turn or change of direction, especially in a literary or dramatic
work.

By the way, it is not directly related to "peripatetic"; the prefixes
are the same, but the root is different. For a fuller explication of
"peripeteia" you should consult a dictionary of literary terms, of which
there are many good ones.

David Crosby

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Cary M. Mazer <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Jun 1997 11:33:19 -0400
Subject: 8.0679  Re: *Comedy of Errors*
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0679  Re: *Comedy of Errors*

I don't want to continue this thread unless there is widespread
interest, and I normally shy away from the questions of intentionality
and fidelity that Daniel Lowenstein raises in his generous response to
my posting about Comedy of Errors (if you're interested, you might want
to check out my article on the subject, "Rebottling:  Dramaturgs,
Scholars, Old Plays, and Modern Directors," in Dramaturgy In American
Theatre:  A Casebook, ed. Susan Jonas, Geoffrey Proehl, and Michael Lupu
[Fort Worth:  Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1997], pp. 292-307).
Suffice it say for now that directors and their collaborators make a
theatre piece out of the raw materials at hand, including, BUT NOT
LIMITED TO, the dramatic script, and that the resulting works is THEIRS
and not the dramatists.

Lowenstein does raise an important and valid point, though, about
whether the resulting work should be advertised as being THE work by THE
playwright.  Charles Marowitz wisely gave new titles to his collages
after Shakespeare plays, as Dryden, Davenant, et. al. *sometimes* did in
to their Restoration "improvements."  I should note, though, that the
reasons for doing this do *not* necessarily correlate to one's fidelity
to the script, but to how much the "story" one is choosing to tell with
the script deviates from the story that is (evidently) being told by the
dramatist.  With Peter Pan, we used the entire 1920s published version
of the 1904 script, virtually uncut, and without a single line altered;
but the story we were telling was so different from the one that Barrie
wrote (at least the *surface* play that he wrote)--in our theatre piece,
six people act out the script of Peter Pan in order to understand why
their Peter-Pan-obsessed friend killed himself, and discover that the
play resonates with issues of sex and death, or, more specifically,
masturbation and suicide-that we chose to call the resulting theatre
piece "Playing with Peter"  (pun intended), and we advertised it as
"incorporating the text of J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan (unsuitable for
children)."

Cheers,
Cary

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Pixley <
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Date:           Thursday, 19 Jun 1997 12:30:32 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0678  Re: Lear
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0678  Re: Lear

Sorry, folks.  I really thought I was sending my long response to Stuart
Manger about Lear off-list.  Since it did actually get on, I hope some
of you had the patience to read through it. I would be particularly
interested in reactions to my two-world theory for the last half of the
play.  If you have reactions, feel free to send them off list to

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 -unless you feel that they have enough merit for
general discussion.

Ed Pixley
 

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