1998

Re: FE; Hecate; NY Shakespeare Society

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0092  Friday, 30 January 1998.

[1]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 29 Jan 1998 21:01:20 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0088  Funeral Elegy

[2]     From:   Ivan Fuller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 29 Jan 1998 13:50:37 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0088  Q: MACBETH, Hecate

[3]     From:   Tanya Gough <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 29 Jan 1998 15:09:06 -0500
        Subj:   New York Shakespeare Society


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Jan 1998 21:01:20 -0500
Subject: 9.0088  Funeral Elegy
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0088  Funeral Elegy

>I still haven't found any information, or commentary,  on this elegy
>even though I have searched the National Library. Do any of you know
>about this?


Hardy writes: "You can order a copy of "A Funeral Elegy for Master
William Peter" by sending the command - GET FUNERAL ELEGY - to
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  You can use the SEARCH FUNCTION to locate
the past discussions of FE stored on the Fileserver. . . . you can visit
the Shakespeare Authorship Web Site
http://www.bcpl.lib.md.us/~tross/ws/will.html - where those discussions
have been placed together."

There are also a series of essays in the latest <italic>Shakespeare
Studies</italic> Volume XXV, and, of course, Donald Foster's book is
where it all began.  Brian Vickers claims that he has a book forthcoming
on the subject, <italic>Counterfeiting Shakespeare: The Politics of
Attribution</italic>; and there seems to be an ongoing debate in the
letters section of  [London] <italic>Times Literary Supplement</italic>.

Enjoy!

Yours, Bill Godshalk

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ivan Fuller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Jan 1998 13:50:37 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 9.0088  Q: MACBETH, Hecate
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0088  Q: MACBETH, Hecate

While my summer '97 production of MACBETH probably isn't what you'd call
"major," I did include all of the Hecate material.  We played up the
drug-dependent world of the "wierd sisters" and Hecate seemed to be
their major supplier.  In the slightly wacked-out, post-apocalyptic
world in which we placed the show, she fit in beautifully.  If you
want/need more details, let me know.

Ivan Fuller, Chair
Communication & Theatre Dept.
Augustana College

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tanya Gough <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Jan 1998 15:09:06 -0500
Subject:        New York Shakespeare Society

I've finally received the mandate, membership info and preliminary event
schedules.  Feel free to contact me for more info, or call/fax founder
Nancy Becker at their new offices: 45 East 78 Street, New York, New
York, 10021 (212) 327-3399; Fax (212) 327-3377.

Here are the statement of purpose and their current list of advisors.
Contact me for the membership solicitation letter, membership benefits
list, and info on the Shakespeare Society Fund.  Contact Nancy for
everything else.
_________________________________________________

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:

The Shakespeare Society is a not-for-profit organization chartered in
New York State.  It is being formed for those who would enjoy exploring
and discussing the works of a man who is generally considered the
greatest of all writers in the English Language.

The Shakespeare Society's programs will be inventive and wide ranging in
seeking to explore the many facets of Shakespeare's influence on
American culture.  We will concentrate on current scholarship,
performace practices in film and theater, and interviews with
performers, directors, and scholars to enhance one's knowledge of the
works of Shakespeare.  If you love literature, drama and language, and
want to hold Shakespeare's mirror up to life today, you will enjoy a
membership in The Shakespeare Society.

It is our mandate to keep alive the language, the poetry and the drama
of Shakespeare and to view him as a contemporary writer whose work
speaks clearly and strongly to our time.

The Shakespeare Society offers its members the opportunity to play an
active role in making things happen within our programs and to meet with
diverse groups of fellow Shakespeareans.  This will be done by quarterly
meetings, an annual weekend symposium, a newsletter, and attendance at
Shakespeare performances.  These actives will be conducted by
Shakespeare scholars, performers and directors.

Because we realize the financial struggle for the proper training in the
classical Shakespeare tradition, we hope to establish an Actors Fund
within the Society's activities to help actors learn their art.

Academic and Artistic Advisors:

Prof. Harold Bloom, Yale, Honorary Chairman of Academic Advisors
Prof. Peter Saccio, Dartmouth, Artistic Director
Prof. Dacid Scott Kastan, Columbia
Prof. Michael Goldman, Princeton
Prof. Marjorie Garber, Harvard
Prof. Ronald R. Macdonald, Smith
Prof. Helen Vendler, Harvard
Prof. Emeritus William A. Johnson, Brandeis
Prof. Regina Barreca, Univer. of Connecticut
Prof. Peter Farley, Adelphi
Ruth Carpenter, Brearley
Tony Randall
Austin Pendleton
Carrie Nye
Jeffrey Horowitz, Theatre for New Audiences
James Steffensen, Dartmouth Drama and Theatre Dept.

Cheers,
Tanya Gough

Qs: Lear & Arthur; Julius Caesar

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0091  Friday, 30 January 1998.

[1]     From:   Andrew Mathis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
        Date:   Thursday, 29 Jan 1998 23:33:25 -0800
        Subj:   Lear & Arthur

[2]     From:   Albert Misseldine <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
        Date:   Friday, 30 Jan 1998 10:40:35 -0500
        Subj:   Julius Caesar, general and specific


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Mathis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Date:           Thursday, 29 Jan 1998 23:33:25 -0800
Subject:        Lear & Arthur

Hello group:

I attended a lecture given by Prof. Harold Bloom a few years ago wherein
he spoke about the use of tropes by Lear that can also be found in the
Wisdom of Solomon, an intertestamental, Apocryphal book purportedly
written by Solomon (and still in the Douay Catholic canon).
Unfortunately, for the life of me, I can find neither my notes nor the
tropes themselves. I do remember that the references to Wisdom are in
Act IV somewhere. Anyone out there have a lead? Prof. Bloom's mailbox at
Yale is full, and he's not here at NYU this semester.

 Thanks in advance.

 Andrew Mathis
 http://pages.nyu.edu/~aem0608

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Albert Misseldine <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Date:           Friday, 30 Jan 1998 10:40:35 -0500
Subject:        Julius Caesar, general and specific

Two questions, one general, one specific.

General: we are putting on JC this spring at our college, the director
wants to do it in modern (30's) dress, and we would welcome any hints,
suggestions, pitfalls to avoid, etc. We have noticed that there seems to
be no heroes here - and lots of BS. Even Antony's last speech, 'noblest
Roman' is hard (isn't it?) to take seriously, after all the
self-important and stupid things Brutus has done.

Specific: Riverside ed. has an unusual gloss on a line of Brutus in the
quarrel scene. I always thought "O Cassius, you are yoked with a lamb"
meant Brutus was likening himself to a lamb - slow to anger, etc. But
Riverside says 'yoked with' means 'like' - so Brutus is comparing
Cassius to a lamb, not himself. Any comments?

NAXOS Hamlet; Operatic Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0089  Thursday, 29 January 1998.

[1]     From:   Richard Nathan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jan 1998 16:38:37 +0000
        Subj:   New NAXOS Recording of HAMLET

[2]     From:   Chantal Schutz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jan 1998 23:04:37 -0500
        Subj:   Operatic Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Nathan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jan 1998 16:38:37 +0000
Subject:        New NAXOS Recording of HAMLET

NAXOS, which produces many fine budget recordings of classical music,
has recently come out with full length recordings of "HAMLET" and "ROMEO
AND JULIET."   Has anyone else heard the "HAMLET"?  The title character
is played by Anton Lesser, and in my opinion, he makes the title
character a thoroughly unpleasant individual.  I know that there are
many unpleasant aspects of Hamlet's character, but I've never before
heard him come across as so completely unlikable - at least that is the
way he strikes me in this recording.  Any thoughts?

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chantal Schutz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jan 1998 23:04:37 -0500
Subject:        Operatic Shakespeare

The Hamlet opera we have been referring to is by Ambroise Thomas,
composed in 1868, first performed in Paris, libretto by Jules Barbier
and Michel Carre (you can find it online quite easily). There are at
least 3 other operas on Hamlet, and of course dozens of others on almost
all of the comedies and tragedies. I wrote a paper which has some
elements of bibliography and links for the Britannica online special
site on Shakespeare and the Globe. Check it out at
http://shakespeare.eb.com/

All the best
Chantal
Shakespeare's Globe
University of Reading
Website: http://www.rdg.ac.uk/globe

Re: Postmodernism, Anti-Semitism

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0090  Friday, 30 January 1998.

[1]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 29 Jan 1998 12:56:03 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0087  Re: Postmodernism

[2]     From:   Stevie Simkin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 30 Jan 1998 11:46:06 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0087  Re: Postmodernism, Anti-Semitism

[3]     From:   Lee Gibson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 30 Jan 1998 10:03:08 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re:  Post-modernism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 29 Jan 1998 12:56:03 -0500
Subject: 9.0087  Re: Postmodernism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0087  Re: Postmodernism

". . . the metonymies WE AGREE TO USE for complex events CAN SUGGEST
SOMETHING about our attitudes toward those events.  A term with lots of
more or less consistent connotations like Holocaust already begins to
express feelings about the events to which it refers. . . ," writes Dave
Evett.  And I confess that, yes, I stand guilty of selective quotation.
Mea culpa.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stevie Simkin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 30 Jan 1998 11:46:06 -0000
Subject: 9.0087  Re: Postmodernism, Anti-Semitism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0087  Re: Postmodernism, Anti-Semitism

On Terence Hawkes' "we mean by Shakespeare" concept, Tanya Gough wrote

> But just because we are incapable of determining exact meaning, it
> doesn't mean we should give up trying.  The process of analysis is
> infinitely fascinating (or, I assume it is for most of us, or we
> wouldn't do what we do for a living), and ultimately leads us to
> understand *ourselves* better.

My understanding of what Terry meant was that Shakespeare is a powerful
signifier in contemporary culture, and Shakespeare has been used, is
used, and will no doubt be used in the future to signify a whole range
of things: one familiar example:  the order speech from Troilus and
Cressida was used by a Tory minister in Britain  some years ago to
suggest that Shakespeare approved of a hierarchical society - therefore
a hierarchical society is a good thing (because we all know that
Shakespeare was a universal genius, and what he says must be eternally
true) - therefore every right-thinking person should vote to re-elect a
Conservative government.

I'm not saying everyone (or anyone?) on this list follows this logic,
but it remains "common sense"  amongst ... erm.. Tory ex-ministers, at
least.

Yesterday I saw The Merchant of Venice at the RSC and found it deeply
depressing.  Not only was it a tiresome RSC by numbers production
(leather trousers, OTT decor, the cheekie chappie clown who ad libs,
mugs shamelessly, plays up to the audience - for goodness sake, the RSC
have been doing with this with every wretched clown in  the Shakespeare
canon for the last 10 years at least - can't they think of something
different?) - it's stated intention to "take the swastika out of the
play" (quoting the director from memory) left us with a profoundly
anti-Semitic play uninflected with any kind of interogative perspective.

The opening lines ("3000 ducats... well" etc.) were done in exaggerated
sing-song, ham-Jewish tones (got a good laugh from the audience - but
what were they laughing at exactly?).  And though the Shylock as victim
tactic worked to an extent in part one, the trial scene left us with a
cold, vicious, Jewish villain thirsting for blood, only to be defeated
and left sliding and stumbling on a pile of coins as he tried to leave
the stage.  Suitably dispatched we move back into the tiresome game of
the rings and the play grinds to its happy ending.

The audience applaud wildly and everyone goes away thinking... what?
That that evil Jew got exactly what he deserved, wasn't it nice that
Jessica found herself a sweet Christian boy and got converted, weren't
those women clever dressing up as men, and oh, weren't the costumes
lovely?  Am I being patronizing?  I don't know.  I do know that to try
and "take the swastika out of The Merchant of Venice" opens up very
dangerous territory.  I don't think this production negotiated it very
successfully at all.  What was the company trying to mean by Shakespeare
in this instance?

 I'd be interested to hear other reactions.

Stevie Simkin
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lee Gibson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 30 Jan 1998 10:03:08 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Re:  Post-modernism

With all the recent conversation about "meanings," where they come from,
how they are "constructed," and so on, this from Wallace Stevens may be
of interest ("Poetry and Meaning," _Opus Posthumous_ 249-250).

"Things that have their origin in the imagination or in the emotions
(poems) very often have meanings that differ in nature from the meanings
of things that have their origin in reason.  They have imaginative or
emotional meanings, and they communicate these meanings to people who
are susceptible to imaginative or emotional meanings.  They may
communicate nothing at all to people who are open only to rational
meanings.  In short, things that have their origin in the imagination or
in the emotions very often take on a form that is ambiguous or
uncertain.  It is not possible to attach a single, rational meaning to
such things without destroying the imaginative or emotional ambiguity or
uncertainty that is inherent in them....That the meanings given them by
others are sometimes meanings not intended by the poet or that were
never present in his mind does not impair them as meanings....It takes
very little to experience the variety in everything."

Indeed, it does.  My own primary complaint against post-structuralism is
not that it is founded on what Robin Headlam-Wells and others describe
as a set of patently absurd propositions, though it certainly is so
founded, nor that it is often drenched in what Richard Lanham
characterizes, quite correctly, as "existential self-pity," but, rather,
that it imparts so dreadful an abstract sameness to everything it
touches.  Yeats hated abstractions because, as he said, they are
"outside of life."  So do I, and for the same reason.

Lee Gibson
Department of English
Southern Methodist University

Qs: MACBETH, Hecate; Funeral Elegy

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0088  Thursday, 29 January 1998.

[1]     From:   Richard Nathan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jan 1998 16:34:07 +0000
        Subj:   MACBETH, Hecate Stuff

[2]     From:   Armando Guerra <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jan 1998 17:03:37 -5000
        Subj:   Funeral Elegy to Master William Peter


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Nathan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jan 1998 16:34:07 +0000
Subject:        MACBETH, Hecate Stuff

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know of any major 20th Century
productions of MACBETH that have included the Hecate material?

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Armando Guerra <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jan 1998 17:03:37 -5000
Subject:        Funeral Elegy to Master William Peter

To all:

I was given not long ago, before I subscribed to the list, some
photocopies of a manuscript attributed to Shakespeare.  It is a funeral
elegy dedicated to William Peter. In the upper part of the first page it
reads:

W[illiam] S[hakespeare], "A Funeral Elegy for Master William Peter."
(London: G.Eld for T.Thorpe, 1612). Normalized text, ed. Donald Foster.

I still haven't found any information, or commentary,  on this elegy
even though I have searched the National Library. Do any of you know
about this?

I have not been able to locate information on it.

Best regards,
Armando Guerra
Havana University
School of Foreign Languages

[Editor's Note:  You can order a copy of "A Funeral Elegy for Master
William Peter" by sending the command - GET FUNERAL ELEGY - to
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  You can use the SEARCH FUNCTION to locate
the past discussions of FE stored on the Fileserver.  If you prefer, you
can visit the Shakespeare Authorship Web Site -
http://www.bcpl.lib.md.us/~tross/ws/will.html - where those discussions
have been placed together.  - HMC]

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