1999

Best Wishes

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2310  Wednesday, 29 December 1999.


From:           Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, December 29, 1999
Subject:        Best Wishes


Dear SHAKSPEReans,

If I do not get back online before the New Year, let me take the time
now to wish all SHAKSPER members a happy and productive New Year.

Enjoying my few days off,
Hardy

Children's Shakespeare bio

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2309  Wednesday, 29 December 1999.

From:           Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Dec 1999 20:37:55 -0500
Subject:        Children's Shakespeare bio

There's a new pop-up biography of Shakespeare for children called All
the World's a Stage by Michael Bender (S.F.: Chronicle Books, 1999).
14.95 U.S. dollars.

No mention of boy actors.

Kermode's essay in LRB: "Good and Bad Shakespeare"

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2307  Wednesday, 29 December 1999.

From:           Judith Matthews Craig <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 26 Dec 1999 21:05:00 -0600
Subject:        Kermode's essay in LRB: "Good and Bad Shakespeare"

When I finally got a chance to read Frank Kermode's essay on "Good and
Bad Shakespeare" in the 9 December LRB, I found myself in entire
agreement with his conclusion:  "the argument that Shakespeare wrote
badly is, I think, a defense against that danger [the whole purpose
dissolves into neo-historicism, gender criticism and so forth, on the
one hand, and, on the other, heritage waffle] . . . . (p. 8).   Close
attention to language is at the heart of Kermode's argument and
abandonment of this precept would result in "the disappearance not only
of Shakespeare as anything but a document like any other historical
document, but of all poetry-indeed of everything that we used, in an
old-fashioned way, to call literature" (p. 8).  That this ringing
conclusion could result in a "tyrannous" (p. 8) Shakespeare is to be
developed in the forthcoming book.

I'm glad that someone is ringing the changes on a old theme in a new
book, but I'm still curious to know how Isabella's reproach to Angelo in
Measure for Measure, ""O it is excellent/To have a giant's strength, but
it is tyrannous/To use is like a giant' "(p. 8) is relevant.   Reading
Shakespeare can be difficult, but the benefits outweigh the
disadvantages.  A tyrant wields power for his own advantage and
aggrandizement.  Shakespeare never does-he uses his poetic power to
further complex and valuable insights that benefit, not subvert, the
reader.   I think his aim was not the obfuscating but the furthering of
knowledge and the love for the common reader, not his malaise.

Judy Craig

The Seacoast of Boeotia

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2308  Wednesday, 29 December 1999.

From:           Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 27 Dec 1999 00:47:19 -0500
Subject:        The Seacoast of Boeotia

The notion that anyone with the vaguest knowledge of European geography
and history would place Bohemia in the Hellenic world, and give Bohemia
a seacoast and a king with a typical Greek name is ridiculous.  I
speculate therefore that WS, or the compositor, confused Bohemia with
some Hellenic country, most probably Boeotia.  Boeotia was a city state
(and a confederation of city states) which was at its height when
Syracuse was the second most influential city in the Hellenic world, and
dominated all of Sicily.

Re: How to . . .

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2306  Wednesday, 29 December 1999.

From:           Joe Conlon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 26 Dec 1999 17:23:38 -0500
Subject: 10.2009 Re: How to . . .
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.2009 Re: How to . . .

I am sorry to have taken so long to respond to this post.  I just got
sidetracked.

A personal anecdote on the forbidden fruit aspect.  I remember with
great fondness a neighbor lady I had at about age 8 or 9 who was the
children's librarian at the Broadway Branch Library in Indianapolis,
Indiana.  I was heavily into comic books at the time and had run across
the Classics Illustrated version of The Iliad.  A little tag at the end
said, "If you liked this Classics Illustrated retelling, go to your
local library and read the entire book."  I went but couldn't find it;
so I asked Miss Earhardt, "Do you have this book by Homer Somebody
called the Iliad?"  She said , "Yes, but it's in the adult section.  You
only have a juvenile card."  I looked crestfallen and she looked around
conspiratorially and whispered to me, "If you promise not to tell
anyone, I'll let you check it out anyway." Over the next few days and
nights I read The Iliad in my closet and by flashlight under the covers
in my bed.  When I returned it and asked if that Homer guy wrote
anything else, she directed me to The Odyssey.  No one ever told me it
was supposed to be hard for kids to understand and I had no trouble with
anything but the weird names all the characters had.  I had a great
thrill by getting away with something forbidden and over the next few
years Miss Earhardt guided me through most of the classics and I loved
them. My first exposure to Shakespeare was Romeo and Juliet in the ninth
grade and I loved it.  When I discovered that Shakespeare wrote about
SEX in Hamlet (the "Shall I lie in thy lap? passage), I was hooked.  (I
also almost got tossed out of class when I tried to explain what I had
discovered that passage was all about :) )

I guess my point is go with the interest of the child and don't
underestimate them.  Lois Burdett, a gifted elementary teacher in
Stratford, Ontario does wonderful things with Shakespeare and her second
and third grade students.

Joe Conlon, Warsaw, Indiana

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