2000

Book Announcement: Marlowe

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0988  Monday, 8 May 2000.

From:           Stevie Simkin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 08 May 2000 11:08:14 -0400
Subject:        Book Announcement: Marlowe

I know that this is a Shakespeare list, but in the absence of a Marlowe
listserv, and since Marlowe often comes up in discussion, I thought
members might be interested in the following.

Longmans/Pearson Education have recently published my book "A Preface to
Marlowe".  The book discusses all the plays and the poetry, and includes
chapters on Marlowe's life, times and legacy, from Goethe to Robert
Johnson.  Discussion of Faustus takes full account of both A and B text
versions.

Much of the discussion focuses on the plays as performance texts,
including a section on a version of "The Jew of Malta" I staged recently
that tried to find a way of subverting that play's anti-Semitism.  The
intention of "A Preface to Marlowe"  is to provide an overview of
Marlowe's work and to re-open debates about his status as a radical
figure and subversive playwright.

Publication details: (note that some on-line stores have me listed as
"Simon Simkin" for no apparent reason).

A Preface to Marlowe by Stevie Simkin
ISBN  0582312981(paperback) 058231299X (hardback)
UK edition:  Longman/Pearson Education   


Origin of Joke

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0987  Monday, 8 May 2000.

From:           Dianne Hunter <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 7 May 2000 18:28:54 -0400
Subject:        Origin of Joke About Hamlet Sleeping with Ophelia/Horatio

This is to ask the name of the director who is credited with having
replied to the question, "Was Hamlet sleeping with Ophelia?" with "In my
company always,...when he wasn't sleeping with Horatio."

Also: If this anecdote is documented, where might I find it?

Professor Dianne M. Hunter
Trinity College English Department

"Educating Shakespeare"

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0985  Monday, 8 May 2000.

From:           Nora Kreimer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 6 May 2000 16:13:43 -0300
Subject:        "Educating Shakespeare"

Look at this page  "Educating Shakespeare" on Elizabethan times. Hit on
it by chance, as usual!
http://homepages.nationwideisp.net/~gsa/welcomeeduc.htm

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

Cymbeline in Melbourne

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0986  Monday, 8 May 2000.

From:           Tim Richards <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 07 May 2000 14:32:37 +1000
Subject:        Cymbeline in Melbourne

I've just seen Cymbeline for the first time, an interesting experience.

The fairy tale elements (wicked stepmothers etc) stand out, but I also
thought it was derivative of Shakespeare's earlier work: jealousy themes
from Othello, tests of fidelity from Merchant, gender-swapping from
Twelfth Night and so on. It seems a little thin, not a lot of depth to
the characters or story.

The drama students at Melbourne University have co-opted the fairy tale
elements to give the play a "stagey" context, i.e. playing up the
fantastic elements with set and costume. The predominant colours are
orange, pink and green, a kind of candy effect on a set based on De
Witt's sketch of the Swan Theatre.

I thought their attempt at it worked well, given the limitations of the
script and the unevenness of student acting. My full review of the
production is at http://www.stageleft.com.au for those interested.

Could I ask list members to share their experiences of any other
stagings of Cymbeline? I assume it's not staged often, and I'd be
interested to hear what approaches different companies have made to set,
costume, context and so on.

Cheers,
Tim Richards.

Re: The Topic

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0984  Monday, 8 May 2000.

From:           John Lee <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 6 May 2000 14:27:44 +0100 (GMT Daylight Time)
Subject: Re: The Topic
Comment:        SHK 11.0711 Re: The Topic

Some time ago, Gabriel Egan replied to my question as to why he quoted
Saussure to prove the principle that language isn't an innocent window,
but is instead performative. His answer was that Saussure provides the
antecedents for the modern idea that language 'doesn't merely reflect or
denote the world but also constitutes it ... That modern idea (which has
been contested on SHAKSPER in the past-remember the 0-10 rule) makes
saying something a significant engagement with reality, not a
free-floating adjunct which others might or might not connect with
reality.'

I still don't understand why Saussure should be awarded this
recognition. The notion that saying something is a significant
engagement with reality seems to me to be a classical topic (and I
imagine others could produce earlier and non-Western examples). If the
argument is that such discussions are all conducted at an unhelpfully
untheorized level, then the 16c would still have a strong claim: Richard
Waswo, in _Language and Meaning in the Renaissance_ (Princeton, 1987),
argues for a semantic shift in the 16c to a constitutive view of the
relationship between language and meaning.

The other problem with quoting Saussure here seems to me that few
linguists any longer talk about communication occurring in strictly code
terms (outside of English literature departments). So while a
constitutive notion of language is commonplace and has a long history,
Saussure does not provide particularly good grounds for arguing it.  I'd
be grateful to know what kind of a presence Saussure still does have in
Department's of English Language.

Gabriel Egan goes on to point out that as, he believes, 'naming a thing
changes it', the absolute right to free speech cannot be maintained.

This seems a strong argument (though many who have lived through heavy
censorship-Dorfman, for instance-hold an opposed position, fearing the
institutions of censorship, and their tendencies to develop, more than
they fear the speech of others). I wonder, however, whether Gabriel
Egan's strong and easy speeches on various topics sit all that happily
with his theoretical beliefs about the performative nature of language.

John Lee

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