2000

London

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1686  Monday, 4 September 2000.

From:           Skip Nicholson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 2 Sep 2000 22:04:21 -0700
Subject:        London

My new all-time favorite graffito is relevant to this list. I hope it
still exists. In Milford Lane off the Victoria Embankment (WC2), was
scrawled just beside the street sign:

"Deny thy father and
refuse thy name
Or, if thou wilt not,
be but sworn my
love and I'll no
longer be a Capulet."

This bit of public statement brings up too many questions to think
about.

Cheers,
Skip Nicholson
South Pasadena (CA) HS
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Re: Review of Shylock's Daughter

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1685  Monday, 4 September 2000.

[1]     From:   Sophie Masson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 3 Sep 2000 07:36:15 +1000
        Subj:   Other Reviews of Shylock's Daughter

[2]     From:   Florence Amit <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Sunday, 3 Sep 2000 02:42:33 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re. Review of Shylock's Daughter


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sophie Masson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 3 Sep 2000 07:36:15 +1000
Subject:        Other Reviews of Shylock's Daughter

As well as my review, there are others of this book now up at Achuka's
site. The address is http://www.achuka.co.uk/special/shylockind.htm

Sophie Masson
Author site: http://members.xoom.com/sophiecastel/default.htm

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Florence Amit <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 3 Sep 2000 02:42:33 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:        Re. Review of Shylock's Daughter

E.M. Forster in a little booklet about the structure of the novel
describes how he became attached, in his early youth to what later he
could assess to be a novel of comparative inferiority. I think it was by
Walter Scott. He confesses that nothing can attack that early union of
exposure with innocence, that later, a more reasoned understanding of
great art, would have placed at a much lower rank. I must deal with
something similar when I say to Sophie Masson (and most of you) that
despite her real sensitivity to the character, her comprehension is
still short of the reality. She again opens the silver casket of
interpretation for "The Merchant of Venice" and has gotten what had been
prepared for her there, a bogeyman fantasy that is far less than the art
to be seen and employed if she could have but opted for the lead
interpretation.

I wrote this originally for the defunct "Shakespeare Web" in answer to
Iago (Richard Perloff). Here it is somewhat amended.

There are just four Shylocks to choose from: No.1, [described by
research into the stereotype] is the invention of religious bigots and
its predecessor became an embarrassment to Marlowe's memory. For No. 2
we have the romantically, evolved Shylock whose animosity critics
'understand'. The problem here which is precisely what those
true-to-life critics would have wanted to avoid, is that by  witnessing
how Shylock must act out such feelings they lose the essence of a real,
believing Jew living at a perilous [but not lethal] time. It becomes a
hopeless fiction and we have moved further away from the truth even than
in the first characterization. There at least, no one is kidding
himself. Number 3 is to consider Shylock as something shocking , a real
Satan come from hell. (It is how Yehuda Schoenfeld defended researches
he made into Shakespeare's Hebrew. He supposed that Shakespeare had
copied out an ancient story.) This has the advantage of taking the onus
away from a Jewish man and allowing all of us to regard the bond as it
is without apology, as something cruel and unnatural. The problem here
is that not only is it a very untypical characterization for
Shakespeare, it does seem like a variation of No 1 which it could easily
become. Also there are too many details that do not correspond to Satan.
Such as where has the real Shylock disappeared to, the one who had
raised Jessica ? Or how is it that Satan remembers Shylock's wife so
fondly? Or why did Launcelet stay with Satan for such a long time? There
remains No.4, the Shylock that I am proposing, the one of deception
where Shylock takes on the Satanic role of absurd expectations,  so that
he may make a move and gain an admission,  where he will naturally fail.
Thus he just may avert an immediate calamity over which, under ordinary
circumstances, he would have had no control. That is the Shylock I
choose because it is the only one that can be a Jew and yet be seen to
act as no Jew would.  Also you will agree, a play within a play is not
unusual Shakespeare.

I had thought that I had actually covered all possibilities until I saw
an interview of the Israeli director Efrati on Israeli television ("A
New Evening" moderated by Dan Margolit) and then another one of Anthony
Sher on the "BBC" by Tim Sebastion. Later there was a literary
discussion on Holocaust Day in Hebrew conducted by an Israeli author,
using the same perspective. All these show a radicalization of type two
Shylock They take up the cause of Shylock no 2 with an added element of
violence and hysteria that 'removes the play forever from its comical
conclusion' comments Richard Perloff. In other words Jewish artists try
to justify a crazy Shylock, according to recollections of the Shoah. I
wish to tell them that Shylock need not be crazy. He is not revengeful,
not blood thirsty, not anything that the Gentile majority culture thinks
he should or can be. A Jew should concentrate on finding out what is
authentic to him in the play instead of reacting to libels and
falsities.  Shylock  is very sane and good, using his dying moments, all
alone to face the mob in a guise that is bound to insight them. He does
this in order to guarantee continuity for his progeny.

Of course it is true that even in a correct reading Shylock remains
important - but his importance is of a very particular kind. He is
catalyst, sphinx and touchstone. Through him you will know yourself. As
my friend, Victor Ferreira  assesses according to the physical reality
speech of Shylock, (who finishes off with a return to unreality and his
role, by saying, "May not a Jew revenge? The answer of course being,
NO.) that Shylock underneath his masquerade is a real person, while the
others who have a social presence, are playing a part. It is something
like the condition of Oedipus at Colonus. Such is Shakespeare's
capability. However Antonio is the receiver of the action. Shakespeare
choose the right title for his play.

Recently I answered queries about my reading to Bruce Small by e-mail.
Hardy Cook still has part one of an essay I wrote for the forum. Part
two needs Hebrew characters. I now recall the essay and ask a very
respected member of the forum, John Drakakis to bear with me until I
make a home page.  I no longer feel that I can slug it out on line. If
there are any who would like to take part in this endeavor with me -
please contact me. In particularly I welcome Hebrew speakers to check on
me for some crucial transcriptions in the play.

I still look forward to the time that when a Jew is invoked in
literature, even if he be unpleasant, that it be a true to life
character and not the continuance of an absurd libel. The same let it be
true for his daughter. I think that the book as described is naughty.

Florence Amit

Re: Women's Roles

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1683  Monday, 4 September 2000.

From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 01 Sep 2000 15:06:05 -0400
Subject: 11.1670 Re: Women's Roles
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1670 Re: Women's Roles

Dave Kathman writes:

>There are a couple of bits of
>evidence which seem to point to sharers playing very minor female roles
>(with zero and five lines respectively), and while both of those bits of
>evidence are somewhat questionable, I'm perfectly willing to admit that
>adults, even sharers, may have sometimes played such supernumerary
>female roles.  But all the evidence we have shows that the *principal*
>female roles were played by teenage male apprentices.

A minor point:  I assume that the Weird Sisters in Macbeth were played
by older actors on the early seventeenth century stage because Banquo
notes that they have beards.  The Weird Sisters do speak more than five
lines throughout the play, but perhaps Dave would call them
"supernumerary."  And they are a special kind of female impersonator.
(And, yes, I know that some scholars ascribe the Weird Sisters to the
pen of Middleton.  In any case, they are bearded women.)

Yours, Bill Godshalk

Call for Papers: Cultural Performances

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1684  Monday, 4 September 2000.

From:           Rachana Sachdev <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 1 Sep 2000 17:38:11 -0400
Subject:        Call for Papers: Cultural Performances

Call for Papers
Cultural Performances
Sixth Annual Undergraduate Shakespeare Conference
Susquehanna University
Selinsgrove, PA 17870
March 16-17, 2001

Plenary Speaker: Virginia Mason Vaughan, Clark University "Blacking Up:
The Representation of Sub-Saharan Africans on Early Modern English
Stages"

Papers are invited from undergraduate students on issues related to
performance and cultural identities within Shakespeare's plays. Papers
dealing with the performance of race, ethnicity, class, and gender on
early modern stage, and race, class, ethnicity and gender issues in
adaptations of Shakespeare's plays on stage and film are particularly
solicited.

Highlights of the conference:

*Student-led workshops
*Performance sessions
*Two plenary sessions

The two best essays will be awarded prizes of $300 and $200
respectively.

One page abstracts are due by January 15. Please direct all inquiries
and abstracts to:

Professor Rachana Sachdev
20 Hassinger Hall
Susquehanna University
514 University Avenue
Selinsgrove, PA 17870
Ph: (717) 600-0550
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Paul Gross Interview

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1682  Monday, 4 September 2000.

From:           Tanya Gough <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 1 Sep 2000 13:04:46 -0400
Subject:        Paul Gross Interview

The CBC website has a 6+ minute interview with Paul Gross in streaming
RealAudio, in which he talks about playing Hamlet.

To access the interview, go to www.cbc.ca, click on program websites, go
to "On the Arts", then click on the "real video preview" bar under his
picture on the right column.

You can try the following link, but I don't know if it will work.

http://cbc.ca/programs/sites/viewer.cgi?FILE=OA20000817.html&TEMPLATE=onthearts.ssi&SC=OA

Tanya Gough

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