Re: Marx and Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1475  Thursday, 10 August 2000.

From:           John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 9 Aug 2000 14:41:43 +0100
Subject: 11.1468 Re: Exploitation, Marx, and Shakespeare
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.1468 Re: Exploitation, Marx, and Shakespeare

I'm afraid, Bill, that ideology is a 'material practice' NOT an 'art'.
Also, that human existence cannot be collapsed into 'nature'...it's what
human beings DO with nature that's important, and that is called
'Culture'.  Nor can 'Culture' be collapsed into a biological determinism
a la Darwin. Hence one of my objections to your preoccupation with

Maybe you've been seduced by the idea of a 'poetics of culture'...very
fashionable but preoccupied with the aesthetics of social structures
rather than with their overdeterminations (which you should not read as
'determinations' -mechanical or otherwise).

Theoretical enquiry...which is itself a 'practice'- aims to produce
explanations of the operations of such things as ideologies, but NOT
from a metaphysical standpoint. Again, distinguish between the
fashionable use of the term theory as free-ranging speculation whose
primary criterion is plausibility.  The process of enquiry is
necessarily implicated in the object of enquiry..How could it be
otherwise? Hence there can be no theory without practice just as there
is no practice without theory.  I suspect that this is what you have
difficulty in getting your head around.

Happy meditations.

John Drakakis

Music and Time

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1474  Wednesday, 9 August 2000.

From:           Aimee Luzier <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Aug 2000 18:36:28 EDT
Subject:        Music and Time

As part of my dissertation on Shakespeare's conceptualizations of time,
I am trying to figure out how music fits in.  Music marks a kind of
time, a rhythm that seems to be different from clock-time or natural
time or even psychological time.  Does it have something to do with
harmonizing the social with the personal?  Man is a prisoner to time or
temporality but music seems to be a way of working with time as an
ally.  I have been reading both deep and wide but keep running into this
strange place that music holds, particularly when time is mentioned in
Shakespeare's plays.  Any advice as to where to look or
answers/opinions, particularly as regards Twelfth Night, Troilus and
Cressida or Macbeth will be gratefully appreciated.

Aimee Luzier

Tudor Iconoclasm

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1472  Wednesday, 9 August 2000.

From:           Andrew W. White <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Aug 2000 16:50:17 -0400
Subject:        Tudor Iconoclasm

I attended the ATHE (Association for Theatre in Higher Education)
conference here in Washington, DC, last week and listened to a
fascinating lecture on what I would classify an iconoclastic period in
England, lasting approximately from 1558-1608.  Statues taken down,
narrative glasswork replaced by plain, frescos whitewashed and the words
from the 10 commandments painted on the wall instead.  Pageant wagons
put in storage, elaborate Corpus Christi festivals banned -- not simply
because they were Catholic, but because they may have been anathema.

The point of this, relating to Shakespeare and his contemporaries, was
that a playwright's reliance on word over image was largely due to the
austere, iconoclastic ways of the Tudors.

At least that's what I gathered from the presentation.  But I have never
heard Elizabethan drama framed in this way before, and was wondering
whether there would be any further reading I should look for.  And I
would be especially interested in any primary sources -- extant
documents confirming that statues, etc., were taken away not just to
fill the Tudor's coffers with quick cash, but as part of a movement away
from representational art in Anglican worship.

Feel free to write me off-list.

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

Re: Performing 'The Tempest

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1473  Wednesday, 9 August 2000.

From:           Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Aug 2000 22:28:51 +0100
Subject: Re: Performing 'The Tempest'
Comment:        SHK 11.1461 Re: Performing 'The Tempest'

I fear that 'The Globe' is just beginning to get a reputation in UK for
productions that one suspects are sometimes a bit willfully quirky, to
the extent that some 'serious' actors and directors simply will not work
there, and the audiences are beginning to go as novelty rather than for
scholarship-made-real, or even, dare I say it, theatrical enjoyment in
its broadest sense. Mark Rylance is coming on increasingly as a rather
defensive evangelist in the press. Occasionally, the show works - his
own Cleo was stunning - not entirely to my taste as the Antony was such
a jerk -  - but an absolute tour de force of cross-gender acting. But
the recent 'Tempest' - a notoriously dense and unfortunately hobby-horse
prone show - was seen by many in UK as a fairly serious disaster. The
very recent 'Two Noble Kinsmen' seems to have been greeted with real
enthusiasm - BUT it seems to have been done pretty 'straight' as it has
as yet no real place in the performed canon.

I fully recognise that some of the terms I have used are in their own
way loaded ones, but it worries me that I am becoming chary of taking
students who, like mine, live a good way from London and any other major
theatre centre, to The Globe now because I simply cannot tell in advance
whether there is going to be a reading of the play that is sufficiently
transparent and coherent for them to be able to assimilate the
theatrical AND poetic / textual intent of the work. Of theatrical
excitement there is never a dearth at The Globe, but is that in itself
sufficient justification when that may indeed be their only major
experience of that text in action? I realise that grabbing the
unlettered is part of Rylance's remit, and I applaud it, but
financially, can I as teacher justify serious outlay to see what may
turn into a pretty bizarre experience?

I am genuinely torn over this. I love The Globe kind of shows, but I
know the text far better than my students will, and I can thus revel in
the new insights, but what responsibility do I have as teacher to
introduce students to the more routine so that the brilliant new can
excite? YET, as I write, I recall my own delirium when stuck up in the
sweltering gods on unforgettable summer night watching the fantastic
early run of Brook's amazing 'squash court' MND at the old Aldwych home
of the RSC. Did I know the play well before I went? No!!  Can you see my

Almereyda Hamlet on Video

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.14701  Wednesday, 9 August 2000.

From:           David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 08 Aug 2000 13:51:00 -0400
Subject:        Almereyda Hamlet on Video

Anybody know anything about whether and if so when the Michael
Almereyda-Ethan Hawke *Hamlet 2000* will be released on video?  I
checked the Miramax web site this morning, and the film was not among
those listed as Coming Soon to the small screen.  But others among you
may have better sources.

Dave Evett

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