2000

Re: Contentville

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1576  Thursday, 24 August 2000.

[1]     From:   William Proctor Williams <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Aug 2000 15:11:15 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1572 Re: Contentville

[2]     From:   Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Aug 2000 14:45:44 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1572 Re: Contentville

[3]     From:   Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Aug 2000 08:55:39 -0700
        Subj:   SHK 11.1572 Re: Contentville

[4]     From:   I. Asher <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Aug 2000 19:29:32 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 11.1572 Contentville


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Proctor Williams <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Aug 2000 15:11:15 +0100
Subject: 11.1572 Re: Contentville
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1572 Re: Contentville

Although I am dubious about the Contentville project, at least my
doctoral dissertation was listed and perhaps this will prompt someone to
buy a copy.  No one has so far in over 30 years.  Indeed, I am tempted
to buy a copy for myself since I no longer own one.  What is really a
corruption is the deal UMI does with graduate schools to force students'
participation in their system as a requirement for obtaining a Ph.D.  If
someone wants to litigate about something that would be a much more
worthy target.

William Proctor Williams

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Aug 2000 14:45:44 GMT
Subject: 11.1572 Re: Contentville
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1572 Re: Contentville

> If you want royalties from your
> Dis. publish it as a book (but don't expect much $$ for your efforts).

I haven't yet looked into what Contentville or UMI is doing with my
dissertation. However, since it has recently been published in revised
form as a book, I think I and my publishers would have a vested interest
in having some control over the distribution of my dissertation. I don't
expect riches from my work, but I'm all in favor of curtailing those who
would bypass my and my publishers' interests.

Best wishes,
Jack Heller

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Aug 2000 08:55:39 -0700
Subject: Re: Contentville
Comment:        SHK 11.1572 Re: Contentville

Here we go.

As someone whose income is supplemented by the sales of my book and
other writing - I love my new car -  I am stunned by John V. Robinson
basically telling everyone to shut up and let Contentville rip them off.

As far as I know they don't have anything of mine - I can't figure out
how to search authors alphabetically, if such a feature exists - but
there is a principle involved if they are profiting from my work and I
don't share in that profit.

I'll put it another way.  I'm selling Mr. Robinson's message for $10,
but not cutting him in.  1000 people have bought copies.  Is that fair?
It is fairer is only one sold?

Sheesh!
Mike Jensen

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           I. Asher <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Aug 2000 19:29:32 -0400
Subject: Contentville
Comment:        SHK 11.1572 Contentville

This is my first post, and I loathe the fact that this is a subject that
draws me out, having missed the opportunity of commenting on many other,
less base and more noble, topics.

First, let me point out the pure and unreasoned BIAS in the implied
logical portion of Mr. Robinson's response. He apparently doesn't
realize that times, both in and out of the Academy, have changed. As a
struggling adjunct faculty member, I would LOVE to get by on accolades
and reputation from published articles, monographs, theses, etcetera.
However, in corporate America those days are long gone. Mr. Robinson
seems to miss the principle behind the original post: Ownership of
information and control over its dissemination.

In a digital world, information is the new commodity. Are we learned men
and women now supposed to allow third party organizations to form around
our writings, like vultures waiting atop a wastebasket? When I was in
the doctoral program there was quite a controversy (the school will
remain nameless to protect the individuals involved) over the Graduate
Program's "requirement" that graduates not only list their
dissertations, but have them 'published' with a company that then
automatically retained the rights to those works for a specific time.
One graduate balked, fought, and the "requirement" was changed. He later
published the mss. himself, inserted the line on his CV, and amassed
what few royalties were his due.

Mr. Robinson may feel as appalled as he likes. The system by which the
Academy replenishes its ranks is dying (if it isn't indeed dead
already), and along with it the means of remaining unmoved amidst
economic changes outside its walls. The original post wasn't about
income/royalties as Mr.  Robinson seems to think (at times; it's clearly
a hastily written diatribe and thus vacillates severely from logic to
emotion), until those currently in the Academy realize the dire straits
of those of us who are now entering the walls, there will be a lot more
drastic changes than simply the publication/ownership of dissertations.

To relate this to the topic of this list, something both posters may
want to move toward in any subsequent postings, I can only say that I
doubt whether Shakespeare would have written *anything* for the
reputation it afforded, rather than the recompense.

Finally, I also want to go on the record as saying that the baseness of
Robinson's closing remarks certainly point out the . . . lack of
introspection, that went into the response. One wonders just how much
stock he owns in the aforementioned and poorly defended company. I was
disgusted; not by the vulgarity itself, but by its unnecessary inclusion
in this group and in relation to such an innocuous subject. Robinson
obviously has issues with the judiciary that it seems should best be
addressed in another forum.  Not to mention that as a Southerner myself,
the "bubba" moniker in his email address would seem to be even more of a
reason to hold one's self above the common perception of such title
holders, should one choose to use it.

While I'm on the boards, I would like to thank the majority of all of
you for such rich, thoughtful postings. This has been the most splendid
list I have ever been privileged to belong to, and I hope to respond to
other, less vulgar posts in the future.

--I. Asher

Re: Cymbeline

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1575  Thursday, 24 August 2000.

[1]     From:   Judith Matthews Craig <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Aug 2000 09:05:23 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1567 Re: Cymbeline

[2]     From:   David Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Aug 2000 23:14:07 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1567 Re: Cymbeline

[3]     From:   Edward Pixley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 24 Aug 2000 09:23:10 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1567 Re: Cymbeline


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Judith Matthews Craig <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Aug 2000 09:05:23 -0500
Subject: 11.1567 Re: Cymbeline
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1567 Re: Cymbeline

Terence Hawkes writes:

<Second Gentleman:                You speak him <far.
<First Gentleman:
                   I do extend him, sir, within himself,
                   Crush him together rather than ,,

<<unfold
                   His measure duly.
                   (1. 1. 24 - 27)

<Is this 'wonderfully sharp, polished .  . . <writing  '? It strikes me
as
<over-elaborate, strained and clumsy.

I think that the variations on "far"--extend in the unusual sense of
space within, crushed, rather than "unfolded duly" as the usual sense of
space extended "far" in three-dimensional space implies--is brilliant
and thought-provoking.

Judy Craig

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Kathman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Aug 2000 23:14:07 -0600
Subject: 11.1567 Re: Cymbeline
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1567 Re: Cymbeline

Terence Hawkes wrote:

>What about
>
>Second Gentleman:                You speak him far.
>First Gentleman:
>                   I do extend him, sir, within himself,
>                   Crush him together rather than unfold
>                   His measure duly.
>                   (1. 1. 24 - 27)
>
>Is this 'wonderfully sharp, polished .  . . writing  '? It strikes me as
>over-elaborate, strained and clumsy.
>
>T. Hawkes

Let me jump in here and recommend Frank Kermode's new book,
*Shakespeare's Language*.  His central thesis is that the language in
Shakespeare's late plays is much more opaque and obscure than that of
the earlier plays.  In the introduction he compares a lengthy speech
from *Titus* (Marcus' speech upon encountering Lavinia in IV.vii) with
one from *Coriolanus* (Aufidius' rumination in IV.vii), calling the
latter "certainly, ominously, obscure".  Kermode remarks on
*Coriolanus's* "extraordinarily forced expressions, its obscurity of
syntax and vocabulary, its contrasts of prose and harsh verse, its
interweavings of the domestic and the military."

Of *Cymbeline* in particular, Kermode says that "the text is riddled
with inexplicable complexities", and he uses the very example quoted by
Terence above as an example of "over-worked" verse containing "obscure
hyperbole".  He says that "its energy does not seem to be that of the
Gentlemen, whose linguistic excitement can mean little to an audience;
it has nothing to do with characterisation and even serves to obscure
the necessary business of exposition."

Whether you agree with Kermode's conclusions or not, he certainly makes
you think.

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

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edward Pixley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 24 Aug 2000 09:23:10 -0400
Subject: 11.1567 Re: Cymbeline
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1567 Re: Cymbeline

At the risk of stating the obvious, when playwrights create characters
they wish to be perceived as "over-elaborate, strained and clumsy," they
have a tendency to put language into their mouths commensurate with
those qualities.  Witness Osric.  Isn't that how they sharpen and polish
their writing?

Ed Pixley

Re: Tudor Iconoclasm

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1573  Wednesday, 23 August 2000.

From:           Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Aug 2000 01:02:29 -0400
Subject: 11.1556 Re: Tudor Iconoclasm
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1556 Re: Tudor Iconoclasm

Milla Riggio :

>The problem with your chronology, as with most quickly surmised
>"evolutionary" theories of developments in drama

I'm flattered that you think I could come up with this stuff from quick
surmises.

> is A) that the
>"morality" plays, as we call them, are a different genre of drama from
>the so-called "mystery plays."  [Look for the heirs of the mysteries in
>Shakespeare's history plays, not in Tudor moralities, whether Puritan or
>not]

That it's a different genre was my point.  But it wasn't all that
different was it?  None of my students can tell the difference.
Probably performed in the same locales on the same occasions.  Less
dependent on local mechanicals than traveling players, but with the same
kind of spiritually edifying pretensions and with the same audiences.  I
don't think that people who had been watching plays in these places for
centuries experienced as much discontinuity as our generic hindsight
might imply.  Would it be inaccurate to say that television replaced
radio as a dominant cultural form because they're still writing radio
programs and were writing for TV before the golden age of radio had
passed away?

>and B) the chronology is wrong anyway.  Sixteenth century EVERYMAN,
>it is commonly known, is a translation from a Dutch play; MANKIND was
>almost certainly written in the fifteenth century,

But really, of what relevance is this at all?  The English followed the
Dutch in much of their Reformation ideology.

>and while WISDOM is
>later than usually thought (probably an early Tudor play), it was
>without question written before the end of the fifteenth century,
>probably in the 1480s.  You might want to take a look at the chronology
>and discussion of genre in my edition of WISDOM [THE PLAY OF WISDOM:
>ITS TEXTS AND CONTEXTS, AMS Press, 1999], but there are also tons of
>other materials that focus on this chronology; the earliest and still
>one of the best David Bevington's FROM MANKIND TO MARLOWE.  [By the by,
>THE CASTLE OF PERSEVERANCE may, as is commonly thought, have been
>written as early as 1425; I'm not too sure about that date, but it's a
>possibility.]

To someone who has just spent his entire summer in his apartment buried
in books, this hurts.  Perhaps fewer assumptions about other people's
research methods might be useful to you.  I didn't say that morality
plays began to be written only after mystery plays ceased.  Cultural
processes don't work that way. You have not shown me a morality play
that was written before the iconoclastic ideas at the foundation of the
Reformation emerged.  These go back, in England, at least as far as
Wyclif (before 1425 whenever the Castle was written), and Islam followed
similar principles a lot earlier than that.  What difference does it
make when they were written?  What matters here is that, gradually, over
a period of two centuries, the one replaced the other as the most
universal collective cultural experience of the population of England.
Of course there was overlap, and I quickly surmise that this overlap
coincides with the contestation for power between Catholic and
Protestant theologies.  As this contestation continues today, I would
not expect to find an absolute line of demarcation in the sixteenth
century separating their expressions.

>I'd suggest that you look before you leap into making assumptions about
>cause and effect.

I don't object to arguments with my positions, but don't make
assumptions about the years of hard work it took my slowly working mind
to arrive there.

Best,
Clifford

Re: Shakespeare In and Out

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1574  Thursday, 24 August 2000.

[1]     From:   Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Aug 2000 09:56:21 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1566 Shakespeare In and Out

[2]     From:   Tanya Gough <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 23 Aug 2000 11:10:47 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1566 Shakespeare In and Out


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Aug 2000 09:56:21 -0400
Subject: 11.1566 Shakespeare In and Out
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1566 Shakespeare In and Out

Yes, Troma sent me a copy, and I have seen it. I have to say it was
rather disappointing. It's about a guy in porn who ends up doing a
Hamlet production (he plays Hamlet) in a retirement home.  The other
plot involves a character who is making the film of this actor. The
filmmaker's father was also a filmmaker who died when the son was a
child (no foul play, and no Gertrude like mother around).  The son makes
the film in his father's memory.  Its pretty crudely film (as one would
expect from a Troma film) and not very funny. The film was produced by
Troma.  Lloyd Kaufman had nothing to do with it.

You should be able to order it from the Troma website.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tanya Gough <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 23 Aug 2000 11:10:47 -0400
Subject: 11.1566 Shakespeare In and Out
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1566 Shakespeare In and Out

>I seem to recall reading a blurb about a Troma movie (the guys who
>brought us 'Tromeo and Juliet' and 'The Toxic Avenger') called
>'Shakespeare In and Out' which is about a young aspirant to the
>Shakespearian stage who winds up doing porn instead.  Anyone seen it?

Not a lot of Shakespeare content on that one, Toby, although there is a
mildly amusing set of scenes at the end, after the hero has abandoned
porn to play Hamlet with a group called "Shakespeare for Seniors."

The choice to make a pseudo-realistic mockumentary means you are looking
at the porn industry as it really is (which is, frankly, pretty boring),
not as Troma could so easily have conceived it.  My staff member Noah
calls it "mildly amusing but slow and tedious."  It would have been much
better if they had chosen to go overboard with the porn angle with that
particular testosterone driven adolescent touch Troma is so well known
for.

Tanya Gough
Porn Yorick Shakespeare Multimedia

Re: Contentville

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1572  Wednesday, 23 August 2000.

From:           John V Robinson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 22 Aug 2000 16:53:31 EDT
Subject: 11.1544 FYI Contentville
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1544 FYI Contentville

>This is an intellectual property matter, not directly Shakespearean.
>Today when I asked to have their offer to sell my dissertation removed
>from the Contentville website, I was told they have UMI/Bell & Howell's
>permission to sell it. UMI/Bell & Howell in turn claim I gave them
>permission, in return for payment of royalties, when I graduated in
>1975. My unpublished dissertation is owned by several libraries listed
>in OCLC's World Cat. I've never received a penny of royalties, so I'm
>consulting an intellectual property lawyer.

I would think you would WANT people to read your dissertation. I'm
really appalled that you want to unleash the litigators on this matter.
(What would the royalties be on a few copies of a dissertation?
pennies?) When we publish in journals it is not for money, it's to
disseminate knowledge (and get tenure) and usually the journal keeps the
rights to the published paper. The payoff for the work comes from the
employment we receive in the academy.  If you want royalties from your
Dis. publish it as a book (but don't expect much $$ for your efforts).

I think Contentville is a great service. If you don't...well I'm sorry,
but PLEASE keep the fucking lawyers out of it.

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