2001

Re: Shakespeare in Book of Pooh

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2109  Wednesday, 5 September 2001

From:           Susan St. John <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 04 Sep 2001 20:20:54 -0500
Subject: 12.2100 Shakespeare in Book of Pooh
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2100 Shakespeare in Book of Pooh

>  Richard Burt wrote:
>
> On Saturday Sept. 1, Disney's The Book of Pooh had an episode with Pooh
> and Piglet help Owl clean his room, and a copy of Shakespeare's works
> falls down.  Owl proceeds to perform parodic versions of famous
> speeches.

I'm interested to know just HOW the versions were "parodic"?  Did you
feel the authors meant to parody? or perhaps to paraphrase, thinking
small children in the audience wouldn't get it?  or was it the owl's
character that chose to do parodies?  or maybe, Owl was pontificating
beyond his ken and merely got it all wrong.  I think these choices are
all different and I wonder WHY it felt parodic to you rather than
honoring Shakes, or some other reason.

Susan.

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Re: Funeral Elegy

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2108  Wednesday, 5 September 2001

[1]     From:   Nancy Charlton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 04 Sep 2001 14:29:40 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2103 Re: Funeral Elegy

[2]     From:   Karen Peterson-Kranz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 4 Sep 2001 14:54:42 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2103 Re: Funeral Elegy

[3]     From:   Richard Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 05 Sep 2001 03:18:26 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2103 Re: Funeral Elegy


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nancy Charlton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 04 Sep 2001 14:29:40 -0700
Subject: 12.2103 Re: Funeral Elegy
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2103 Re: Funeral Elegy

> Richard Nathan wrote:

> Richard Kennedy, as usual, doesn't have the faintest clue as to what he
> is talking about.  . . . Richard Kennedy has
> repeatedly shown himself to be a raving lunatic.

Undoubtedly mine will not be the only voice raised in protest against
this kind of blatant ad hominem attack.

As this thread has developed, Mr Kennedy's views have been progressively
shown to be in large part mistaken.  That is not the same thing as the
above quoted attacks, certainly not the latter of them.  If it were,
heaven help us all!

If I were to say something like this, it would (a) be off the record, in
face-to-face speech where emotional nuances would be plain; and (b) in
my mind's ear I'd be hearing my mom's voice saying, non-judgmentally,
'the pot shouldn't call the kettle black.'

Nancy Charlton
                         __
Antic disposition is:   |ON|
                        |__|

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karen Peterson-Kranz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 4 Sep 2001 14:54:42 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 12.2103 Re: Funeral Elegy
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2103 Re: Funeral Elegy

Richard Nathan writes:

> We know that few documents have survived from
> the era mourning Shakespeare's death - but that is
> certainly not evidence that none ever existed.

And Jonathan Hope elaborates:

> It might be worth reminding ourselves that whenever
> we say things like 'no one wrote anything about X'
> in the Elizabethan/Jacobean period, what we *ought*
> to say is 'nothing survives about X'.
>
> There are some pretty depressing estimates about the
> survival rate of printed books around - and
> presumably that for manuscripts is worse - so that
> fact that we don't have any texts about X doesn't
> mean there weren't any.

Indeed.  It is also worth reminding ourselves that popular, more
widely-read printed documents (and probably popular, widely-read and
circulated manuscripts as well) seem to have even lower rates of
survival.  This might have been because these popular texts were read
and handled to the point of disintegration.  Some book historians and
bibliographic scholars argue that the non-survival of a particular
(known) text may be interpreted as evidence of popularity, and that
large numbers of surviving contemporary copies (as is the case with the
1609 quarto of Shakespeare's Sonnets) argue for a book's relative lack
of popularity among the reading public.

Further, when thinking about factors in the survival of a document, it's
perhaps worth considering that cheaper volumes (pamphlets, single sheets
and the like) may have been produced quickly to capitalize on a current
event, purchased, read and possibly passed along once or twice before
landing in the bin.  Anything written about Shakespeare's death might
well have appeared in such a quick-and-dirty, inexpensive format, to be
snapped up by theatre aficionados, read, and tossed.  Analogously, one
might consider the MANY quite horrible paperbacks that mushroomed in the
days immediately following the death of Princess Diana.  How many of
those (and all the other millions of books produced for exploitation of
sensational events) have survived even a few years as cherished objects
on the family bookshelfs?  Not many, I would venture.

Of course, Jonathan Hope quite rightly reminds us:

> Doesn't mean that there *were* either, of course,
> but it is as well to
> be clear about the limits of our knowledge.

Well said, and very true.

Incidentally, I allude to sources in my statement above but do not cite
in detail.  If anyone is interested in more specific references on
anything upon which I touched above, please feel free to write me
off-list and I will do my best to provide them with more precise
information.

Karen Peterson

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 05 Sep 2001 03:18:26 -0700
Subject: 12.2103 Re: Funeral Elegy
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2103 Re: Funeral Elegy

Nathan says that because we don't have documents or reports of any
mourning at Shakespeare's death, no notice, no elegies, and so forth, it
doesn't mean that there weren't any. That's very true.  And with such a
technique, we can claim anything at all to be true, and that the records
have not survived.  That seems to be a very useful tool for anybody
doing research into anything. If a document is needed to prove a thing,
we can suppose that it existed at one time but now it's lost.  That's a
nice shortcut for Nathan to get where he wants to go, rather like
flying, or floating in a balloon, or like a bird, his mouth working his
wings, flapping and flapping.

_______________________________________________________________
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editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Re: Times Article

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2106  Wednesday, 5 September 2001

From:           Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 4 Sep 2001 15:55:51 -0400
Subject: 12.2102 Re: Times Article
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2102 Re: Times Article

Louis misses my point, though perhaps that's because I had to make it
610 words.

There is no grounding of the classics prior to pop culture anymore.
This is precisely what freaks out the conservatives.  (Shakespeare) is
just a small part of what they hate about English Departments.

See Andrew Delbanco's jeremiad, "The Death of Literature" in NYRB at
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/318

(It begins with an attack on the feminist work of my friend Rebecca
Schneider and her book The Explicit Body in Performance involving porn
star turned performance artist Annie Sprinkle. (neither RS nor her book
is named).

And for a more liberal view, see Emily Eakin's article in the Sunday NY
Times, "Much Ado About (Yawn) Gra Books."
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/08/education/08ED-EAKI.html

For an essay in which porn figures into this larger debate over popular
culture (in the Boston Globe), go to
http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/234/oped/Porn_in_academe_A_plus_or_a_peril
_+.shtml

And I recommend Bill Readings' The University in Ruins for more on the
emptying out of "Culture" and the problems that poses not only for
literary studies but for cultural studies as well.

_______________________________________________________________
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Re: Winters Tale

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2107  Wednesday, 5 September 2001

[1]     From:   Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 04 Sep 2001 16:00:48 -0400
        Subj:   The Winter's Tale

[2]     From:   Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 4 Sep 2001 16:25:39 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2101 Re: Winters Tale


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 04 Sep 2001 16:00:48 -0400
Subject:        The Winter's Tale

Stevie Gamble's explanation of the ways in which pins could be lethal
(or nearly so) makes me appreciate that the invention of the safety pin
was indeed a major advance!

More to the point (so to speak), why weren't buttons used in more
women's clothing during the Renaissance? It appears that Lear's clothes
have buttons in the final scene of his play (?)

Ed Taft

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 4 Sep 2001 16:25:39 -0400
Subject: 12.2101 Re: Winters Tale
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2101 Re: Winters Tale

Dear Stevie Gamble:

Please refrain from insulting me as a vehicle to plug your artistic
projects.

> I think it was Robin Hamilton who pointed out that there is a huge (and
> in my view unbridgeable) gulf between wit and smut, and Sean Lawrence
> who noted that whilst the Beavises and Buttheads of the world may be
> able to find a snigger in everything they see, there is no justification
> in assuming that we are all, Shakespeare included, Beavises and
> Buttheads.  This isn't poetic double entendre; this is you finding
> things to snigger over in the fond delusion that everyone else shares
> your ignorance of life in western Europe during the Renaissance.

Right.  And I suppose Autolycus' tumbling in the hay with his "aunts"
refers to a hayride at the family reunion.  I suppose the ballad he
sells: "two maids wooing a man" has nothing to do with Mopsa, Dorcas,
the Clown or him, and so when he tells them it is his profession to
"bear my part," he can only mean his part of the song.

> It was written in the early 17th century, and the items referred to in
> the lines you quoted as proof that Autolycus should be identified in
> part as a fertility god, "pins and poking sticks of steel, what maidens
> lack from head to heel..." were sold in vast quantities across Europe
> for centuries. Poking sticks were for ruffs, at the throat and wrists,
> worn by both men and women, and as for pins: much of a maiden's
> clothing  was held on by pins, every morning, and every time she changed
> her clothes during the day, from headdresses to ruffs to her skirts,
> literally from her head to her heel; it was a commonplace which everyone
> knew: no pins, no clothes. I have yet to encounter a fertility deity
> interested in putting a maiden's clothing on; it's the other way around.

I'm sure everybody is impressed by your command of ladies' clothing of
the Elizabethan age (I'm sorry, that should be Jacobean, shouldn't it).
Fertility gods are interested in stimulating fertility.  If that
requires a nice ruffled dress, or a bawdy ballad, so be it (please don't
lecture me on the absence of ruffled dresses in the first decade of the
17th c).

> >There were no oracles either, yet there it is.
>
> The oracle is clearly identified in the play as the oracle; there is
> nothing whatsoever in the play to identify Autolycus in the way you
> assert. I note that you are unwilling to cite any authority whatsoever
> for your statements, and have not commented on the work of Janet Arnold
> or Ronald Hutton. If you think that they are wrong then it is usual to
> explain why you think that they are wrong, not just ignore their
> existence...

This is an annoying device foisted along with peevish charges of
ignorance and ineptness.  These are not the only authorities on the
nature of European pagan religions, and my plate being full with
dissertation readings does not amount to ignoring anyone's existence.
I've read Frazier, Robinson, Gaster, etc. etc., and the upshot is that
there is much more lost than preserved of the nature of pre Christian
deities.  The Green Knight probably has his origins in a fertility god,
not to mention Freia and probably even Arthur, while the monoliths and
standing stones all over England probably hearken back to an ithyphallic
fertility religion.  Venus and Adonis are evidence that Shakespeare was
familiar with the nature of pre Christian fertility religions.  The
fairies of Midsummer Night's Dream spend half their time stimulating
human intercourse. The Lupercalia at the beginning of Julius Caesar is a
fertility ritual. And Shakespeare may well have known that Whitsuntide
and Sheepshearing festivals were held on occasions devoted to pagan
worship in pre Christian times during which both the above mentioned
trio and Florizel and Perdita are hotly courting.  Let me know when
Beavis and Butthead do Hamlet (no pun intended).

Clifford

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Re: Reviews, etc. of O

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2105  Wednesday, 5 September 2001

[1]     From:   Louis Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 4 Sep 2001 14:29:45 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2095 Reviews, etc. of O

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 04 Sep 2001 14:38:21 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2095 Reviews, etc. of O

[3]     From:   Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 4 Sep 2001 21:14:44 -0400
        Subj:   Stiles' color in O


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Louis Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 4 Sep 2001 14:29:45 -0500
Subject: 12.2095 Reviews, etc. of O
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2095 Reviews, etc. of O

Hugh Davis asks,
" Does stripping the
 language destroy the intent?"

           Well, let's see:

            To exist or the contrary -
             That's what I query.

    Or, maybe,

             Why doesn't my really substantial carcass
              Just turn into goo...?

    Or, how about,

                I'll croak and be quiet now.

         L. Swilley

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 04 Sep 2001 14:38:21 -0700
Subject: 12.2095 Reviews, etc. of O
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2095 Reviews, etc. of O

I think that Hugh Davis raises THE interesting question when he asks,

>How close does a text have to be
>to the original to qualify as a "true" version?  Does stripping the
>language destroy the intent?

No one seems to be considering the real crux of this issue, to judge
from most comments on-list for the past couple of years, at least since
the NBC *Tempest* was first shown.  To condemn a film for not using
Shakespeare's dialogue and setting is to condemn it for the very thing
Shakespeare nearly always did: Adapt his source and inform it with his
own sensibility.  (I grant you, Shakespeare didn't mess with setting to
a great extent.)  Such criticisms strike me as, by definition,
wrongheaded.  Rightheaded is to judge how well a film works in its own
terms, not as an adaptation of Shakespeare.  *Throne of Blood* is, I
think, bloody brilliant.  *Ran* amazes me in the best way.  *10 Things I
Hate About You* and *The Tempest* are not different in kind, only in
quality.  I have not seen *O* yet, so I do not comment on it.

My theses: If Shakespeare can use a source and transform it, then it is
fair to use Shakespeare's work as a source and transform it.  You begin
to evaluate from there, not earlier.

Problem for a film-maker: you'd better be very good, or very clever, to
withstand the inevitable comparisons.

Mike Jensen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 4 Sep 2001 21:14:44 -0400
Subject:        Stiles' color in O

Has anyone noticed that hte poste for O makes Julia Stiles look dark
skinned?

http://us.imdb.com/ImageView?u=http%3A//posters.imdb.com/Covers/18/47/91.jpg

http://www.othemovie.com/core/index1.html

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Webpage <http://ws.bowiestate.edu>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
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