2002

Amdram Hamdram

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0201  Sunday, 27 January 2002

From:           Graham Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 25 Jan 2002 18:08:16 +0000
Subject: 13.0181 Amdram Hamdram
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0181 Amdram Hamdram

>[......[3] From: Brandon Toropov

>a) Some people really are wrong, in a fundamental sense, for some parts.......]

Hilariously demonstrated in the casting sequence at the start of 


Re: "He's very clean; isn't he."

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0200  Sunday, 27 January 2002

[1]     From:   Andrew Walker White <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 25 Jan 2002 12:43:06 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0180 Re: "He's very clean; isn't he."

[2]     From:   Brandon Toropov <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 25 Jan 2002 10:18:41 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0180 Re: "He's very clean; isn't he."

[3]     From:   Heather James <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 25 Jan 2002 16:03:55 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0180 Re: "He's very clean; isn't he."


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Walker White <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 25 Jan 2002 12:43:06 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 13.0180 Re: "He's very clean; isn't he."
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0180 Re: "He's very clean; isn't he."

Apologies for botching the name -- in my haste, and without the
videotape to hand, I grabbed for whatever likely-sounding name my poor
brain could muster.

Thanks for the correction!

Andy White
(off to the video store tonight, so his 4-year-old can catch Steptoe &
Son now, too)

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brandon Toropov <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 25 Jan 2002 10:18:41 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0180 Re: "He's very clean; isn't he."
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0180 Re: "He's very clean; isn't he."

Trivia question -- what two (at least) Shakespeare plays did the Beatles
perform? Kind of? At least, excerpts thereof? From about this time
(i.e., 1964)?

Brandon Toropov
(Hair called Arthur)

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Heather James <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 25 Jan 2002 16:03:55 -0800
Subject: 13.0180 Re: "He's very clean; isn't he."
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0180 Re: "He's very clean; isn't he."

> I don't suppose I'll be the only one to point out that the actor who
> deserves his due for playing Paul's clean old grandfather in A HARD
> DAY'S NIGHT was not Wilford Bramley but Wilfrid Brambell, better known
> to British audiences as Steptoe Senior in the (superior) British version
> of SANFORD AND SON.

"Comparisons are odorous" (there, I've tethered my upcoming remark to
Shakespeare).  In the spirit of giving actors their due: Redd Foxx is
one of the most respected comedians of American situation comedy, and
for his audiences, there is no superior!

Heather James

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Re: Hamlet (Once More)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0198  Sunday, 27 January 2002

[1]     From:   Andrew Walker White <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 25 Jan 2002 12:40:57 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0174 Re: Hamlet (Once More)

[2]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 25 Jan 2002 17:20:47 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0159 Re: Hamlet (Once More)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Walker White <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 25 Jan 2002 12:40:57 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 13.0174 Re: Hamlet (Once More)
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0174 Re: Hamlet (Once More)

Some good questions here, particularly about how I interpret Hamlet's
line, "to be or not to be"  -- let me try this one for size:

I take this to be the first line of a gloss -- a cryptic quote in need
of more elaboration via poetry.  If you take away this first line, it's
clear to me at least that Hamlet is talking about revenge, about death
and the likelihood of suffering in the afterlife for one's sins.

A quiet death, "to die to sleep" is seen as a blessing (Socrates was the
first to point this out).  But the likelihood of an afterlife fit to
one's spiritual status gives him pause, as it would anyone of
conscience.  Consider the soul-searching around the fire in H-V, and the
debate about responsibility for the sins committed in war-time.  The
"enterprise of great pith and moment" has never, to my mind, indicated
suicide; rather, it has indicated projects like the one Hamlet is
currently engaged in.

As for Dr. Taft's insistence on bringing "God's will" into the mix, I
think he's overemphasizing.  Once Hamlet has caught Claudius' reactions
to the play, he knows the Ghost is trustworthy.  After that point, he
does not question his role as God's "scourge and minister," his only
problems have to do with how best to carry out God's will.  THere is
collateral damage, to be sure, but Hamlet recognizes the death of
Polonius as necessary and a part of his now-divinely-sanctioned task.
What he questioned before he no longer questions.  All that remains for
Hamlet is to do, and to watch for the state of his own soul as much as
he can.

Andy White

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 25 Jan 2002 17:20:47 -0500
Subject: 13.0159 Re: Hamlet (Once More)
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0159 Re: Hamlet (Once More)

>Ed Taft seems to think that once the Ghost's witness is proven, "Hamlet
>should immediately effect revenge and the play should be over."

I'd like to make two points:

(1) The Mousetrap does not catch the mouse. Claudius admits no guilt by
leaving the play, because Hamlet turns the trap into a threat, wherein
the nephew threatens to murder the uncle. Note Horatio's reluctance to
confirm Claudius's guilt. And in the BBC version of the show, Hamlet,
not Claudius, reveals himself by the Mousetrap. You may not agree with
the director's choice, but the underlying point is valid, I think.

(2) We auditors know that Claudius has admitted his guilt, but Hamlet
hasn't heard him do so.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

_______________________________________________________________
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
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Re: Authorial Intention

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0199  Sunday, 27 January 2002

[1]     From:   Brian Willis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 25 Jan 2002 09:41:12 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0182 Authorial Intention

[2]     From:   Steve Roth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 25 Jan 2002 09:50:04 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0182 Authorial Intention

[3]     From:   Brandon Toropov <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 25 Jan 2002 10:36:02 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0182 Authorial Intention

[4]     From:   John V. Knapp <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 26 Jan 2002 00:22:47 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Response to Re: SHK 13.0182 Authorial Intention

[5]     From:   Martin Steward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 26 Jan 2002 13:40:07 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0182 Authorial Intention


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 25 Jan 2002 09:41:12 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0182 Authorial Intention
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0182 Authorial Intention

Of course it counts, but the proverbial grain of salt must be used
because sometimes the effect achieved is different from the one
intended. Even the director is blind to that sometimes.

It is another source (and how does one cite "DVD edition, Director's
Commentary"?) but it is still only ONE source. It should never be the
last word, even from the director.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Roth <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 25 Jan 2002 09:50:04 -0800
Subject: 13.0182 Authorial Intention
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0182 Authorial Intention

Laura Blankenship wrote,

>perhaps in
>the case of modern film or even productions of Shakespeare, we should
>consider the author's/director's commentary in our interpretation.

For me the key word here is "consider." Why not? However, we have to
consider that commentary with the same critical eye that we do any other
kind of evidence.

It hardly bears repeating that creators often don't understand their
creations on a conscious or articulate level. ("If I could tell you what
it meant, there would be no point in dancing it." - Isadora Duncan.) And
they often have reasons for distorting their representation of the
creative process and the creative result.

While you often can't help but wonder what an author was intending,
trying to deduce auctorial intent is generally useless, IMHO, because
you have to figure out on what level of consciousness (or otherwise) the
creator "intended" something.

"Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own."

Steve
http://princehamlet.com

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brandon Toropov <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 25 Jan 2002 10:36:02 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0182 Authorial Intention
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0182 Authorial Intention

Well *I'D* sure pay extra to see a DVD featuring Shakespeare's
commentary track, but that's probably an easy out.

Some of the "directorial intent" is to be found within the text, or so
it appears to this scribe. To explain: I've been developing a theory
about the later plays that deals with this question of theatrical
intention. In plays premiering when S may not have lived in London (and
thus been unable to attend rehearsals and clarify his intent), do others
besides me notice an abundance of "spoken stage directions"?  In other
words, dialogue that cannot persuasively be delivered WITHOUT a given
physical action taking place on stage, and that may be considered
"direction from afar"?

I'm thinking about the swords now too massy (or whatever) to be held in
the TEMPEST, and of the choppy fingers laid along the lips of the weird
sisters in MACBETH, and of Gloucester's fall (or stumble forward, or
whatever) from the nonexistent cliff in KING LEAR.  In each case, and in
many more I don't feel like bothering to look up know, a key moment in
the scene almost blocks itself as a direct result of the dialogue
surrounding it.

Surely he did this intentionally, yes? Perhaps because he knew he would
not be present for day-to-day rehearsals? My chronology about when S was
no longer living in the city is rusty, alas. Maybe someone else can help
clarify...

Brandon

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John V. Knapp <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 26 Jan 2002 00:22:47 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: SHK 13.0182 Authorial Intention
Comment:        Response to Re: SHK 13.0182 Authorial Intention

Laura --

Of course an author's comments about the work are always interesting.
However, it is rather a critical commonplace that an author's commentary
on his/her finished work is merely one critic's opinions.  Said author
may explain intentions but, as any reader knows, there's many a slip
'twix cup and lip, or between intention and reception.

Cheers,
JVK

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 26 Jan 2002 13:40:07 -0000
Subject: 13.0182 Authorial Intention
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0182 Authorial Intention

Laura Blankenship confessed to us all that she "got into a huge
discussion" with her husband "about how much one should take into
account the director's/screenwriter's comments on the film".

I recently posted a couple of paragraphs on this subject, concerning the
Lindsay Anderson film "If..." I'm afraid they have been long-deleted,
and I wouldn't want to overstate their significance by reproducing them
again, anyway. Suffice it to say that my general drift agreed with
yours, Laura.  But then, those from a "humanities" culture have greater
tolerance for interpretative authority than those from a "science"
culture - not wanting to get too C P Snowish about it...

Your point about "Shakespeare" being a blank is a good one, but it does
not entirely answer your husband's convictions - as you say, would there
be a significant difference if the material you imagine was found?

More to the point, would we necessarily "believe" what the material told
us, anyway? This, after all, would simply be another Shakespearean text
to add to the canon of thirty-******* plays and numerous poems, equally
open to conflicting interpretations.

As always, it is Ben Jonson who provides us with the exemplary case in
these matters. He never stopped writing about his work. The stuff in
"Discoveries", "Conversations with Drummond", begging-letters, and the
various prefaces, prologues and epilogues to the plays bring invaluable
exegetical tools to interpreting those plays, but no one would be naive
enough to take it all as gospel. There is a lot of material,
"independent" evidence, for example, that his plays "Poetaster" and
"Epicoene" did not flop nearly as badly as he claims in later
commentaries. This could be read as part of the same project of
self-fashioning to which the plays themselves contribute.

When it comes to critical approaches which specifically counter the
"intentional fallacy", the classic is an essay by the "New Critics" W.
K.  Wimsatt and M. C. Beardsley published in "The Verbal Icon" (1954).
In the post-structuralist context, reader-response theory is the most
obvious stopping-off point, particularly the work of Wolfgang Iser ("The
Implied Reader", 1974) and Stanley Fish ("Is There a Text in this
Class?, 1980). Why not try Nabakov's novel, "Pale Fire" (1962) while
you're at it?

As I hinted in my previous post, critical approaches with a materialist
tendency (eg Marxism) articulate powerful modifications of these
inherently structuralist positions. I guess that's where my own
sympathies finally lie - but it is really all a case of Scylla and
Charybdis...

If we're lucky, we'll see the principles in action as other list-members
exercise their right to tell other list-members what it was that I meant
by this post. That, after all, is the source of the peculiar joy of
these kinds of fora...

m

_______________________________________________________________
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
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Re: BBC Series

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0197  Sunday, 27 January 2002

[1]     From:   Tanya Gough <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 25 Jan 2002 13:29:29 -0500
        Subj:   BBC Shakespeare (again)

[2]     From:   Jim Slager <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 25 Jan 2002 09:33:31 -0800
        Subj:   Re: BBC Series


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tanya Gough
 <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 25 Jan 2002 13:29:29 -0500
Subject:        BBC Shakespeare (again)

What a week.

Apparently there has been a series of mass communications on both our
part and on our supplier, but we have finally come to an understanding.

Part of the problem was that they have not yet set up a distribution
network for the series, but they do plan to.  It was their understanding
that they were shipping to us on a trial basis, while we were working
under the assumption that this would be an ongoing arrangement.

The good news is that this distribution network should be in place by
the end of next year, and while the wait may seem interminable, it's a
far sight better than thinking we're not going to get them at all.

I'll keep you posted.

Tanya Gough
Poor Yorick
www.bardcentral.com

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jim Slager <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 25 Jan 2002 09:33:31 -0800
Subject:        Re: BBC Series

Herb Coursen writes (about the BBC RII): "The play is very
language-heavy, but, for that reason, translates well to tv."

I love the RII Arkangel audio cassette.  Perhaps the
"language-heavy"-ness allows it to translate well to audio as well, now
that you mention it.

Jim Slager

_______________________________________________________________
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
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

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