2002

Re: Classical Acting: Decline

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0722  Monday, 11 March 2002

[1]     From:   Karen Peterson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Mar 2002 07:48:14 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0704 Re: Classical Acting: Decline

[2]     From:   Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Mar 2002 15:14:16 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0692 Re: Classical Acting: Decline

[3]     From:   Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Mar 2002 22:17:58 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0681 Re: Classical Acting: Decline


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karen Peterson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Mar 2002 07:48:14 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0704 Re: Classical Acting: Decline
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0704 Re: Classical Acting: Decline

> RE: Karen Petersen's attempt to play J.L. Austin
> with this thread -
> don't - better to leave the philosophy to
> philosophers...(dead or
> otherwise).

J.L. Austin?  I'm flattered!  *I* thought I was merely attempting to
play Roland Barthes with this thread. See Article XVI, "Beauty" in *S/Z*
(1973; Oxford: Blackwell, 1990; pp. 33-35).

Still trying to do things with words, I remain cheerfully and
philosophically yours,

Karen Peterson

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Mar 2002 15:14:16 -0600
Subject: 13.0692 Re: Classical Acting: Decline
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0692 Re: Classical Acting: Decline

Well, I guess I whacked the hornets' nest this time. I will deal with
each of these stingers as best I can with as little prolixity as
possible.

To Martin Steward's point, that the lack of great poets in the period
after Chaucer but before Sidney, can be attributed to the lack of a
"publishing culture" (that existed after it), all I can say is that I
don't buy it. A handful of anonymous lyricists do not strike me as
evidence of major writers, mute, inglorious Miltons, that time has sadly
squelched. (Nor, for that matter, can it explain to me why the first
half of the 20th century was overflowing with major writers, and the
second half not so -- but that's another story.)

To Robin Hamilton's point, that the Middle Scots were working in a very
different tradition from Chaucer so that my remark that "he lived on" in
them was inaccurate -- just so. It wasn't what I meant. I only meant
that his greatness lived on in them, and that people were writing major
works in English, but in Scotland not England. As to the suggestion that
Scots is not English, all I can say is that it looks like English to me,
though God knows I have to work awfully damned hard to read it.

To Mike Jensen's reiteration of an earlier point (that I am (or someone
is) leaving out Skelton, Gray and Johnson as major poets), I can only
say I've never met anyone who could show me anything glorious, majestic
or insightful about Skelton's work (clever and breezy at times, yes, but
great? -- not to me); I have always felt that the poetry is weakest area
of Johnson's writing, and that if he had to stand on it alone he would
not be considered a major writer; and Gray (along with Cowper and
Collins) has always struck me as over-rated.

Which brings me to Karen Peterson's complaint that the term "greatness"
"cannot be defined absolutely." Of course not -- but what can? And there
is a difference between defining something absolutely and defining it
sufficiently for ordinary conversation. I would suggest that we all have
a sense of the meaning of the word, and, what's more, we all agree that
Shakespeare is a vastly greater poet than Skelton. If I felt that it was
really important, I could come up with a working definition of "great"
and "greatness," but it is tedious work and I feel disinclined to embark
on it without a greater sense of necessity for it.

At the same time, I think KP leaves out the concept of judgment. What I
tell my composition students is that nobody is the slightest interested
in their opinions, only their judgments --- that is what they can back
up with an intimate knowledge of the text, quoted copiously, and -- in
more advanced papers -- some familiarity with the judgments of previous
writers on it. A judgment can be tested against the actual words of the
text. You may still disagree with a judgment, because you feel the
person making it has misread the text, but you must concede the
possibility of its being valid if it has evidence at all.
Enough of this. I don't like arguments about who is greater than whom --
except when absolutely necessary. But I submit that the reason that most
of us are employed in this racket is because the greatness of literature
excites us to our very marrow, that we all know (even if some are
reluctant to admit it) that some literature is greater than other
literature, some writers greater than others, and that we are members of
this list because we know that the eponymous author is the greatest of
all, that he excites our imaginations and emotions more often and more
profoundly than any other.

My apologies: more prolix than I wanted --

don

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Mar 2002 22:17:58 -0000
Subject: 13.0681 Re: Classical Acting: Decline
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0681 Re: Classical Acting: Decline

> But after Chaucer the quality of writing in English drops rapidly (except in
> Scotland where he more or less lives on). I can stomach Skelton only in
> small quantities.

Well, some of us would rate Skelton somewhat higher (Robert Graves and
Stanley Fish for two).  There's also George Gascoigne (1542?-1577).  But
most irritatingly, the original statement quoted managed to obliterate
all the anonymous lyrics and ballads written throughout the fifteenth
century and beyond.

Given at this point (post-Chaucer) that (literary) English was trying to
come to terms with the loss of the final unaccented <e>, while
simultaneously taking Chaucer as a model (vide the mess in Lydgate), the
surprise isn't that there is a slight dearth of +literary+ poets, but
that any wrote at all.

> Wyatt occasionally wrote excellently, and Surrey even less often, and then
> there's another dry spell until the explosion on the scene of Sidney and
> Spenser and some dozens of poets. And after them --
> >

The original citation drew attention to the publication of Wyatt's poems
in 1557, in _Tottel's Miscellany_, which is a rather neat elision in two
ways.

As Wyatt had died in 1542 in his early forties, there would have been
(if, as I do and the original author seemed to, allow Wyatt) "great
poetry" written at least between 1520 and 1542.

Elision two (in the original) is that Things Get Better After Tottel in
1557.  Just about the opposite is the case.  It's worth remembering that
Wyatt as we read him today is edited from the Egerton MS (and others).
Wyatt as read up till at least 1900 was edited (read, "rewritten") by
and read through the spectacles of the egregious Nicholas Grimald, whose
only way to get his own poems into print was to produce the first
edition of Tottel, and who was convinced that every line of an iambic
pentameter poem had to have +exactly+ ten syllables, and go (exactly) te
TUM te TUM te TUM (etc.).

This +does+ lead, for a time, as everyone tries to play by the
Grimal/Tottel rules, to a comparative dearth of decent literary verse,
until Gascoigne's _A Hundreth Sundrie Flowers_ in 1573.

But in both instances, it's possible to see +why+ things go wrong.
Periods of dearth are the exception (and often explicable) rather than,
as was originally implied, the rule.

> Now I will gladly retract what I've just said, which I know is a
> terrible clich


Pop Culture

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0719  Monday, 11 March 2002

From:           Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Mar 2002 10:35:08 -0500
Subject:        Pop Culture

Today, a reading from the Tempest on Guiding Light.

Last night, Hamlet in Croatian on ER.

_______________________________________________________________
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 Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

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.

OSF Macbeth

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0720  Monday, 11 March 2002

From:           Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 08 Mar 2002 07:44:48 -0800
Subject:        OSF Macbeth

I write from Ashland, Oregon, where I have borrowed a computer to warn
list members who favor the Oregon Shakespeare Festival about their new
production of *Macbeth.*

I'll not go into much detail.  To do it justice would take several
thousand words, but anyone buying a ticket should be aware that the text
is heavily adapted by director Libby Apel and dramaturg Lue Morgan
Doughit, who share the writing credit in the form of *Adapted by...*

The text has been very heavily pruned, the night I saw the show it ran
for and hour and 48 minutes, characters have been telescoped, some
eliminated, I noticed a couple of word substitutions, and one speech has
been moved to the end.  A review mentioned transpositions, but I did not
catch any of those.

There are a half-dozen brilliant directorial touches, and two dozen that
simply did not work for me, the most radical being casting six actors,
four women and two man, all the roles that survived the adaptation.

I know from our on-list discussion of *Troilus and Cressida* last year
that my likes and dislikes are not shared by all, nor am I arrogant or
mean enough to insult a bunch of creative people who did their best to
give us an evening of compelling theater.  I will say that anyone who
plunks down their hard earned shekels may want to know what they are
getting into.  If the description I have given intrigues you, great.
Have a wonderful time, but this production is not for all markets.

All the best,
Mike Jensen

_______________________________________________________________
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 Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

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: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0721  Monday, 11 March 2002

[1]     From:   Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Mar 2002 09:45:38 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0684 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos

[2]     From:   Janet OKeefe <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   8 Mar 2002 14:35:47 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0701 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos

[3]     From:   John Ramsay <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Saturday, 09 Mar 2002 11:16:51 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0701 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Mar 2002 09:45:38 -0600
Subject: 13.0684 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0684 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos

I have, to this point, avoided involving myself in this matter, but now
I feel constrained to clarify a few points -- not so much in defense of
football, but in the interests of accurate scholarship and correct
interpretation.

Really. I mean it.

According to Sam the phrase -- "A game of football is not over till the
final whistle blows" -- is not great poetry. Very likely.

Larry Weiss then suggests that this may be such:  "It ain't over till
its over,"   L.P. (Yogi) Berra.

I think a little textual clarification is in order. Apparently, the
ineffable and magnificent Yogi did say something to that effect. (I
think he actually said, "The ball game ain't over till it's over.") One
learned sports writer, in the employ of Sports Illustrated, I believe,
interpreted this to indicate Yogi's separation of baseball (played in
innings) from football (American) and basketball and other sports that
are played in clock time. That is, you can be down ten runs with two out
and nobody on in the bottom of the ninth with the other team's ace
reliever painting the corners of the plate with hundred-mile-an-hour
fastballs, and yet you can still win.  Unlikely, but possible. There are
no stall-strategies in baseball.

So much for Yogi. Let me turn now to a basketball coach named Dick
Motta, less pithy than the Great Berra, perhaps, but a bit more lyrical.
While coach of the NBA title-bound Washington Capitals, some years back,
he coined the phrase: "The opera isn't over till the fat lady sings."
His meaning was somewhat the same, although it referred to the more
general uncertainty of all sports contests and not just of those
liberated from the tyranny of the clock.

There seems to me to be some tainting of the original Yogi-ism with this
operatic concept in the phrase quoted by Sam -- though Sam's quote lacks
both the pithiness of the one and the lyrical majesty of the other. But
that is not the most interesting part. How does either of these end up
in England, in the mouth of a footballer who probably knew nothing about
either baseball or basketball? Did the football coach hear either of
these Americanisms at some time and translate them into the more
familiar terms of his own sport? Did Sam? Or is it an example of people
having the same inspiration -- like Leibniz and Newton discovering
calculus independently of one another?

In the interests of clarity,
don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Janet OKeefe <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           8 Mar 2002 14:35:47 -0800
Subject: 13.0701 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0701 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos

I have always thought that the three Henry VI plays would work very well
in a football setting.  The factions would be rival teams and team
supporters with red or white roses on their scarves flanking the names
of either side.  I think it would make it much easier to for modern
British, and really any nationality except American and Canadian, people
to relate to and follow.

Janet T. O'Keefe
City 'til I die
Yorkist 'til I die

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Ramsay <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 09 Mar 2002 11:16:51 -0500
Subject: 13.0701 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0701 Re: Shakespearean FA Cup Promos

> John Ramsay recalls this anecdote:
>
> Naive reporter, after a Manchester United game: "Why does soccer have to
> be such a life and death matter?" Manager of United: "But you don't
> understand. It's much more serious than that."
>
> That was Bill Shankley (1913-1981 manager of Liverpool FC), surely? As
> quoted in The Sunday Times obits October 4th 1981 (and elsewhere).
>
> m
>

I only heard it 3 or 4 years ago so it's obviously made the rounds and
been attributed to others rather than the originator. Certainly, with
documentation from the Times, Bill Shankley deserves the credit.

He was also dead right -:)

John Ramsay

_______________________________________________________________
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 Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

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: Hamlet (Once More)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0718  Monday, 11 March 2002

[1]     From:   Lucia A. Setari <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Mar 2002 15:31:45 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0689 Re: Hamlet (Once More)

[2]     From:   Anthony Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 8 Mar 2002 11:15:27 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0711 Re: Hamlet (Once More)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lucia A. Setari <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Mar 2002 15:31:45 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: 13.0689 Re: Hamlet (Once More)
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0689 Re: Hamlet (Once More)

In my opinion, Sophocles' Oedipus Rex can be considered the earliest
detective play.  Which links Hamlet with Oedipus again, but avoiding
Freud.

Lucia A. Setari

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Anthony Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 8 Mar 2002 11:15:27 -0500
Subject: 13.0711 Re: Hamlet (Once More)
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0711 Re: Hamlet (Once More)

I also once liked to maintain that Hamlet was the first detective story
until a friend proposed Oedipus Rex, with King O doubling as detective
and culprit, just like Pogo.  I can't do better than that.

But I have  more trouble than Markus Marti with LORD, from whom nothing
is hidden in any event, nor even contrary to LORD's wishes and purpose.
Sort of takes the "mystery" out of the story for me, and raises Cain
with the issue of guilt, too.

TB

_______________________________________________________________
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 Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

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.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Search

Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.