2002

Last Call: The Mysterious and the Foreign in Early

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1202  Tuesday, 30 April 2002

From:           Helen Ostovich <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 30 Apr 2002 09:54:45 -0400
Subject:        Last Call: The Mysterious and the Foreign in Early Modern
England

FINAL CALL for conference papers on

THE MYSTERIOUS AND THE FOREIGN IN EARLY MODERN ENGLAND

October 4 & 5, 2002

This conference at McMaster University will explore representations of
foreignness in English writing c1550-c1650 arising from travel to remote
and exotic places as well as representations of mysterious regions of
intellectual and spiritual quest. As the conference invites a wide range
of perspectives and approaches, so we encourage participation by
academics from different disciplines such as history (social, political,
economic, medical, technological), art history, literary studies, drama,
women's studies, music, etc.

Possible topics include

*encounters with other peoples (whether Irish, Jew, Moor, African, East
Indian, American Indian, Eskimo)

*exotic food, clothing and the importation of foreign art and artifacts

*the development of museums and antiquarian collections to study and
house the foreign and mysterious

*the intellectual endeavour to uncover scientific and medical mysteries

*the realms of the supernatural, of miracles, of mystical paradox,
including witchcraft and fairy realms

*the early modern loss of or debunking of mystery

Proposals for further related topics are welcome.

3 copies of the papers (reading time 20 minutes) plus abstracts are
requested by the deadline date, Friday, May 31. Abstacts alone (approx
300-500 words) are also acceptable, though complete papers are
preferred.  Abstracts AND papers may be submitted in the body of an
email letter --NO ATTACHMENTS PLEASE!

We expect that a volume of papers will result from the conference.
Papers from the most recent early-modern studies conference at McMaster,
"Expanding the Canon", were published in _Other Voices, Other Views_
(AUP, 1999) eds. Helen Ostovich, Mary V. Silcox and Graham Roebuck.

Papers and abstracts (hard copy) to:
Dr Graham Roebuck
Department of English
McMaster University
Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4L9

Electronic copy should be sent to all of the organizers:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Further information on conference travel, accommodation, hospitality,
conference fees and keynote speakers will be posted on
http://www.humanities.mcmaster.ca/%7Etaylor/index.html

Helen Ostovich
Editor, EARLY THEATRE / Professor, Dept of English
McMaster University

_______________________________________________________________
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.
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editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Apologia Pro Sententia Sua

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1201  Tuesday, 30 April 2002

From:           Charles Weinstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Apr 2002 21:28:55 -0400
Subject:        Apologia Pro Sententia Sua

Brian Willis recently opined, apropos of my comments on the title
performances in Romeo+Juliet:  "Claire and Leo are totally lost, but
there is no need to get offensive about it."

To which I belatedly answer:  That depends on what you believe to be at
stake.  To show that much may be hanging in the balance, let me quote
two passages from a neighboring field of criticism.  Both were written
by the art critic and historian Robert Hughes.

"Memories of Edward Hopper underlie [the painter Eric Fischl's] work,
but Fischl didn't have the benefit of Hopper's extensive training.  He
had the misfortune to go to art school at the California Institute for
the Arts in Los Angeles in the early 1970s....Cal Arts epitomized the
frivolity of late modernist art teaching, Fischl would recall.  The only
serious life classes were reserved for the animation department of the
film school, because if a student wanted to follow in the footsteps of
great cartoon animators like Chuck Jones, creator of Bugs Bunny and Wile
E. Coyote, he needed, at least, to draw competently.  No such
restrictions applied to would-be painters.  Art education that has
repealed its own standards can destroy a tradition in a generation or
two by not teaching its skills, and that was what happened to figure
painting in the United States between 1960 and 1980.  Fischl was badly
hampered by it, and though he aspired to a way of drawing that was
tense, dramatic and full of body, he only achieved it episodically.  He
wanted an overall look that was not too finished, consistently
'imperfect,' with an air of unconcern for its own pictorial mechanisms.
But this required a mastery over the detail and frequency of
brushstrokes, and a certainty about the drawing embedded in them, which
he cannot consistently manage...."  American Visions (1997).

"The results of this [slippage of standards] began to be not only felt
but quite painfully seen when a revival of realist painting got under
way in the early 1970s.  A century before, every educated person drew as
a matter of course.  (Even the critics could draw:  John Ruskin was, in
his own right, one of the best architectural draftsmen since the time of
Palladio.)  Drawing was an ordinary form of speech, used as a pastime or
an aide-memoire, without pretensions to 'high' art.  Nevertheless, this
general graphic literacy was the compost from which the great depictive
artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were able
to grow--Degas, Eakins, Picasso, Matisse.  It was gradually abolished by
the mass camera market.  Nowhere was the decline of depictive drawing
more evident than in America."  The Shock of the New (1980).

I have a series of audio tapes consisting of 60-minute versions of
Shakespeare plays broadcast over U.S. radio during the 1930s.  The
leading roles are played by well-known movie stars of the period.  The
most interesting performances are those of Edward G. Robinson as
Petruchio and Humphrey Bogart (yes) as Hotspur.  Robinson is very good
indeed.  One cannot say the same of Bogart; but, mirabile dictu, he is
never less than competent.  These actors learned their craft in the
legitimate theater of the early twentieth century.  In those days,
performing Shakespeare adequately was one of the standard
accomplishments of a dramatic actor.  He was expected to know how to do
it; so he did.  Genius was not required; proficiency was; and there was
a basic level of skill below which one was not allowed to fall.

The cinema-driven erosion of these minimal standards of competence, a
process celebrated and encouraged by Academia and exemplified by Al,
Claire, Leo and others, may prove to be a momentary aberration in the
history of the performing arts.  I hope it may.  But while the outcome
is still in doubt, complacency is not in order, and the only watchword
is <<Ecrasez l'Infame>>.

--Charles Weinstein

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Shakespeare and Jane Eyre

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1200  Tuesday, 30 April 2002

From:           Joanne Gates <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Apr 2002 17:12:23 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Shakespeare and Jane Eyre

In the new novel by Jasper Fforde entitled _The Eyre Affair_, Thursday
Next is the female, first person narrator, a female sleuth who is
employed as a special operative in the LiteraTecs division of a U.K.
set in a futuristic version of the year of 1985.

The main plot revolves around the hijacking of Thursday's uncle's Prose
Portal machine.  Thursday has to enter the plot of _Jane Eyre_ to return
Jane and correct the vandalism.

List members may be interested in the book's rich allusions to the Works
of William Shakespeare and his place in the culture.  (Yes, there are
militant Marlovians -- who have firebombed the Baconians --but they, as
well as some who make references to a certain Earl, are the bad guys;
each time Thursday is confronted with new evidence of the Shakespeare-
didn't-write- Shakespeare variety, she is able to successfully dispute
or deflect it.)  It is now obligatory that the Complete works by
Shakespeare --along with a number of secular and religious texts-- be
placed in every hotel room.

My page listing of the novel's list of Shakespeare references is
available at:
<http://www.jsu.edu/depart/english/gates/shak/shakeyre.html>. Caution:
some plot details are revealed. The best use of Shakespeare is the
audience-participation _Richard III_ (Shakespeare meets Rocky Horror).

Joanne Gates
Jacksonville State University

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Tailors and Stage-Plays

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1198  Tuesday, 30 April 2002

From:           Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Apr 2002 17:19:05 -0400
Subject:        Tailors and Stage-Plays

Somehow the reply I wrote for Clifford Stetner got lost in cyberspace.
I'm sorry about the delay.

Clifford Stetner asked me below about the use of "first cut" and
"breaking-up" further below in a quote from Middleton's "The Ant and the
Nightingale." I have not reflected on those terms before, and I, too,
would like suggestions especially about "breaking-up." Is that a
tailoring term?

I quit the quotation at the point of the mention of the Blackfriars
theater, but if one reads more of this pamphlet, what happens is that a
naive country youth is being advised in the best sights of London. If he
goes to the Blackfriars, he will find a nest of boys able to ravish a
man (with all the homoerotic connotations that implies). Immediately
after this advice is a given, a tailor ingratiates himself to the youth,
working on the fall of his breeches. I wish that I had been more alert
to the "first cut" of the tragedy because in Middleton's epistle to The
Roaring Girl, he uses an extended metaphor of tailoring for the creation
of plays in what is one of his most homoerotic comedies. And Michaelmas
Term, with another homoerotic situation, features a cloth merchant as
the villain.

I hope that comes close to addressing the question. I'd welcome other
comments on tailors and the theater.

Jack Heller

>Jack Heller:
>
>I'm curious how you would translate "breaking-up" and "first cut" in
>this quote. The latter seems to me to imply that plays (particularly
>tragedies?) were customarily revised like a suit of clothes by a tailor.
>Would playgoers then follow the tailoring process, returning to the same
>play periodically, or would they prefer just to wait for the finished
>product? Does "breaking-up" mean breaking down the set after a final
>performance, or does it refer to revelry?
>
>Clifford
>
>> Then after dinner he must venture beyond sea, that is, in a choice pair
>> of nobelmen's oars, to the Bankside, where he must sit out the
>> breaking-up of a comedy, or the first cut of a tragedy, or rather, if
>> his humour so serve him, to call in at the Blackfriars . . .

_______________________________________________________________
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.

King Lear's Daughters

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1199  Tuesday, 30 April 2002

From:           Jacob Goldberg <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 29 Apr 2002 17:36:28 EDT
Subject:        King Lear's Daughters

How old are King Lear's daughters?  The two older daughters, Goneril and
Regan, are married, have no children, but are of child-bearing age, as
we learn when Lear brings   that famous curse down on Goneril's
thankless head.  At the time of the curse, Lear is 80.

Assuming that Goneril was 25 when Lear implored Nature to "dry up in her
the organs of increase", Lear would have been in his middle 50's when he
fathered her, and several years older when he fathered Regan and
Cordelia.

Does this ever pose a problem for a director?

Jacob Goldberg

_______________________________________________________________
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.

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