2002

Re: Shakespeare Burned with Harry Potter

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0982  Tuesday, 9 April 2002

[1]     From:   Peter Hyland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 8 Apr 2002 10:57:48 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0969 Re: Shakespeare Burned with Harry Potter

[2]     From:   Alan J. Sanders <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 8 Apr 2002 11:28:51 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0969 Re: Shakespeare Burned with Harry Potter


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Hyland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 8 Apr 2002 10:57:48 -0700
Subject: 13.0969 Re: Shakespeare Burned with Harry Potter
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0969 Re: Shakespeare Burned with Harry Potter

>In objecting to my critique of the Harry Potter film Alan J. Sanders
>brings up a very important point when defining the differences between
>Shakespeare and most of the rest - as well as the darling of the
>chattering class, J K Rowling.  Let me get this straight.  Alan is
>saying that Shakespeare is great literature and Rowling is not - so let
>the kids have the rubbish?  He probably does not, but it is almost
>inferred.  What exactly do we mean by "something to spur the minds of
>the college-aged student or astute citizens of higher learning."  What
>exactly is that? Spur the mind from what to what? Why should children be
>denied the opportunity to have their minds "spurred" in a similar
>fashion?  In short why is Shakespeare better than the rest?

Is the Sam Small who wrote this the same Sam Small who keeps telling us
that schoolchildren are incapable of understanding Shakespeare? Or is he
too a creation of T. Hawkes's imagination?

Peter Hyland

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alan J. Sanders <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 8 Apr 2002 11:28:51 -0400
Subject: 13.0969 Re: Shakespeare Burned with Harry Potter
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0969 Re: Shakespeare Burned with Harry Potter

In response to Mr. Smalls, I will quote from my previous e-mail first:

"So, if you liken the literature of youth fiction to important classical
works, I think you would naturally be disappointed.  What's troublesome
here are people who can't seem to make a distinction between the two."

I never called the work by J.K. Rowling 'rubbish.'  My exact words were
'literature for youth' v. 'classical works.'  Being a father of 2 I
really want to believe that when my 5 year old comes to see a production
of "Romeo and Juliet" next week (a show I am directing) that she will
understand the significance of the underlying theme of fate and the
concept of 'star-crossed lovers.'  But, then that would be absurd.
Mental stimulation varies from person to person, but it is still on a
continuum.  You cannot fully appreciate complex works until you know how
to digest simpler works.  (Please don't read 'simple' as meaning for
'simpletons.'  There is a difference and I wouldn't want to 'infer'
anything contrary to my argument.)

Literature for youth is exactly like it sounds -- well written works
designed for a specific target audience.  By instilling an interest in
reading, those children are less likely to resist works later in life
that are meant to spur the developing mind to reach for more and more
abstract concepts.  Therein lies the answer to your second question
"Spur the mind from what to what?"

Lastly, I do find it somewhat interesting that an educated person would
be able to decry the works of an author whom they've admitted they have
never actually read.  It's a lot like the kids I meet in High School who
tell me that Shakespeare sucks.  When asked if they ever actually read
him, they admit "No, but he still sucks."

Maybe if they had been given access to a smaller world to start they
wouldn't fear jumping into a bigger one.  But, that's just one thought
from one person.

Alan J. Sanders

_______________________________________________________________
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
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editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Re: Towards a New Dunciad

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0981  Tuesday, 9 April 2002

[1]     From:   Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 8 Apr 2002 07:37:20 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0961 Re: Towards a New Dunciad

[2]     From:   P. D. Holland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 8 Apr 2002 16:19:47 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0965 Re: Towards a New Dunciad


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 8 Apr 2002 07:37:20 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 13.0961 Re: Towards a New Dunciad
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0961 Re: Towards a New Dunciad

Charles Weinstein writes, "A hundred years ago, upon the establishment
of English Literature as an academic discipline, an Oxford professor
famously remarked that it would all be nothing more than 'mere chatter
about Shelley.' He struck a definite nerve, for his statement has been
remembered.  I often see it quoted, not as an obvious example of
fossilized benightedness, but as a continuing challenge to the academic
and intellectual legitimacy of the discipline.  Eng Lit scholars with a
conscience about such matters meet this challenge by, inter alia,
maintaining definite standards as to what deserves sustained
intellectual analysis.  They realize that a discipline governed by the
sole criterion of 'Anything Goes' cannot be taken seriously.  'Chatter
about Shelley' is a gauntlet flung in their faces, a dare that may not
be ignored or discounted, a test that keeps them up to the mark.
Substitute 'Shakespeare' for 'Shelley:' the meaning is unchanged, and it
brings the statement into line with our subject.  What would the Oxford
professor have thought if he could have peered forward a century to see
the devolution of English Literature into 'chatter about Shakespeare
movies?'"

Devolution or Evolution?

To bricklayers making buildings English literature is all cock and bull
stuff, anyway.  To Harvard MBAs it's all cock and bull stuff, anyway.
To an EMT saving someone's life in an accident on the interstate it's
all cock and bull stuff, anyway.

However, to professors of Film teaching in Los Angeles, the Heart of
Hollywood, the Film Capital of the world, English literature is all cock
and bull stuff unless it's imprinted in Celluloid, anyway.

There was a time before Shakespeare called the Dark Ages when the bloody
stuff of melodramatic plays by secular playmakers was viewed by
Ex-cathedra classicists inside their Ivory Towers as cock and bull
stuff, anyway.

Dunciad?  The realm of Popish Dullness represented by Poet Laureate
Theobald's English literature has been replaced by the splash and color
of movies which charm an audience in ways moldy and fusty old theatres
stopped doing when silent film became talkies, and no amount of words
are going to turn the clock back.  Many think it evolution, as
Shakespearean playwrights thought their plays evolution from the
medieval dramas of Ivory Tower thinkers.

Our new Poet Laureate speaks cock and bull stuff Ex parte, anyway.

Bill Arnold

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           P. D. Holland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 8 Apr 2002 16:19:47 +0100
Subject: 13.0965 Re: Towards a New Dunciad
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0965 Re: Towards a New Dunciad

I'm sorry that David Wallace misunderstood my point about the word
'masterpiece'. The Comedy of Errors, a play I adore, admire, respect,
venerate, etc., etc, might, I think, given its complex anticipation of
so much that Shakespeare explored in later plays, usefully be thought of
as a work that marks a part of Shakespeare's transition in
accomplishment from a craftsman to a master. Highly though I think of
the play, Errors is not, I believe, as great an achievement as, say,
Twelfth Night though I will spare SHAKSPER readers a long set of reasons
for that statement.

_______________________________________________________________
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.

CFP "A Midsummer Night's Dream: Shakespeare and

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0979  Monday, 8 April 2002

From:           Janet Brennan Croft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 6 Apr 2002 15:10:55 -0500
Subject:        Mythopoeic Conference

PAPER CALL-- The 33rd Annual Mythopoeic Conference (Mythcon XXXIII)
    Theme: "A Midsummer Night's Dream: Shakespeare and Fantasy"
    Boulder, Colorado July 26-29, 2002

    <http://www.mythsoc.org/mythcon33.html>

    Scholar Guest of Honor: Alexei Kondratiev

Alexei Kondratiev is a Celtic scholar and linguist as well as a
long-time member of the Mythopoeic Society.  Since 1984 he has taught
Irish at the Irish Arts Centre in New York as well as teaching courses
on Celtic mythology, early Celtic Christianity, the history of Celtic
traditional music and related topics.  He is the author of The Apple
Branch:  A Path to Celtic Ritual, and has contributed numerous articles
to a variety of publications including Mythlore, Mythprint, Keltoi,
CARN, People of the Earth and Keltria.

    Author Guest of Honor: Connie Willis

Connie Willis is a prolific science fiction writer, the winner of six
Nebulas, six Hugos, and numerous other awards; she is the first author
to win both the Nebula and Hugo in all four fiction categories. Ms.
Willis once said in an interview, "I think every writer creates a world
that exists only in the pages of his book . literary worlds are more
real . sort of hyper-real."

The Mythopoeic Society is an international literary and educational
organization devoted to the study, discussion, and enjoyment of the
works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams. It believes
the study of these writers can lead to a greater understanding and
appreciation of the literary, philosophical, and spiritual traditions
which underlie their works, and can also engender an interest in the
study of the genre of fantasy as a whole and the realm of myth and
legend from which such authors derive their inspiration. Find out more
about the Society and previous Mythcons at <http://www.mythsoc.org/.>

Papers dealing with the conference theme are encouraged, as are those on
the role of the Society in Mythopoeic scholarship. Papers focusing on
the work and interests of our Guests of Honor, the Inklings (especially
Tolkien, Lewis, and Williams), and other fantasy authors and themes are
also welcome.

We are interested in papers from a variety of perspectives and
disciplines.

    Some ideas to explore:

    *   Magic and fantasy in Shakespeare
    *   Shakespeare and Tolkien: comparisons and inspirations
    *   Shakespearean themes in fantasy and science fiction writing and
film
    *   Fantasy and the fantastic in drama

Individual papers should be suitable for oral presentation within a time
period of 20 to 45 minutes, leaving 10-15 minutes for questions. They
should conform to the MLA Style Manual. Papers chosen for presentation
at the conference will be considered for publication in Mythlore, the
refereed journal of the Mythopoeic Society. We are also interested in
paper sessions consisting of two to four related papers by different
authors, to be read and discussed in a 90 minute time period.

Abstracts of 200 words or less should be sent to the Papers Coordinator
at the following address (e-mail is acceptable) by April 30, 2002.
Please include your AV requests and the projected time needed for your
presentation.

    Janet Brennan Croft
    Bizzell Library 106NW
    University of Oklahoma
    Norman OK 73019-6030
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Phone: 405-325-1918 * Fax: 405-325-7618

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Romeo+Juliet=0

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0980  Monday, 8 April 2002

From:           Charles Weinstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 7 Apr 2002 14:03:05 -0400
Subject:        Romeo+Juliet=0

Claire and Leo don't know how to speak Shakespeare; consequently they
don't know how to act him.  Like tourists in a foreign country, they
cheerfully mangle every syllable.  Eloquence and beauty fly out the
window whenever they open their sorry mouths:  so does simple
credibility.  Imagine American actors performing Racine in French after
a six-week Berlitz course and you'll have the general idea.  Whatever
their success in contemporary roles, in Shakespeare Claire and Leo are
ignorant, incompetent and ineffective.

A production of R&J starring clods like these is clearly unacceptable,
barring a positively Thesean indulgence from the spectators.  Theseus,
however, was watching a community-theater production mounted by a
bumptious crew of avowed non-professionals.  Luhrman's production is a
multimillion-dollar film.  Should we not expect decent or even competent
performers in such a context?  Guess not.  But who cares, so long as the
actors are good-looking movie stars?

As for the film itself, it's a junk R&J for junk sensibilities.  Of
course, everyone on this list already knows that; but as T.S. Eliot once
said, people have a bottomless capacity for kidding themselves.

Notwithstanding the above, this subliterate two-hour music video, every
frame of which is hostile to words, has been automatically enrolled in
the Shakespeare on Film pantheon.  (Hey, why not?  It's a film version
of a Shakespeare play, isn't it?).   It will be studied in universities,
made the subject of dissertations and analyzed in boring detail by Eng
Lit scholars who claim to be doing "Shakespeare."  Because "Shakespeare"
is only what everyone says he is; and since "everyone" includes the
subliterate, Luhrman's version must be as good as the next person's,
right?

And they wonder why I get angry.

Cheers,
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.

Acting the Bard

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0978  Monday, 8 April 2002

From:           Jane Drake Brody <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 6 Apr 2002 10:35:20 EST
Subject:        Acting the Bard

I am probably naive about such things, but I have always felt the fact
that Shakespeare left his characters open to interpretation was a
tribute to a more complicated view of human nature than the dramatic
literature which preceded him.  The idea of absolutes, so present in
medieval drama (and in some of his contemporaries) is with few
exceptions no longer seen in his work and it becomes more interesting
for that exact reason.  I find the idea that he simply told the actors
what he meant a bit far-fetched.  The greatness in the writing and its
ability to reverberate across the years is lodged permanently in its
ambiguities.  And, while scholars may pooh-pooh the need for actors to
settle on "motivation," without some idea of the logic of the role an
actor has nowhere to go.  Yes, the audience may view the character as
absolute evil or motiveless, but for them to truly believe the actions
of the actors, the actors must have some sort of emotional pattern to
follow regardless of whether they are working from a technical or from a
"method" perspective.

Jane Drake Brody

_______________________________________________________________
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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