2002

Recent Editions

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1379  Tuesday, 21 May 2002

From:           John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 21 May 2002 15:35:39 +0100
Subject:        Recent Editions

Continuing the service of drawing attention to recent (UK) editions.  As
before, these are not reviews: my interests being textual and
bibliographical, I tend to concentrate on external aspects.
Takashi Kozuka has indirectly drawn attention to Colin Burrow's Oxford
edition of "The Complete Sonnets and Poems".  I was somewhat
disconcerted by Burrow's rather simplistic comments on the Hamlet text
controversy for a popular readership, but his editing appears to be
reassuringly competent.  The first thing to say is that the book is
massive: x + 750 pages.  At least there is a sewn binding (23 gatherings
of 32 pages and one of 24) and what I assume to be acid-free paper, but
no paperback should be that length.  The title is a bit of a nonsense:
nobody would be expecting incomplete sonnets, so "Complete Poems and
Sonnets" or better still "Sonnets and Complete Poems" would be
preferable.  Burrow's commentary on the sonnets has roughly the same
level of detail as Katherine Duncan-Jones' in her Arden3 edition of
"Shakespeare's Sonnets", but with a much less generous typeface.  I
measure his notes at 7.5 pt (although they seem smaller) and the poems
as 11 pt.  Duncan-Jones' notes seem to be 8.5 pt and the sonnets a
generous 14 pt (presumably 13 on 14 pt).

What about the content?  Including the poems with the sonnets means that
"A Lover's Complaint" can be included in its correct position, but still
kept with the other poems.  The first surprise is that the whole of
"The Passionate Pilgrim" is included.  The next surprise is that "The
Phoenix and the Turtle" is listed as 'Let the bird of loudest lay'.
This neatly sidesteps the question of whether it should really be called
"Phoenix and Turtle", but is, as I say, surprising.  'Shall I die?' is
included (I suppose Oxford are stuck with it!), but it is firmly
relegated to an appendix of dubiously attributed poems.  "A Funeral
Elegy" is not included (the Lord be praised!) on the eminently sensible
grounds that it is not by Shakespeare, and was not attributed to him in
the seventeenth century (although Burrow confesses that he had to select
these criteria in order to exclude it!).

Unless I haven't been paying attention, nobody has mentioned Charles R.
Forker's Arden3 edition of "King Richard II".  The first comment is that
it is also quite massive: xviii + 593 pages, against lxxxiv + 210 pages
for Peter Ure's 1956 Arden2.  Ure's edition was one of the most heavily
annotated of the Arden2 series, managing to fit only the first line of
the play on to the first page of text.  Forker emulates Ure and only
slightly exceeds him, although he does manage five pages of
double-column small-type footnotes for the Dramatis Personae, where Ure
only has "Not in Qq, F"!

The introduction runs to 169 pages, and textual analysis is relegated to
a 36 page appendix.  Other appendices have genealogical tables, and the
inevitable doubling chart (do people really find these useful?).  There
are 20 pages of longer notes in small (8.5pt?) closely-spaced type.
Ordinarily, I would welcome this, having been shortsighted all my life,
but recently age, and possibly the effects of hours spent hunched over a
computer terminal, has brought about a deterioration in my eyesight so
that I need reading glasses in poor light; I am therefore less
enthusiastic than previously.

The text is based on Q1, with interpolations from F (usually in SDs)
flagged by superscripts.  This flagging is probably superfluous.
Anyway, the Arden3 second tetralogy is off to a splendid start and I am
eagerly awaiting further installments, although I am seriously
considering an early visit to my optician!

John Briggs

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Thelonious Monk

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1378  Tuesday, 21 May 2002

From:           Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 21 May 2002 14:12:53 +0100
Subject:        Thelonious Monk

I realize that he said a lot of quotable things, so perhaps it's
apocryphal, but I wonder if anyone has a source for the statement
attributed to Thelonious Monk that "there's no such thing as a bum note;
it depends what you play afterwards".

(I'm aware of his response to the accusation that he'd played a wrong
note, "piano ain't got no wrong notes", but that's not quite the same
thing.)

There is, I hasten to add, a Shakespearian purpose to my asking.

Gabriel Egan

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editor assumes no responsibility for them.

What Dreams May Come...

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1376  Tuesday, 21 May 2002

From:           Whitt Brantley<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 20 May 2002 18:07:28 EDT
Subject:        What Dreams May Come...

This is written in response to the thread concerning SHAKSPER and people
under 30.

When I was 16, I chose acting for my career...I lived in a very small
town of 3000 in the south of Alabama.  I had done a research paper as a
sophomore on Marlowe's mighty line...and I am not quite sure what
prompted me to do it...

When I was 18, an older actor told me, "if you can perform Shakespeare,
you can act anything", so I decided to pursue Shakespeare.

My first professional job was with the Virginia Shakespeare Festival at
the age of 22.
I was  self-taught,  studied hard and learned all I could up to that
age.

I was fascinated by Shakespeare, perhaps because I was drawn to fantasy
stories, King Arthur and the like, from a young age.  And, even though I
had difficulty reading the text in the beginning, it spoke to me and I
was thankful for the plays.

Now I will tell you a true story.   A mediator for the National Theatre
of Great Britain, based on a performance I had given in Virginia,
recommended me to their training program in England.  I went to New York
and auditioned and was accepted only to find that I could not afford to
go.

I was very upset and returned to Alabama and to school and was feeling
quite down...I loved the experience of professional theatre so much, and
it was all I really wanted to do and here I was at school again...

Then, one night soon after my return, I had a dream.  I dreamt that I
had a box placed in front of me.  Kind of like a small cardboard filing
cabinet with 3 drawers.

I knew that whatever I wished for would appear in each of the drawers.
The first wish was for a piano...and lo, there it was.  The second was
for a guitar, and it was in the second drawer.

At just that moment, I had an overwhelming sense that I had grown much
to powerful and did not deserve the magic cabinet.  I decided to wish it
away, but before I did...I made a wish to see with my own eyes, the
building of the Globe Theatre in London.

I felt like Gulliver as before me, lumber the size of tiny brown
matchsticks began to form and construct... and in a few moments,
Shakespeare's Globe as it existed 100's of years before, stood in front
of me.  There was a flag flying above it, and when I looked inside I saw
all of these people and a stage and on the stage, an actor.

It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  And I picked the actor
up from the stage and lifted him in my hand above the building.

It was then that I woke up.

Now, I don't think I was aware of any illustrations up to that point of
the Globe, that depicted the theatre in the detail of which I saw her in
my dream.

But, 7 years later, at the age of 30, I was performing with a
Shakespeare Company in the States and notified just after a show, that I
had been invited to perform at Shakespeare's Globe in London.

To this day, I really do believe that things happen for a reason

And the reason I share this with you, is I think the human mind, at any
age, is capable of understanding much more than we imagine...

Which by the way reminds me...the best class I ever taught Shakespeare
to was a group of 12 rural children  (age 13 to 18)  30 miles in from
the Gulf Coast...they knew our tour was coming and took it upon
themselves without teacher prompting, too read as many of the plays as
they could and asked the most intelligent questions from students
regarding the plays I have been privileged to try and answer.

Thanks for reading.

Whitt Brantley

_______________________________________________________________
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Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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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: 12th Night at Stanford

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1377  Tuesday, 21 May 2002

From:           Sophie Masson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 21 May 2002 21:39:10 +1000
Subject: 13.1359 12th Night at Stanford
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1359 12th Night at Stanford

Speaking of productions of Twelfth Night, I just recently saw a
production by the Railway Street Theatre Company of Sydney(Australia)
which came up to our regional university town (Armidale, northern NSW)to
perform it. The setting had been transposed to 1942 Townsville,
Queensland, with a mixture of armed forces types, from different places.

Malvolio was played by a young man who looked like an outback dandy,
complete with leather gloves, perfectly pressed moleskin trousers, crisp
shirt, big hat. When he first appeared, I thought, oh dear..But actually
he turned out to be very good, the self-love aspect of Malvolio to the
fore rather than the pomposity(though that was there too--and maybe
pomposity is just a symptom ofself-love?). A different view of Malvolio,
but I felt it worked. The scene in the garden when M. finds the letter
was absolutely hilarious, glorious slapstick.

The most daring thing though was that Sir Toby Belch and Feste were
played by the same person! When they were supposed to be in the same
scene, the actor, Peter Kowitz(a very experienced actor)coped really
well, substituting a hat using ventriloquism, and in the end making us
feel that the Lord of Misrule personage was just split in 2 between Sir
Toby and Feste.

All in all, for me, it was a very good night. The only thing I missed
were the songs--the original Elizabethan ones which I love had been
removed and 1940's songs (of a similar feel and theme)put in their
place. The part of the audience which was over 60(and this was a very
mixed audience with at least a third being young people) loved that, as
they obviously recognised the songs. After the first shock, I thought
they fitted quite well--though I still missed Hey ho the wind and the
rain!

Has anyone else on this list seen this production as it has toured
around NSW?

Sophie Masson
Author site: http://www.northnet.com.au/~smasson

_______________________________________________________________
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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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: Deeper Than Plummet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1375  Tuesday, 21 May 2002

From:           Clifford Stetner <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 20 May 2002 13:43:30 -0400
Subject: 13.1347 Re: Deeper Than Plummet
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1347 Re: Deeper Than Plummet

> But Shakespeare seems to want to give these movements of the
> spirit a non-religious, only human meaning. Until the closing plea for
> prayer, the classical and Christian images seem perfunctory,
> imaginatively cancelling each other out and leaving the merely human,
> marooned on this bare island of time, for a moment, before we join our
> predecessors in the ooze.
>
> Best wishes,
> David Bishop

The exclusion of religion on Prospero's island might only be a
rhetorical affirmation of the secular function of the popular stage.
Renaissance Hermeticism from Pico and Ficino forward attempted to
reconcile "magical" principles with Christian principles. The Tempest
merely confirms the popular stage as the forum for the articulation of
the humanist and secular aspect of the philosophy, leaving the
scriptural aspect to the Church without thereby contradicting or
excluding it.

Clifford

p.s.: In what way is world of The Tempest "recognizably Renaissance?"
Are there indications of its period beyond the establishment of Tunis in
place of Carthage?

_______________________________________________________________
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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