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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: November ::
Re: Much Ado About . . .
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2287  Monday, 18 November 2002

[1]     From:   Michael B. Luskin <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Nov 2002 12:38:09 EST
        Subj:   Shakespeare in Appalachia

[2]     From:   Haddon Judson <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Nov 2002 13:47:19 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2278 Re: Much Ado About . . . Mountainmen

[3]     From:   Bill Lloyd <
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        Date:   Thursday, 14 Nov 2002 02:25:15 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2278 Re: Much Ado About . . . Mountainmen


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael B. Luskin <
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Date:           Wednesday, 13 Nov 2002 12:38:09 EST
Subject:        Shakespeare in Appalachia

I am usually irritated by directors' penchant for trying to make culture
"more relevant."

In particular, I recall a Carmen in Philadelphia about twenty years ago
set in the Spanish Civil War.  Don Jose and Carmen seemed uncomfortable
seemed while schlepping bazookas around the stage.  The relevance?

I recall a performance of one of the Mozart operas, probably Nozze,
libretto from social commentary by Beaumarchais, which had an audience
on stage, reacting very strongly to every implied criticism of the
peccadilloes and worse of the upper classes.  Very distracting.  The
point was overdone, a ten gallon hat on a three pint head.

The only great transformation of relevance I recall is Patrice Chereau's
Wagner Cycle, in which nineteenth century London becomes a metaphor for
the world of the Ring.

I think that relevance is strongest when most subtle.  It is going to be
impossible to think Shakespeare and see Al Capp.

What is the point?

Why not do a Hamlet with everyone dressed Eskimo style in mukluks,
except for Hamlet, dressed as a Bantu chieftain, and Polonius, dressed
as a Japanese kabuki figure?  Talk about bringing it home!

Michael B. Luskin

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Haddon Judson <
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Date:           Wednesday, 13 Nov 2002 13:47:19 -0500
Subject: 13.2278 Re: Much Ado About . . . Mountainmen
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2278 Re: Much Ado About . . . Mountainmen

>I hate to be nit-picky, but I believe the term "hillbilly" antedates the
>movie industry. The first listing in the old OED Supplement is 1904.
>
>Likewise, I'm not sure how pre-colonial English could exist anywhere in
>America, unless pre-colonial is a technical term has passed me by.

My mistake about the term "hillbilly".

By pre-colonial I mean before 1776...sorry for not being clear on that.

Sincerely,
Haddon (Hadd) Judson

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Lloyd <
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Date:           Thursday, 14 Nov 2002 02:25:15 EST
Subject: 13.2278 Re: Much Ado About . . . Mountainmen
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2278 Re: Much Ado About . . . Mountainmen

Appalachian Pockets of Elizabethan Pronunciation?

That a remote region would preserve an antique pronunciation completely
undiluted seems unlikely. What can be found [I believe] are SOME
features that linger in the pronunciation of the isolated community
after they have evolved or died out of the parent dialect.

One book more or less on this subject is The Relation of the
Alabama-Georgia Dialect to the Provincial Dialects of Great Britain, by
Cleanth Brooks, LSU Pres, Baton Rouge, 1935

Bill Lloyd

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