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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: February ::
Re: Marvin Rosenberg
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0268  Thursday, 13 February 2003

From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Wednesday, 12 Feb 2003 08:57:16 -0800
Subject: 14.0260 Re: Marvin Rosenberg
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0260 Re: Marvin Rosenberg

Now that I am reunited with my library and can cite with confidence, I
want to add to the surprisingly small number of tributes to Marvin
Rosenberg.  I met him a couple of times, but did not know him well.  Or
maybe I did.  I had the comfortable feeling that the real Rosenberg was
always up front, not hidden from view.

I came to know him much better through his book *The Adventures of a
Shakespeare Scholar*, which I recommend (Newark: University of Delaware
Press & London: Associated University Press, 1997).  I suppose most
would describe it as a collection of essays, and it is, but the first
person singular pronoun is used often, and I think the book is also an
autobiography of his mind.

I envied his Shakespeare on video collection, this coming from someone
whose own video collection is often envied.  His series of *Masks of*
books has already been mentioned, but are worth mentioning again.  In a
just world they would rebuke those who decry performance criticism (even
the hypocrite who knocks it, then posts reviews on SHAKSPER).  He was
also a pioneer in studying Shakespeare on American television.  His
early articles are indispensable, and reveal him wrestling with how to
write television criticisms even as the medium was wrestling with how to
present Shakespeare on the tube.

More than anything, I was impressed by the generosity of those who knew
him as expressed by their willingness to do things to help him in his
work.  The daughter of a friend once used her camcorder to
surreptitiously tape a production of *Hamlet* in Moscow for him.  The
bit I saw of it, Hamlet and Gertrude, was a fascinating and bold attempt
to visually stage the isolation these characters feel.  It was well
worth having, caused this woman some inconvenience, but she was willing
to do it for Marvelous Marv Rosenberg.  It is my great regret that he
passed away before I could interview him for my *Shakespeare Newsletter*
column.  I was hoping for sometime in 2004, but I waited too long.

With great respect and some sorrow,
Mike Jensen

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