2003

Re: Julius Caesar's Protagonist

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0519  Tuesday, 18 March 2003

From:           Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 17 Mar 2003 07:45:33 -0600
Subject: 14.0484 Re: Julius Caesar's Protagonist
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0484 Re: Julius Caesar's Protagonist

Colin Cox writes:

>Cassius married Brutus' half-sister, Junia. Actually this connection
>gives more fuel to Cassius' fire. It was rumoured Servilia, Brutus'
>mother and mistress to Caesar (he gave her a pearl worth more than a
>million denarii!), had permitted Caesar to seduce her daughter Junia,
>Cassius' wife!

Could I have a clarification here? Rumored where? What is the degree of
reliability of this rumor and rumor-monger? Was Shakespeare likely to
know of it?

And, finally, what does the phrase "had permitted Caesar to seduce her
daughter" mean? Did he ask her permission? Could she have stopped him by
refusing it?

(Is there a parallel to the Woody Allen case of a few years ago?)

Cheers,
don

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Models

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0518  Monday, 17 March 2003

From:           Charles Weinstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 16 Mar 2003 12:31:10 -0800
Subject:        Models

David Lindley and other listmembers offer a specific model for thinking
about Professors of Literature.  We are not to conceive of them as
people who seek out, assess and expound the best that has been known and
created, but rather as pseudo-archaeologists devoid of such concerns who
write up any cultural "material" they happen to find.  These issues
deserve a thread of their own.  I would like to inaugurate it by noting
that Professor Lindley did not, in fact, write a book about any
theatrical productions that swam into his ken:  he wrote a book about
productions of Shakespeare.  For all their professed freedom from
aesthetic and canonical standards, these would-be cultural neutrons are
often terribly anxious to hitch their wagons to work of established
excellence and authority.  Perhaps they fear that without such a nexus
their projects could lay no claim to legitimacy and value.  (And perhaps
they need to justify themselves before a public that expects its
children to receive a decent education from credible scholars).  My
point, of course, is that the same standards which lead them to
Shakespeare should be carried through to all of their procedures and
methodologies, and that in the realm of artistic achievement the
archaeological model is not only worthless but pernicious.  "The study
of mediocrity, whatever its origins, breeds mediocrity."

--Charles Weinstein

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Re: Standard Work On Early English Book Publishing

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0516  Monday, 17 March 2003

From:           Al Magary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 15 Mar 2003 20:29:21 -0800
Subject: 14.0461 Standard Work On Early English Book Publishing
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0461 Standard Work On Early English Book Publishing

>The Cambridge History of the Book Vol. 3 (1998) covers
>1400-1557 while Vol. 4 (2002) covers 1557-1695.  I highly recommend
>both volumes.

I thank David Gants for this recommendation, and Nicholas Ranson for his
(H.S. Bennett, English Books and Readers..., 2 vols).

I was shocked when I looked up the price of the 800-page Cambridge
volumes:  $140 each.  Further shocks were to come as I searched the
catalogs of the San Francisco Public Library and the three universities
here: no copies.  I searched the Melvyl catalog of the University of
California:  six of the campuses have copies of Vol. 3 only.  I checked
Stanford:  two copies of Vol. 3 only.

Vols. 3 and 4 were published in the last four or five years, so there
are practically no secondhand copies available.

I am guessing that there are perhaps 40 copies of Vol. 3 in the entire
U.S. and 100 in the rest of the world.  Vol. 4 may be in the hands of
the Library of Congress and a few others in the universe.

Are we returning to the days of illuminated books, produced one at a
time and kept chained?  What is wrong with academic publishing?

Al Magary

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Shakespeare at Stratford

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0517  Monday, 17 March 2003

From:           Charles Weinstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 16 Mar 2003 07:45:34 -0800
Subject:        Shakespeare at Stratford

1. Thomas Larque mentions Gale Edwards' production of Shrew, which I saw
in 1995.  Politically, I didn't find it offensive, merely familiar.  (I
had appeared in a similarly-conceived production ten years earlier).
Artistically, I found it highly offensive:  unimaginative, badly-acted,
ponderous and dull.  Reason enough for critical vitriol, as far as I'm
concerned.  (Of course, Mr. Larque is free to limit his reading to the
"impassionate" [sic] criticism that he prefers.  By the way, did he mean
dispassionate or passionless?).  Ms. Edwards' lifeless Shrew is one of
the many, many reasons I no longer go to Stratford.  I disagree with
Robert Brustein fairly often, but when he speaks of "the impoverishment
of the English stage," as he does in the current issue of The New
Republic, we're in perfect accord.

2. *Pace* Peter Holland, not a single entry in the Shakespeare at
Stratford series is "brilliant."  In fact, none is as good or
interesting as the best volumes in the Shakespeare in Performance series
published by Manchester University Press.  Now why is that, do you
suppose?  Could it be because Manchester does not confine its authors to
a single theatre, and to every production of a given play at that
theatre?  That the authors are free to choose the productions which
interest them most, regardless of venue? That they are consequently able
to write about stagings which they personally believe to be important,
unusual or emblematic?  That they can express their own opinion of
success or validity instead of maintaining an absurd pose of
faux-scientific neutrality?  That as a result their work is thoroughly
engaged and not just the fulfillment of a commission?

Nah.

--Charles Weinstein

"The implied position of the people who know about literature (as in
every other fine art) is simply that they know what they know, and that
they are determined to impose their opinions by main force of eloquence
or assertion on the people who do not know."--Edmund Wilson

"I believe that my perceptions are better than anyone else's.  I may be
wrong, but I will go to my grave believing that."--John Simon

"The study of mediocrity, whatever its origins, breeds
mediocrity."-Harold Bloom

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opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
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Re: Questions

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0515  Monday, 17 March 2003

From:           Takashi Kozuka <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 15 Mar 2003 22:56:11 0000
Subject:        Re: Questions

Just in case I didn't make my point clear enough in my previous post
(and probably I didn't). I'm not an expert in early modern rhetoric, so
I assumed that by "early modern rhetoric" David meant rhetoric that
Shakespeare may have been familiar with - for example, rhetoric he may
have learned at the local grammar school. Shakespeare appears to have
read some books on rhetoric (for example, The Garden of Eloquence), but
was he familiar with the rhetoric within the branch of heraldic law that
James is talking about? How do we know, or can we know, Shakespeare
knew/followed it? Or does it matter? Was his audience familiar with
heraldic law? Did Shakespeare read any of those books James mentioned?
Any evidence?

Best wishes,
Takashi

_______________________________________________________________
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
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