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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: January ::
How Like You This?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0253  Thursday, 29 January 2004

[1]     From:   Brian Willis <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jan 2004 06:31:04 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0222 How Like You This?

[2]     From:   D Bloom <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jan 2004 10:39:09 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0222 How Like You This?

[3]     From:   Abigail Quart <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jan 2004 12:47:14 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0222 How Like You This?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <
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Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jan 2004 06:31:04 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 15.0222 How Like You This?
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0222 How Like You This?

I have to admit failing to recall a single As You Like It that I enjoyed
or that left me energized. Discussing this recently with several
students, we came to the same conclusion - we're not sure if we've ever
gone to the theatre and Liked It. I do also confess that this is one of
the very few Shakespeare plays which I can not muster enthusiasm for in
reading it. Why is this? Is Kermode right? Or is it merely a personal
preference? All I know is that the RSC needs to put a moratorium on it
for at least for a brief while since they seem to perform it every two
summers.

Brian Willis

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <
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Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jan 2004 10:39:09 -0600
Subject: 15.0222 How Like You This?
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0222 How Like You This?

The redoubtable Weinstein concludes his highly entertaining dissection
of the Hall-Bath AYLI by attacking the play, thereby barking my shins as
he has barked so many others. Will I now become an Antiweinsteinite? No,
he's entitled to his opinion, however wrong it may be. And he certainly
explains it lucidly enough.

But there's no room for rational argument here. If you don't get it, you
don't get it, and no amount of reasoning or shouting will change that.
Admittedly, tyros (I deal with a lot of them) will sometimes have a
grand illumination about the value of a work, or a kind of work, or
literature as a whole. But with a mature and well-educated person, even
an expert, what can be said?

For myself, I fell in love with Rosalind long years ago.

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety: other women cloy
The appetites they feed: but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies; for vilest things
Become themselves in her: that the holy priests
Bless her when she is riggish.

I don't really care how obscure much of the wit has become. It's not
what she says but how she says it. A good actress can capture her
attractiveness, unless prevented from doing so by bad direction. Or
unless the viewer is simply immune to that kind of charm.

De gustibus and all that.

don

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <
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Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jan 2004 12:47:14 -0500
Subject: 15.0222 How Like You This?
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0222 How Like You This?

I can understand anyone walking out on this particular production of As
You Like It, but to blame the play? Please.

When I saw Raul Julia play Orlando long ago in Central Park, I didn't
know any of the play's historical references (still don't) and it wasn't
played out and the exchanges of wit weren't pointless. They were
delicious. Wicked.  Charming. I still remember feeling giddy. And I
didn't even know what a perfectly filthy play it was, then.

Maybe it just needs American actors. And an American director.

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