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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: October ::
Pop Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1815  Monday, 4 October 2004

[1]     From:   Richard Burt <
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        Date:   Sunday, 5 Dec 2004 10:04:11 -0500
        Subj:   New Jasper Fforde Thursday Next Novel

[2]     From:   Richard Burt <
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        Date:   Sunday, 3 Oct 2004 21:07:56 -0400
        Subj:   Henry V in episode of NBC show "American Dreams"

[3]     From:   Richard Burt <
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        Date:   Sunday, 5 Dec 2004 08:23:33 -0500
        Subj:   Will in the World: Reinventing Shakespeare

[4]     From:   Richard Burt <
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        Date:   Sunday, 5 Dec 2004 22:39:12 -0500
        Subj:   Greenblatt on the First debate: Friends, Americans, Countrymen...


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Burt <
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Date:           Sunday, 5 Dec 2004 10:04:11 -0500
Subject:        New Jasper Fforde Thursday Next Novel

Something Rotten: A Thursday Next Mystery
by Jasper Fforde

  Book Description
Detective Thursday Next has had her fill of her responsibilities as the
Bellman in Jurisfiction, enough with Emperor Zhark's pointlessly
dramatic entrances, outbreaks of slapstick raging across pulp genres,
and hacking her hair off to fill in for Joan of Arc. Packing up her son,
Friday, Thursday returns to Swindon accompanied by none other than the
dithering Danish prince Hamlet. Caring for both is more than a full-
time job and Thursday decides it is definitely time to get her husband
Landen back, if only to babysit. Luckily, those responsible for Landen's
eradication, The Goliath Corporation- formerly an oppressive
multinational conglomerate, now an oppressive multinational religion-
have pledged to right the wrong.

But returning to SpecOps isn't a snap. When outlaw fictioneer Yorrick
Kaine seeks to get himself elected dictator, he whips up a frenzy of
anti-Danish sentiment and demands mass book burnings. The return of
Swindon's patron saint bearing divine prophecies could spell the end of
the world within five years, possibly faster if the laughably terrible
Swindon Mallets don't win the Superhoop, the most important croquet
tournament in the land. And if that's not bad enough, The Merry Wives of
Windsor is becoming entangled with Hamlet. Can Thursday find a
Shakespeare clone to stop this hostile takeover? Can she prevent the
world from plunging into war? Can she vanquish Kaine before he realizes
his dream of absolute power? And, most important, will she ever find
reliable child care? Find out in this totally original, action-packed
romp, sure to be another escapist thrill for Jasper Fforde's growing
legion of fans.

Lost in a Good Book
by Jasper Fforde
Thursday also finds time to authenticate Cardenio, a newly discovered
Shakespeare tragedy.

The Eyre Affair: A Novel
by Jasper Fforde

Sir Francis Bacon enthusiasts go door-to-door in an attempt to discredit
Shakespeare.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Burt <
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Date:           Sunday, 3 Oct 2004 21:07:56 -0400
Subject:        Henry V in episode of NBC show "American Dreams"

In an episode entitled _Charade_ of *American Dreams, * an NBC series
about the 60s and Vietnam (but a transparent allegory of  Iraq) that
aired October 3, 2004, characters stage Henry V and we hear quoted the
"sleeping sword of war" and the St. Crispian's Day speech from Henry V.

http://www.nbc.com/American_Dreams/

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Burt <
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Date:           Sunday, 5 Dec 2004 08:23:33 -0500
Subject:        Will in the World: Reinventing Shakespeare

Will in the World: Reinventing Shakespeare

October 3, 2004
  By COLM TOIBIN

On March 12, 1819, John Keats, in a letter to his brother and sister,
asked them to give him in their reply a precise description of where
they were sitting in the room as they wrote. "Could I see the same thing
done of any Man long since dead," he wrote, "it would be a great
delight: as to know in what position Shakespeare sat when he began 'To
be or not to be.' " Keats, in his curiosity, is our contemporary. The
desire to know every move and the slightest feeling of the famous dead
remains a central part of our culture.

"No one was as many men as this man," Jorge Luis Borges wrote.
Shakespeare was "everything and nothing." For any biographer approaching
the life of Shakespeare, this is almost literally true. The plays and
poems represent everything: a complex worldview, an astonishingly varied
sense of character and tone, a command of poetic form and rhetoric and
dramatic structure.

The life, on the other hand, was hardly documented: there are no letters
or diaries or contemporary descriptions.  Shakespeare's life was charted
in the same way as most of his contemporaries': we have evidence of his
parentage, his birth and death, his marriage, the birth and death of his
children, his property deals. The rest, except for his name on poems and
plays and some stray references to his work, is a silence we are barely
able to tolerate. As Henry James wrote in his introduction to "The
Tempest": "It is never to be forgotten that we are in the presence of
the human character the most magnificently endowed, in all time . . .
so that of him, inevitably, it goes hardest with us to be told that we
have nothing, or next to nothing."

Stephen Greenblatt has been at the forefront of a movement called the
New Historicism, which has suggested, sometimes with subtlety and
scholarship, but sometimes with far-fetched absurdity, that with
Shakespeare the context is the thing, rather than, say, the text itself.
In books like "Shakespearean Negotiations" (1988) and "Hamlet in
Purgatory" (2001), he has imagined the plays as unwritten, in the state
of being composed, with the theater itself an aspect of the flux of
late-16th-century rite and ritual; he has studied the sources for the
plays both hidden and direct, and steeped himself in contemporary belief
and power systems and taboos. While the image of Shakespeare alone in a
room composing, using an unearthly talent and an autonomous imagination,
would have given John Keats immense satisfaction, it would for
Greenblatt be of very little interest.  . . . .

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/03/books/review/
03TOIBINA.html?ex=1097719751&ei=1&en=69d23af433038238

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Burt <
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Date:           Sunday, 5 Dec 2004 22:39:12 -0500
Subject:        Greenblatt on the First debate: Friends, Americans, Countrymen...

Friends, Americans, Countrymen...

October 3, 2004
  By STEPHEN GREENBLATT

Two bitter rivals stand up to address an immense, anonymous crowd. The
rules have been set in advance: they will speak from the same platform;
they will not address each other directly; they will limit their
discourse to certain set topics. The stakes are immensely high: no less
than the fate of the nation and of the whole world.

Sound familiar? The scene is from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar," written
and first performed more than 400 years ago as the opening play in the
newly built Globe Theater.  Brutus and Antony stand over the corpse of
the assassinated Caesar. Nothing will bring Caesar back. The question is
the future course of the damaged republic.

[ . . . ]

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/03/opinion/
03greenblatt.html?ex=1097768563&ei=1&en=7edbf67d5e693723

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