2005

It's Time for Another Meta-Discussion

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0080  Monday, 17 January 2005

[Editor's Note: I am recovering from a failing hard drive on my desktop
computer, which I use to edit and distribute SHAKSPER. I think I have
recovered all of the submitted messages so that I can use my laptop, but
if something is missing please resend. I also have a busy day and week
ahead of me so there may not be digests every weekday. Below you will
find my responses to issues raised in this thread and the most recent
submission, which I have not commented on yet.]

[1]     From:   Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, January 17, 2005
        Subj:   It's Time for Another Meta-Discussion

[2]     From:   Martin Green <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 14 Jan 2005 18:04:19 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0074 It's Time for Another Meta-Discussion


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, January 17, 2005
Subject:        It's Time for Another Meta-Discussion

On Thursday, January 6, 2005, in SHK 16.0024, I announced that Eric
Luhrs and I would be making some improvements in SHAKSPER by switching
the SHAKSPER server from a SUN UNIX environment to a PC Linux one and by
redesigning the SHAKSPER web site. Eric is currently planning the
requirements of the server, and I will be purchasing it when he has made
his final decisions about its configuration. We are also considering
other changes such as moving from LISTSERV to Majordomo. I concluded my
message by asking the members of SHAKSPER: Is there anything you would
like to see changed in the near future in the operation of the list?

Most of the members have expressed an overwhelming desire to keep
receiving edited and moderated SHAKSPER digests by e-mail. A few
respondents endorsed moving to Majordomo, free e-mail distribution
software, from LISTSERV. LISTSERV has been the software that has been
used since the very beginning of SHAKSPER, and I am quite comfortable
with it. I know, however, that HUMANIST has moved from LISTSERV to
Majordomo. If there are any readers who have had experience with
operating a list using both programs, I would appreciate your contacting
me in a private message to provide your assessment of working with the
two. I am particularly interested in making sure that Majordomo has all
or most of the same features as LISTSERV.

And now for my responses to the issues raised in this thread.

Eric M. Johnson requested that I "continue to require registration
before letting a user post to the group" (SHK 16.0033).

I intend to continue to keep SHAKSPER not open to automatic subscription
and to require submission of a brief biography before adding anyone to
the membership list. I do not view this requirement as part of an
adjudication process but as an expression of genuine interest on the
part of the prospective member and as a record for myself of the
background of the members. Let me add that I am the only one with access
to these biography files.

Some members were interested in exploring formats that did not
necessarily depend on e-mail. At the heart of these responses was the
desire to have an easier way "to keep track of older posts" (John Reed,
SHK 16.0033)

JD Markel expressed a preference for the "Discussion Group" quality of
an e-mail distribution list over the more chatroom-type blog, which he
saw as something that "might diminish academic tenor" of the discussion.
Markel also liked "e-mail interactivity and notice with discussions
cataloged at the website" but would like to see "some changes to the
cataloging," wishing for a "simpler thread structure." This idea was
seconded by Richard Burt who wrote, "I have found searching the database
often does not get me what I want and gets me lots of stuff I don't want
(unlike Google)" (SHK 16.0056). Markel also would like to "add a
homepage link and catalog page for threads in the nature of 'calls for
papers' and 'announcements.'  Keep them in the main catalog, but copy
them to a unique catalog that interested users can scroll without having
to sift through the greater mount of textual and performance threads"
(SHK 16.0042).

These are thoughtful suggestions, and Eric will be looking into possible
changes to the way messages are threaded and to the feasibility of
creating a separate what Markel later suggested should be called "News"
section on the website and a procedure for my being able to send
announcement to this page without an inordinate amount of extra work for
either him or me.

John Webb notes that "Hardy has created a unique resource" (SHK 16.0042).

As I indicated in my review of the history of SHAKSPER (SHK 15.2142:
http://www.shaksper.net/archives/2004/2151.html), SHAKSPER was founded
by Ken Steele; I took over a few years later. Eric Luhrs is responsible
for creation and maintenance of the website.

John Webb was the first of many in this thread who thought that I "ought
to find a few people to whom" I could delegate some of my duties, so
that I can get occasional breaks without interruptions to the
discussions. John Perry agreed adding that "when Hardy takes some time
off, I really miss the forum" (SHK 16.0056).

This is not a new suggestion. It has, in fact, been advocated by some
members of my Advisory Board. I am sure that there are willing
volunteers, but . . .  Over the years, I have developed a "house style"
for SHAKSPER. Writing up a manual or set of instructions on how to edit
SHAKSPER digests and how to moderate discussions in order to train
others would require more effort than I have the time or inclination to
do now. I am content to take occasional expected (for a rest, a holiday,
a business trip) or unexpected (for a computer problem, a medical
problem, or a family emergency) breaks from editing and distributing
digests. I am sure that some like John Perry genuinely miss the
discussion during these times, but I have received many e-mails of
support and encouragement at those times. Rest assured, when I am ready
to pass on SHAKSPER, I will make provisions for a smooth transfer.
Should something unexpected happen to me, Eric has access to the server
and the list and I am appointing him my personal representative in this
matter.

Colin Cox was the first in this thread to make an offer to help me out
with my expenses saying that he is "very willing to make a contribution
to Hardy's expenses" (SHK 16.0056).

Other generous offers followed; so many, in fact, that I felt compelled
to respond on Thursday, 13 January 2005, in an Editor's Note: . . . I
feel that I must make a brief statement now. I appreciate all of the
messages that have been sent and the expressions of support for my work
with this list. Yes, I do pay a considerable amount of money for the
software license and commercial Internet fees, which of course I use as
a tax deduction. I am gratified by all of the offers of financial
support, but my understanding is that I cannot legally accept money
unless I incorporate SHAKSPER as a not-for-profit corporation, something
that is far too much trouble for me to bother with. I am comfortable
paying what I pay and my recompense is the gratitude of the members"
(SHK 16.0067).

On another occasion, JD Markel added to his previous comment: "Being new
to this site I had not realized all interaction in all threads are
routed through a single e-mail address.  Not important for me, but this
indicates how much more work you do in segregating reply e-mails and
attributing them to various threads. Surely there's a way to lessen your
work in this regard?" (SHK 16.0056).

Short answer, No. I have refined my procedures to be as efficient as I
can and am satisfied with them as they are.

Al Magary was the first to mention "RSS (Really Simple Syndication)"
feeds adding "Likewise, email-list discussion is now possible in a
variety of formats at sites that facilitate instant updating of
webpages-that is, web message boards and web blogs, or blogs. You don't
have to have spiky hair or ride a skateboard to appreciate the
flexibility of blogging technology. I'm sure that one of the blog
formats would be congenial for Hardy and SHAKSPERians alike.  For
example, one format has message boards from which the blog owner can
pluck good pieces and repost on his blog's home page-from which you can
get an RSS feed. With such a design you wouldn't have to surf to
SHAKSPER unless RSS sent an interesting item to your inbox" (SHK 16.0066).

This is an area that I am going to defer to Eric to address. I can
assure everyone that I have decided to continue to distribute SHAKSPER
digests by e-mail distribution software. However, Eric is pursuing other
technologies that we can also implement along with the re-designed
website. More to come.

Hardy M. Cook
Editor

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Green <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 14 Jan 2005 18:04:19 +0000
Subject: 16.0074 It's Time for Another Meta-Discussion
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0074 It's Time for Another Meta-Discussion

SHAKSPER is fine, just as it is, and I hope it stays that way.

But clearly, the administration of the program imposes substantial
financial, time, and energy demands upon the Moderator.  Has any thought
been given to obtaining a sponsor for SHAKSPER (like Texaco was to the
Metropolitan Opera)?  Could not, say, the Shakespeare Association of
America, if Dr. Cook were to agree, "sponsor"  SHAKSPER by paying the
fees for the use of the Internet, and perhaps also some well-merited
compensation to the Moderator?  Right now, the SAA is planning a meeting
in March (in Bermuda!), the cost of which is probably many times the
cost of a useful contribution to SHAKSPER. The benefits to the SAA, or
any organization, of contributing funds to "sponsor" SHAKSPER, would, I
think, be substantial, in terms of good will, prestige, and even
membership.   I am a member of the SAA, and would gladly check an
appropriate box on my yearly membership application to give an
additional sum for the maintenance of this Conference.

I am not suggesting that the sponsor take over SHAKSPER, but only that
it contribute to the cost of its operation and dissemination by the
present Moderator (just as Texaco had nothing to say about what operas
would be performed by the Met, but, for many years, gained  much good
will by  paying for the broadcasts).

_______________________________________________________________
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.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

The Twilight Zone

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0078  Friday, 14 January 2005

[1]     From:   Dan Decker <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 13 Jan 2005 14:47:01 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0068 The Twilight Zone

[2]     From:   Ira Zinman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 13 Jan 2005 11:35:20 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0068 The Twilight Zone


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dan Decker <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 13 Jan 2005 14:47:01 EST
Subject: 16.0068 The Twilight Zone
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0068 The Twilight Zone

This is from the release notes on Twilight Zone's "The Bard":

"Aspiring writer Julius Moomer (Jack Weston) has loads of enthusiasm but
not one bit of talent. Eager to be rid of him, agent Gerald Hugo (Henry
Lascoe) promises to submit Julius' script for a black magic pilot if
Julius can get it to him by Monday. Julius immerses himself in research
on the black arts-inadvertently invoking a spell that summons up William
Shakespeare (John Williams). Not one to miss this golden opportunity,
Moomer enlists Shakespeare as a ghost writer. The Bard quickly turns out
a TV script entitled "The Tragic Cycle"-a script of such brilliance that
Moomer is a celebrity even before the show is aired. Sheakespeare is
enraged that Moomer takes the credit for his script and determines to
set things right. But he finds himself ill-prepared for ths descent into
"TV Land," with its legions of boorish ad men, lowbrow sponsers and
method actors.

   ""The Bard," Serling's biting satire on the absurdities of the TV
business, gave him a delicious opportunity to fire his own slings and
arrows against those meddlers who derailed so many of his fine scripts
over the previous decade. This is an insider's view, and, as such, it is
informed, specific and very funny. Jack Weston (The Four Seasons) makes
for a goofy, loutish scribe-the very opposite of Serling-and John
Williams (Dial M for Murder) proves a "veddy" British Shakespeare.

   "Most surprising is a wonderful turn by Burt Reynolds as Rocky
Rhodes, a method actor who is clearly a parody of Marlon Brando. "I'm
not sure that we started off with the idea of imitating Marlon Brando,"
explains producer Herbert Hirschman, "but he came in and looked and
sounded so much like him that, in our minds, it was a takeoff on Brando."

   "As much as "The Bard" Deals with the difficulities of getting a TV
show made, only one problem arose during production. "We had a scene in
a bus, and we actually shot this in a bus driving through Culver City,"
says George Clemems. "We had trouble with the cops on it. Evidently,
somebody hadn't been paid off, and they wanted to stop us from shooting.
We went on and shot it anyhow, and let them fight it our with the studio
afterwards."

Originally Aired: May 23, 1963.

Producer: Herbert Hirschman

Director: David Butler.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ira Zinman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 13 Jan 2005 11:35:20 EST
Subject: 16.0068 The Twilight Zone
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0068 The Twilight Zone

Here is a site to check on Twilight Zone episodes:
http://www.angelfire.com/fl/twilightzonelist/

You may find cast members and Themes of Shows there.  You won't find
William Shakespeare in the cast, of course,....Alas, he was after all
better known as a writer

Regards
Ira

_______________________________________________________________
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.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Golding's Ovid

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0076  Friday, 14 January 2005

From:           Dan Wright <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 13 Jan 2005 10:06:06 -0800
Subject: 16.0057 Golding's Ovid
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0057 Golding's Ovid

While the book is not everywhere to be found, one also can order this
text from the Concordia University Bookstore
(http://www.authorshipstudies.org/bookstore/index.cfm).  As John-Paul
points out, it's a fine edition of Golding's and, until this edition
appeared, somewhat difficult to locate for purchase.

Daniel Wright

_______________________________________________________________
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.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Why is the Prince of Darkness a Gentleman?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0077  Friday, 14 January 2005

From:           Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 13 Jan 2005 20:23:01 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 16.0069 Why is the Prince of Darkness a Gentleman?
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0069 Why is the Prince of Darkness a Gentleman?

Well, I for one am interested where the words "the Prince of Darkness is
a gentleman" appear first.  My question shows I have not followed
closely this thread.  Do the words "the Prince of Darkness" precede the
linkage to gentleman?

   In the instance of the meeting of Jesus with "the devil" in Luke,
Chapter 4, Verses 5-8, it does appear that the devil acts like a
gentleman, in that his offer is the gentleman's wager of tit for tat.
He offers Jesus the "power and glory" of the world in exchange for Jesus
agreeing to "worship" him.   Of course, Jesus's response of "Get thee
behind me, Satan," is a classic retort embedded forever in our psyches.

   Obviously, Jesus was above all that "gentlemanly" stuff and reminded
him, and us all, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only
shalt thou serve."  In offering this rebuke to Satan, Jesus reminded
him, and us, that he was only a man among men despite his especial
powers as the devil.

   In Matthew, Chapter 16, Verses 20-23, Jesus said the very same words
to Peter, "Get thee behind me, Satan," one of his disciples, adding,
"thou art an offence unto me; for thou savourest not the things that be
of God, but those that be of men."  Again, Jesus reminded Peter, and us,
that we are all gentlemanly in our doings, inasmuch as we are all men.
And that is the rub.  Jesus wanted Satan, Peter, each of us, to
recognize that men have gentlemenly doings, each of us-and yet our
allegiance is to God, not to each other.

Perhaps that is why the "Prince of Darkness" is a gentleman.  Because,
he is!  As we all are, even those among us who are "fallen angels"!

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

_______________________________________________________________
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.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Hamlet Questions

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0075  Friday, 14 January 2005

From:           D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 13 Jan 2005 09:52:30 -0600
Subject: 16.0064 Hamlet Questions
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0064 Hamlet Questions

Scot Zarela writes

'In SHK 16.0051 Terence Hawkes urges Eliot's memorable, "'Hamlet' isn't
poetry while it's going on:  it's poetry after it's over."

'Eliot's remark employs a sort of bed-trick:  the randy copula "is" has
slipped in to do the duty of "seems".'

Yes, but he's wrong, of course. It IS poetry while it's going on.
Afterward -- something else.

"A bliss in proof -- and prov'd a very woe," as someone once said.

Cheers,
don

_______________________________________________________________
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.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

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