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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: April ::
Alms for Oblivion
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0295  Thursday, 19 April 2007

[1] 	From: 	Joseph Egert <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 12 Apr 2007 08:05:59 -0700 (PDT)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0286 Alms for Oblivion

[2] 	From: 	Charles Weinstein <
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	Date: 	Saturday, 14 Apr 2007 07:21:51 -0400
	Subj: 	Alms for Oblivion

[3] 	From: 	Cary Dean Barney <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 18 Apr 2007 10:15:15 +0200
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0280 Alms for Oblivion


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Joseph Egert <
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Date: 		Thursday, 12 Apr 2007 08:05:59 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 18.0286 Alms for Oblivion
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0286 Alms for Oblivion

Robert Projansky writes:

   "There is no artist more abused by novelty than WS."

In the year 2007, or 56 AD (Anno Derridi), a man about fifty, intimately 
familiar with Shakespeare's works, both paged and staged, buys a ticket 
to the Stratford Doran production of "CORIOLANUS by William 
Shakespeare." There he witnesses, as described by Charles Weinstein, "an 
intermittent androphilia/gynophobia", an "unforgivably" changed 
penultimate line, and the title character's self-impalement on Aufidius' 
sword and Pieta cradling in his enemy's arms. Furious, the patron tracks 
down the theater owner and complains, "This play, as performed, is not 
by William Shakespeare, as advertised. This is outright cozenage! I 
demand my money back!" The owner refuses, at which point the patron 
warns, "I Will not rest until I am reimbursed."

Who should decide who gets the money? What is the optimal legal mechanism?

   Perplexed,
   Joe Egert

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Charles Weinstein <
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Date: 		Saturday, 14 Apr 2007 07:21:51 -0400
Subject: 	Alms for Oblivion

Obviously, transmuted influence is one thing while unacknowledged 
borrowings are another.  In that regard, theatrical plagiarism is every 
bit as fraudulent and aesthetically bankrupt as literary plagiarism. 
Listmembers who condemn the latter should really think twice before 
condoning the former.

--Charles Weinstein

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Cary Dean Barney <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 18 Apr 2007 10:15:15 +0200
Subject: 18.0280 Alms for Oblivion
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0280 Alms for Oblivion

Since I endorsed the RSC "Coriolanus" on another thread, this one, which 
began with a condemnation of the same, has interested me. Apart from 
differences of taste, preference, etc., what's clear to anyone who sees 
a lot of productions is that the same directorial ideas crop up in one 
place after another. Some of this may be copying, from productions 
either seen or heard about; but directors suffer from anxiety of 
influence too and most don't want to be seen as thieving magpies. Most 
of these coincidences are what I'll call iconic, in that images will 
spring immediately to mind when considering how to bring out an aspect 
of the work deemed, in a certain cultural moment, to be important. So 
when Aufidius emerges from his house in IV.v. in loose-fitting silk 
pajamas and ends up cradling Coriolanus in a Pieta image, it seems to me 
the director is less likely to be copying a "Coriolanus" he's already 
seen than simply reaching for strong visual images which will underscore 
the homoeroticism of the relationship- images that are quite likely to 
occur to other directors as well. To take another example, video 
monitors in Shakespeare productions have by now completely lost their 
novelty (unless of course you haven't seen them used yet) -- so why 
don't directors say, "Wait, that's not original" and stop themselves? 
Because of the iconic power that allows a visual connection between the 
text and modern concerns of surveillance and/or the ubiquity of the 
media. Yes, we've seen it before, but if it works, who cares if it's 
original?

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