2007

WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0591  Monday, 10 September 2007

From: 		Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Sunday, 9 Sep 2007 13:41:39 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 18.0586 WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0586 WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare

Many thanks to John Drakakis for his clarification. I've followed his 
intercalations with my own replies, as "JE:".

 >Joseph Egert writes,
 >
 >>John Drakakis, unclear as to what I mean by 'fact',
 >>asks how he would recognize it. The answer, which
 >>JD himself provides later in the "Gobbo" example, is
 >>simply to gather, weigh, and judge the available evidence,
 >>perhaps in conference with fellow jurors, then decide
 >>what most likely happened in fact.
 >>
 >>Think of actual history as a reel of 3D film unspooling in time. Each
 >>cel then constitutes an objective universal permanent record of each
 >>instant. Different scholars may wish to study different parts of a given
 >>cel, or different segments of the reel over time (say, a particular year
 >>or decade), then reason together as to what probably occurred in fact.
 >>Naturally, like sand-blind Hindus examining different parts of the
 >>elephant, they bring their own interests, perceptions, and judgments to
 >>the process, all conditioned by society and history (There's that truism
 >>again.). The actual facts, while prior to and independent of their
 >>valuations, nonetheless form the basis for them.
 >>
 >>Some may recognize that the "Gobbo" example and attendant quotes were
 >>taken directly from Dr D's own "Present Text" piece in PRESENTIST
 >>SHAKESPEARES---in the (vain?) hope JD would respond to the problems
 >>posed. Let's try one more time:
 >>
 >>1. Does JD agree that past and present form one evolving continuum and
 >>therefore cannot be in overall "dialectical relation" to each other?
 >
 >[NO, I don't. History is created through a dialogue between past and
 >present. One version of it is Kojeve's 'History is the desire of the
 >desiring subject' it has to be dialectical otherwise we stay still ergo
 >no history.]

JE: I'm afraid Dr D and I may be talking past each other by confusing 
the actual past/present continuum with the subjective valuations and 
desires of its subjects. The objective past and present of an evolving 
continuum cannot be in overall dialectic relation, though conflicting 
and reinforcing currents may co-exist within its rolling river.

 >>2. Must we wait to learn what name he would advise his fellow editor to
 >>use in the stage direction example, and why?
 >
 >[Yes you will, until next year]

JE: I'm asking Dr D how he would advise a fellow editor, not what he 
would do himself  :-)

 >>3. Does Dr D still believe "speculating about authorial intention" to be
 >>a "trap" or "guilty" endeavor? JD himself suggests he would accept which
 >>name to use, had he Shakespeare's own manuscript. Even here I'd argue:
 >>the fundamental question is not what he wrote but what he intended to
 >>write. We'd still have to try to construct a perfectly proofread
 >>manuscript from what was handed to us.
 >
 >[It's fun to speculate, but pretty futile. In any case, we need to
 >rethink our concept of authorship. The purpose of textual bibliography
 >is to enable us to subtract from a hypothetical manuscript the input of
 >the printing house. Once we have done that we can speculate on what a
 >hypothetical mss. may have contained. As for authorial intention and the
 >'authority' that it implies, how do we deal with the speech prefixes in
 >Q1 Much Ado that name Dogberry 'Will Kemp' -- was this Shakespeare
 >writing, or Will Kemp writing Shakespeare? And in any case wouldn't a
 >Shakespeare text be a palimpsest of citation? So much for the romantic
 >fiction that Shakespeare was 'original']

JE: But John, if we presume the printing house was working from an 
unmediated author's holograph, we would no longer need to speculate what 
the post-subtraction mss contained. However, we would still need to 
proofread that manuscript in line with the author's own intention. Your 
"Dogberry/Kemp" example is an excellent case in point. Perhaps you can 
tell us which speech prefix you would use in your edition, and why---or 
must we wait a year for this as well? Also, doesn't the very 
organization and moulding of the palimpsest constitute an author's 
originality regardless of how many sources? Or have you outlawed the 
concept of "originality" in your LitSpeak? And isn't "Kemp writing 
Shakespeare" one more example of that tortured Orwellian phrasing for 
which pseudo-radical inquiry has become notorious?

 >>4. What then would Dr D choose as the model for his edition of a play
 >>"by William Shakespeare"? -- a perfectly proofread final draft? a
 >>perfectly proofread opening night script or promptbook?
 >
 >[The term 'model' is misleading. The copy text for The Merchant of
 >Venice is the quarto of 1600 that was minimally corrected in the print
 >shop of James Roberts. I say minimally corrected since we only have
 >evidence from the small number of surviving copies. If we had more then
 >we would be able to find out more about its progress through Roberts' 
shop]

JE: Yet Dr D seeks to subtract the printer's input of "corrections" and 
errors in reconstructing the actual 1600 quarto copytext. Would not a 
perfectly proofread author's final draft or opening night 
script/promptbook serve as an even better "model" copy text for his 
edition "by William Shakespeare"? Should we not direct our efforts 
toward that goal rather than emphasizing time and again its futility?

 >>5. Does Dr D truly believe all scholarship should be sieved through a
 >>"current social value" filter? I still don't know how John distinguishes
 >>between "progress" and "reaction". Does he agree with Cary DiPetro that
 >>"our priority must be to consider how and why these texts mean for us
 >>now"? Or is this more noncense?
 >
 >[I didn't say it 'should' be. It IS. What presentism does is to make
 >us aware of the ways in which it is, of which Cary di Petro's
 >observations constitute only a part]

JE: Dr D (in fact) wrote in "Present Text": "Indeed, if literary texts 
[...] are to have any current social value at all beyond that of the 
antiquarian 'veneration of monuments' (Jay 1996: 278), then we need to 
take very seriously the *dialectic* relation between the [past and 
present...]"  Let the reader judge whether "should" is implied. Indeed, 
John has yet to tell us how he would distinguish "reaction" from 
"progress." I wonder why.

Regards,
Joe Egert

_______________________________________________________________
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 
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Redheads

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0590  Monday, 10 September 2007

From: 		Bob Lapides <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 7 Sep 2007 10:52:57 EDT
Subject: 18.0585 Redheads
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0585 Redheads

I thank Peter Bridgman for the information that Iesou and Mariam are the 
Greek NT versions of Yeshua and Miriam, but this was a minor point. I 
wish Peter had said something about his mistaken reference to them as 
"Palestinian Jews." And I wish he had said why was it so easy to fold 
Christian-approved Jews into other people's identities or to 
"universalize" them, when Jewish villains remained so theatrically Jewish?

Bob Lapides

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Authorial Intention

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0588  Monday, 10 September 2007

From: 		Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 07 Sep 2007 13:00:30 -0400
Subject: 	Authorial Intention

"The state of a man's mind is as much a fact as the state of his 
digestion" (O.W. Holmes, Jr.)

When John Drakakis says that it is "futile" to attempt to discern what 
an author intended by his writings, just exactly what is he telling us? 
  (If there is a conundrum buried in that question, so be it.)  Is he 
saying:

(1) All the author left us were words, words, words; meaningless place 
holders that we need to fill with significance of our own devising;

(2) Texts are frequently ambiguous -- sometimes deliberately, sometimes 
inadvertently;

(3) The exact impact which the author expected the text to have on his 
audience cannot be determined because of such factors as cultural 
evolution, philological changes, etc.;

(4) A person's mental operations are inherently obscure and cannot be 
confidently assigned even if he tells us what they are;

(5) All of the above:

(6) Some of the above;

(7) Something different?

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Shakespeare's Wife

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0589  Monday, 10 September 2007

From: 		Susanne Greenhalgh <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 7 Sep 2007 19:32:45 +0100
Subject: 18.0584 Shakespeare's Wife
Comment: 	RE: SHK 18.0584 Shakespeare's Wife

Germaine Greer was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 'Front Row' 7 September 
about her new book - available for a week on Listen Again: 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/progs/listenagain.shtml

Susanne Greenhalgh
Digby Stuart College
Roehampton University

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Red Bull Theater's Revelation Readings Return

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0587  Monday, 10 September 2007

From: 		Red Bull Theater <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Saturday, 8 Sep 2007 02:53:19 -0400
Subject: 	Red Bull Theater's Revelation Readings Return October 1st

Lynn Redgrave, Michael Cerveris, Roger Rees -- Red Bull Theater's 
Revelation Readings Return October 1st -- Jessica Hecht, Richard Easton, 
Michael Stuhlbarg, and more!

Red Bull Theater's OBIE Award-Winning Reading Series Returns
REVELATION READINGS: October 1, 2007 - January 21, 2008
  <http://www.redbulltheater.com/current.html>
Monday October 1st, 7pm

Benefit Committee Hostess and Academy Award-Winning Actress MARISA TOMEI 
invites you to attend a benefit for Red Bull Theater:

  <http://www.ticketcentral.com/showdetails2.asp?showid=1463>

DESDEMONA: A play about a handkerchief
by Pulitzer Prize-Winner Paula Vogel
Directed by Jesse Berger (The Revenger's Tragedy).
Starring Jessica Hecht (Friends, Julius Caesar) and more.
Admission $75

Othello, as seen from the perspective of the women in the play-a 
satirical and provocatively alternative view of Shakespeare's tragedy.

Cocktail reception with the playwright, actors, and live music follows 
the reading.

Reserve now at
  <http://www.ticketcentral.com/showdetails2.asp?showid=1463>
TicketCentral.com or 212.279.4200

Monday October 8, 7pm

  <http://www.ticketcentral.com/showdetails2.asp?showid=1464>

The Changeling
by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley
Directed by Karin Coonrod (Henry VI)
Featuring Matthew Rauch (The Revenger's Tragedy)

Lust, murder, adultery, and lunacy - it doesn't get more Jacobean than 
this masterpiece of mayhem.

Monday October 22, 7pm

  <http://www.ticketcentral.com/showdetails2.asp?showid=1466>

Tallgrass Gothic
by Melanie Marnich
New York Premiere
Directed by Leigh Silverman (Well)
Featuring Tony Award-Winner Michael Cerveris (Sweeney Todd)

A stunning, lyrical re-telling of The Changeling set in contemporary 
rural Minnesota.

Monday October 29, 7pm

  <http://www.ticketcentral.com/showdetails2.asp?showid=1465>

The Just
by Albert Camus, adapted and newly translated by Anthony Clarvoe
Directed by Ethan McSweeny (Best Man)
Featuring Obie Award-Winner Michael Stuhlbarg (Pillowman) and Tony 
Award-Winner Ellen McLaughlin (Angels in America)

Is violence ever the answer?  Even if the cause is just?  Step inside a 
terrorist cell circa 1905 and peer into the hearts and minds of young 
people willing to kill and die for what they believe.

Monday November 12, 7pm

  <http://www.ticketcentral.com/showdetails2.asp?showid=1467>

The Rover
by Aphra Behn, adapted by John Barton
Directed by Eleanor Holdridge

A trio of English rakes looking for kicks in 17th century Spain meets a 
trio of Spanish sisters looking for husbands at carnival in this raucous 
and raunchy restoration comedy by the first woman to make her living as 
a playwright.

Monday November 26, 7pm

  <http://www.ticketcentral.com/showdetails2.asp?showid=1468>

The Lady's Not For Burning
by Christopher Fry
Directed by Tony Award-Winner Joseph Hardy (Child's Play)
Featuring Lynn Redgrave and Richard Easton

In a world of hypocrisy, post-war superstition and witch-hunting, a man 
returns from war to find love and redemption in spite of his 
circumstances, all in a hilariously chaotic mix of characters wrapped up 
in a poetic tangle of fun.

JANUARY READINGS:

*        Monday January 7, 7pm:
<http://www.ticketcentral.com/showdetails2.asp?showid=1469> Bertolt 
Brecht's Edward II, a radical 20th century revision of the Elizabethan 
classic.  Featuring cast members from our production of Marlowe's play, 
directed by Michael Sexton.

*        Monday January 14, 7pm:
<http://www.ticketcentral.com/showdetails2.asp?showid=1470> Don't Fuck 
With Love, a contemporary spin on Alfred de Musset's love tragicomedy by 
Kay Matschullat, interpolating Abelard, Heloise, instant messaging, and 
the power elite, directed by Lear deBessonet.

*        Monday January 21, 7pm:
<http://www.ticketcentral.com/showdetails2.asp?showid=1471> The 
Cardinal, by James Shirley, directed by Carl Forsman, starring Roger 
Rees.  The last of the great Elizabethan dramatists explores corruption 
in the church through a wonderfully tangled web of deceit, plots, love 
affairs, poison and death.

LOCATION
<http://maps.yahoo.com/maps_result?addr=416+West+42nd+Street&csz=New+York%2C+NY++10036&country=us&new=1&name=&qty=> 


Playwrights Horizons/Peter Jay Sharp Theater
416 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenues
Trains: A/C/E to 42nd Street or the N/Q/R or 1/9 to Times Square
Parking: Alliance Parking, 500 West 43rd Street at 10th Avenue

TICKETS
$20 Adults
$10 Students
$75 Desdemona Benefit
$200 Subscription Package to all 9 Readings

  <http://www.ticketcentral.com/>
www.ticketcentral.com
212.279.4200

COMING SOON

Christopher Marlowe's Edward the Second
  <http://www.redbulltheater.com/current.html>

Adapted by Garland Wright, Directed by Jesse Berger
Performances start December 11th at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater
Tickets on sale October 1st: www.ticketcentral.com
<http://www.ticketcentral.com/>

Jesse Berger
Artistic Director
PO Box 250863
NEW YORK NY 10025
  <http://www.redbulltheater.com/> www.redbulltheater.com
212.414.5168
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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_______________________________________________________________
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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