2007

How long to write a play?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0405  Friday, 22 June 2007

From: 		Anne Cuneo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 22:03:26 +0200
Subject: 18.0395 How long to write a play?
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0395 How long to write a play?

I've tried to think about this. I have written between 15 and 20 plays. 
Most took me weeks or months because there was research to be done, i.e. 
a play about the day the Swiss Army shot at its own citizens who were 
demonstrating against Fascism in Geneva, the only time this ever 
happened - 13 dead. It took place in November 1932, and in 1992 when I 
wrote my play, I tried to find a couple of surviving witnesses. I did. 
Lots of work. On the other hand I once  wrote a plays which has been 
played so many times I cannot count them, actors and public alike love 
it, in one single night - it was urgently needed the next day.

I find the question of how long one needs difficult to answer.

I always wondered how long it took Shakespeare, or Marlowe, to write 
those historical plays which show a profound knowledge of English 
History. They were always pressed for time, but those plays needed a lot 
of reading - or maybe not, maybe the story of Henry IV was common 
knowledge. But there too, it's difficult to answer.

_______________________________________________________________
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.

www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0403  Friday, 22 June 2007

[1] 	From: 	Norm Hinton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 14:40:08 -0500
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0394 www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched

[2] 	From: 	Al Magary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 14:34:39 -0700
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0394 www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched

[3] 	From: 	Philip Weller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 16:04:13 -0700
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0394 www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Norm Hinton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 14:40:08 -0500
Subject: 18.0394 www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0394 www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched

 >Speaking of superiority, we actually feel we have a superior system
 >than anything on the internet for reading Shakespeare's texts. The
 >reader merely rolls over the word they don't understand and the
 >glossary appears.

There is really nothing particularly new about "mouseover".  The New 
York Times offers the same feature every day in its on-line version, for 
every news story.  And I have seen the technique in Web sites at least 
since the 90s.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Al Magary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 14:34:39 -0700
Subject: 18.0394 www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0394 www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched

PlayShakespeare says (http://www.playshakespeare.com/About+Us/):

     "As electronic editions of Shakespeare's plays proliferate, the 
need for
     'through line numbers' (Charleton Hinman's system from the Norton First
     Folio) vanishes due to the flexibility of systems for viewing and 
printing;
     not to mention the conflicts between the various editions of a 
single play
     (of which none are considered 'correct') so they have been removed 
from our
     texts. Therefore, the traditional method for actors and directors 
to find
     their place within a scene will more than suffice (act, scene, 
number of
     lines from beginning, etc.). If you really feel the need to have line
     numbers in your texts, most word processing programs can easily and
     automatically add the numbers for you."

I think this policy is entirely backwards and reminds me of, say, a 
bank's policy being supposedly "for the customer's convenience."  The 
proliferation of electronic editions of Shakespeare is, by itself, 
welcome, but the absence of line numbering in texts at otherwise useful 
websites is an inconvenience if one has limited computer resources (eg, 
small screen, not enough RAM, browser without tabs), is also using 
printed editions, or in the end has to generate a proper citation to 
play, act, scene, line number-in *some* standard edition.  A line number 
need not be gospel to be useful.

I'm wrestling with this very problem with my edition of Hall's 
Chronicle.  In original printed edition (1548, 1550), it has about 
55,000 lines in nine chapters with very irregular pagination (the serial 
count is more than 1,300 pages) and line numbers every 10 lines.  The 
standard edition of Hall (ed.  Ellis, 1809) is 868 closely printed pages 
without any line numbering.  Such bulk would be intimidating without 
editorial help.  Webbing the chronicle will add a lot of utility-and so 
will line numbers and serial page/facsimile image numbers (Penn's online 
facsimile of the 1550 edition is high quality) along with pointers to 
the equivalent page(s) in Ellis' edition.

Meanwhile, back at PlayShakespeare, the glosses that (will) appear with 
mouse rollover sound like a nice, non-intrusive mechanism and I look 
forward to full implementation because a webbed Hall's Chronicle, too, 
could use considerable glossing.

Cheers,
Al Magary

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Philip Weller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 16:04:13 -0700
Subject: 18.0394 www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0394 www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched

 >But once development is
 >complete (another week or two), we aim to have upwards of 5000+ items
 >over the coming weeks, at which time more variations on existing items
 >will be added.

I opened up my Riverside Shakespeare and counted 46 notes on the first 
two pages, which hold 125 lines.  At that rate, there should be about 
931 notes for all of Macbeth.  "5000+ items" for Shakespeare's complete 
works is going to be inadequate.

Putting "more variations on existing items" is not going to be useful 
unless the variations are appropriate to the context. The gloss of 
"chops" as "a person resembling a piece of meat," is, given the context, 
disinformation, not information.

 >Speaking of superiority, we actually feel we have a superior system than
 >anything on the internet for reading Shakespeare's texts.

Please compare to my Macbeth: <http://clicknotes.com/macbeth/T11.html>

 >No line numbers.

This is fine if you consider line numbers to be a serious distraction. 
But there are many situations, including the situation of actors working 
on a text, in which line numbers are highly useful.

 >it's unobtrusive to the reader.

When I visited, each of the glossed words was underlined with dashes. 
It's not terribly obtrusive, but does send the message that some 
important information might be missed if the visitor does not roll over 
the text.

     --Philip Weller

_______________________________________________________________
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.

Degree in Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0402  Friday, 22 June 2007

[1] 	From: 	William Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 15:35:56 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0391 Degree in Shakespeare

[2] 	From: 	V. Kerry Inman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 15:59:32 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0391 Degree in Shakespeare

[3] 	From: 	Marilyn A. Bonomi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 16:52:24 -0400
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 18.0391 Degree in Shakespeare

[4] 	From: 	Dan Venning <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 21:00:51 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0391 Degree in Shakespeare

[5] 	From: 	Ida Gaskin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Friday, 22 Jun 2007 13:36:12 +1200
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0391 Degree in Shakespeare

[6] 	From: 	Connie Geller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Friday, 22 Jun 2007 01:36:51 +0000
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0391 Degree in Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		William Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 15:35:56 -0400
Subject: 18.0391 Degree in Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0391 Degree in Shakespeare

 >Sam would like to know: "In short does studying Shakespeare
 >and other great writers make you a better person?  A more
 >peaceful person?  More mature?  Or merely a Shakespeare
 >anorak?"

I have Christians in my classes who tell me that to be a good person I 
must become a Christian. Perhaps studying Shakespeare's plays will work 
just as well.

Bill

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		V. Kerry Inman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 15:59:32 -0400
Subject: 18.0391 Degree in Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0391 Degree in Shakespeare

Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

 >In short does studying Shakespeare and other great writers make you a
 >better person?  A more peaceful person?  More mature?  Or merely a
 >Shakespeare anorak?
 >>
 >I'd like to know.
 >>
 >SAM SMALL

Aren't asking us to pass judgment on the Shaksper list?

--V. Kerry Inman

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Marilyn A. Bonomi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 16:52:24 -0400
Subject: 18.0391 Degree in Shakespeare
Comment: 	RE: SHK 18.0391 Degree in Shakespeare

As someone who taught "literature" for almost 40 years (albeit in high 
school) I'd suggest that the analytical interaction with any significant 
work of literature, including but not limited to Shakespeare, helps 
strengthen what Bloom identified as the "higher order thinking skills": 
analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

So long as you are not focusing on the barebones plot/simplistic 
questions about character (what they look like sorts of questions) you 
are asking students to engage with the text and make not only personal 
connections to text but also use the text to work outwards to greater 
understanding on a more global level.

So yes, studying Shakespeare can make you a "better" person if your 
higher order thinking skills improve and if you come to some deeper 
understanding about life and yourself as a result of interacting with 
his texts.  In the case of high school students, I'd add yes, it can 
make you "more mature" as well  :-)

Mari Bonomi

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Dan Venning <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 21:00:51 -0400
Subject: 18.0391 Degree in Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0391 Degree in Shakespeare

Dear Sam:

I feel that *perhaps* you felt that "nothing much came back" because you 
were either phrasing your questions confrontationally (suggesting that 
studying in any field, whether humanities, sciences, social sciences, or 
whatever you choose to study, is liable to make someone an "anorak" 
seems like a clear case of anti-academism, and may lead to hostile or 
terse responses) or because you were personally inclined to hear 
whatever responses the adjudicator made as "nothing much."

Here are some responses from my end:

I think that adults studying *anything* they are passionate about is 
beneficial, especially when they choose to study with leading scholars 
and experts in the field. Study broadens the mind and, in any field, 
allows one to more thoroughly appreciate that which we love. If one was 
motivated solely by professional promotion, why not study accounting, or 
business, or get an MBA? Study of literature, on the other hand, can 
lead to personal growth. I study Shakespeare because I love reading, 
watching, directing, and working on productions of his plays, and the 
more books I read on the topic, the more thorough and detailed my 
appreciation is. This also allows me to develop my own ideas further, 
and in a more educated fashion, having seen what's been written and 
thought before--both that with which I agree and disagree.

And yes, literature degrees certainly increase the ability to read 
literature. Your way of phrasing this below is telling: you may have 
meant to say that the adjudicator said the "ability to read literature 
critically," but I'd certainly argue that the ability to read critically 
is indeed a "critical ability." Reading critically allows one to argue 
critically, to find (metaphorical) chinks in the armor of writers, to 
identify underlying assumptions and arguments in pieces of writing. This 
is useful in almost any field. Moreover, I don't think saying that the 
ability to "read critically" is a *vague* or unclear benefit in the least.

Does studying Shakespeare make you a better/more moral/peaceful/mature 
person? Does it make you an anorak? I think the answer to both questions 
is: It can! But what it does depends on how you use and employ the 
knowledge you gain through your study, and will differ from person to 
person. Yes, some academics are boring, write terribly, and are 
"anoraks." But many (I'd say most) are genuinely wonderful, and I hope 
you (like I) have fond memories of several from your college days, who 
may even have been mentors or friends.

I'm sorry if this came across as too confrontational, but I'm a PhD 
student in Shakespeare myself, and anti-academism can really get my 
goat. After all, it's the work about which I'm passionate!

Dan Venning

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Ida Gaskin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 22 Jun 2007 13:36:12 +1200
Subject: 18.0391 Degree in Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0391 Degree in Shakespeare

Sam Small asks what one gains by reading English Literature. Does such a 
degree course have to "make" one anything? Surely it is enough to read 
with enjoyment. After all, as Bacon said "Reading maketh a full man". 
Isn't that enough?

Ida Gaskin.

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Connie Geller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 22 Jun 2007 01:36:51 +0000
Subject: 18.0391 Degree in Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0391 Degree in Shakespeare

Surely a study of the humanities, and literature in particular, does not 
make anyone a better person. Any look at history confirms this, as does 
one's personal experience with scoundrels of a literary bent.

_______________________________________________________________
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.
_______________________________________________________________
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.

Private Announcement - Rent in Sicily

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0400  Friday, 22 June 2007

From: 		Michele Marrapodi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 22 Jun 2007 09:32:05 +0100
Subject: 	Private Announcement - Rent in Sicily

Private announcement - Rent in Sicily

Dear Shakespeareans,

I would be pleased to rent out a beautiful apartment in Sicily during 
the Summer. It is located in a fully equipped residence at walking 
distance (150 metres) from the sea-side in the artistic town of Sciacca 
(Agrigento).  The availability is from July to September for a maximum 
of 6/7 people.

The rent can be monthly or weekly. If interested, please email to 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Michele Marrapodi,
University of Palermo,
Sicily.

_______________________________________________________________
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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