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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: October ::
The Book of William by Paul Collins
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0526  Tuesday, 20 October 2009

[1] From:   Felix de Villiers <
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     Date:   Saturday, 17 Oct 2009 10:46:30 +0200
     Subj:   The Book of William by Paul Collins

[2] From:   Jason Rhode <
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 >
     Date:   Tuesday, 20 Oct 2009 00:09:15 -0500
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0515 The Book of William by Paul Collins


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Felix de Villiers <
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Date:       Saturday, 17 Oct 2009 10:46:30 +0200
Subject:    The Book of William by Paul Collins

The Book of William by Paul Collins

I was quite dismayed by Larry Weiss's comment on when Shakespeare truly 
becomes the consummate genius, But I think he is being provocative and 
having us on a bit. As an icebreaker at the dinner table, the subject is 
sure to result in lively debate. I might throw a glass of wine across 
the table and leave in a huff. Surely Shakespeare is SHAKESPEARE at 
least from Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer, Richard II onwards. If he had 
died after Macbeth it would have been like Beethoven dying after the 
Appassionata and Waldstein Sonatas, still the giant among composers. 
Then there are the Sonnets which are pure Shakespeare from beginning to end.

A weakness of mine is that I don't know Shakespeare's contemporaries 
well enough. I have read The Changeling by Middleton plus collaborator 
once (not enough) and found that it didn't come anywhere near 
Shakespeare's heights. Larry has a very high estimation of Middleton. 
This is the pleasure of our dialogues for those of us who are less 
experts: they tell us things we didn't know and arouse our interest in 
'new' authors. I will read Middleton.

I have a big, somewhat old-fashioned History of English literature by 
two Frenchmen, Legouis and Cazamian, and they write that Shakespeare was 
equaled in all his genres, like the song, character, poetic charms, by 
his contemporaries (meaning one author per genre) but that his gift lay 
in fusing all these.

Yours,
Felix

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Jason Rhode <
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 >
Date:       Tuesday, 20 Oct 2009 00:09:15 -0500
Subject: 20.0515 The Book of William by Paul Collins
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0515 The Book of William by Paul Collins

How many limbs could you cut off Wayne Gretzky ...

 >To me, "SHAKESPEARE," the power-meme, the cultural phenomenon,
 >is an emergent property that requires the presence of
 >Hamlet/Othello/Macbeth/Lear, and maybe one or two other signal plays;
 >the Henriad or Romeo and Juliet/MSD. He's a Ghost in the Machine (as
 >opposed to a Ghost on the Elsinore Battlement) generated when the text
 >of the Great Plays is performed or read. Without the plays he's a gifted
 >poet, a Marvell; without the poems we'd still love him, he'd still be
 >Shakespeare; but he has about four-to-seven crucial legs that, without
 >which, we moderns would see him as Marlowe's gifted epigone, a
 >Warwickshire rustic with a predilection for Ovid and birds, a blip on the
 >radar between Tamurlaine and Poetaster.

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