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Home :: Archive :: 2010 :: August ::
The 2010 Gielgud Award Gala: A Salute to F. Murray
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0331  Monday, 2 August 2010

From:         John F. Andrews <
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Date:         July 30, 2010 3:15:36 PM EDT
Subject:      The 2010 Gielgud Award Gala: A Salute to F. Murray Abraham 

THE 2010 GIELGUD AWARD GALA
A Salute to F. Murray Abraham
 
Guests and Presenters: Actors ZOE CALDWELL, TOM HULCE, HOLLY HUNTER, and JERRY 
STILLER, Filmmaker ETHAN COEN, Authors RAY BRADBURY, HAROLD BLOOM, and JAMES 
SHAPIRO, and Others
 
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 
Reception 6:30, Dinner 7:15, Program 8:30
 
NATIONAL ARTS CLUB
15 Gramercy Park South, Manhattan
 
BLACK TIE, with Tickets at $125, $250, and $500 
All but $85 per Ticket Tax-Deductible
 
We hope you'll join us for a festive tribute to one of the most versatile artists of 
our time, a man whose portrayal of Antonio Salieri in Amadeus earned him an Academy 
Award for Best Actor in the 1984 film adaptation of Peter Shaffer's celebrated 
drama. This evocative cinema garnered eight Oscars, among them trophies for Best 
Picture, Best Screenplay, and Best Director (Milos Forman), plus a Best Actor 
nomination for Tom Hulce, who depicted Mozart as a frivolous lecher whose genius 
drove an envious rival to murder. 

Mr. Abraham has appeared in dozens of movies, among them Finding Forrester, Mighty 
Aphrodite, The Name of the Rose, and Scarface. His stage work includes an acclaimed 
Broadway revival of Waiting for Godot, directed by Mike Nichols, and a Merchant of 
Venice that took his riveting Shylock to Stratford-upon-Avon as the culminating 
attraction in the Royal Shakespeare Company's epic Complete Works festival. He has 
performed twice at the White House, and his many Shakespearean credits are notable 
for star turns in classics like King Lear, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much 
Ado About Nothing, Othello, Richard II, Richard III, and Twelfth Night. Concertgoers 
will recall his narratives for conductor Gerard Schwarz at the Mostly Mozart 
Festival and his associations with solo artists like Itzhak Perlman. And TV 
audiences will recognize him not only his parts in series like Law & Order, but for 
his much-admired persona on PBS as the voice of Nature. 
 
For details about this and other attractions, as well as for information about 
discounts available for members of the Shakespeare Guild, simply click on 
www.shakesguild.org/Gielgud2010.pdf. 
 
Meanwhile, for a response to Sarah Palin's recent claim to be a latter-day
Shakespeare, see the remarks below (an expanded version of a letter to
the editor that appeared last Sunday in The Washington Post). 
 

Advanced Bardic Palinology

Unlike many of the commentators who've weighed in about recent twitterations from 
Palin the Linguist, I come not to bury Sarah, but to praise her. She's absolutely 
right about Shakespeare's many contributions to the English language. And thanks to 
a long line of scrupulous editors, grammarians, and lexicographers, the usual totals 
don't even count a significant number of the playwright's wittest inventions.
 
Near the end of Act 1, Scene 3 of Hamlet, for example, in the version of the script 
that appeared in a 1604 quarto printing, Polonius warns Ophelia to beware of 
"brokers" who employ deceptive phrasing "the beter to beguide." The 1623 First Folio 
printing replaced beguide by beguile in this passage, and that substitution is what 
a reader finds in most of today's editions, even in those which draw upon the 
earlier rendering of the text as their primary source. The one exception I'm 
familiar with is the Everyman Shakespeare, a paperback set which retains the 
original version as a coinage that deftly combines such senses as beguile, misguide, 
and beguild (overlay with gold).  

I suspect that the poet who gave us Polonius would have delighted in refudiate, not 
only because it enriches our language with a new word that communicates something 
that couldn't be conveyed in any other way, but because it's the sort of naive 
malapropism he puts into the mouths of other characters, among them such inspired 
and irrepressible bumpkins as Bottom the Weaver in A Midsummer Night's Dream and 
Dogberry the Master Constable in Much Ado About Nothing.

To borrow a line from King Lear, then, I say "let copulation thrive." Fusing refute 
with repudiate may result in bastard currency; but as a means of defining Sarah 
Palin and the movement she embodies, it's just as apt as Bushisms like 
misunderestimate. To certify a failed governor for a new position that would make 
her appear a bit less "o'er-parted," moreover (to appropriate an expression from 
Love's Labor's Lost), it's what Shakespeare's most endearing Keystone Kop would dub 
"the eftest way."  
 
Now for the question of the hour. Do I believe that some reference to refudiate 
should be included in future guides to our political discourse? You betcha.


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