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Home :: Archive :: 2011 :: November ::
Academic Response to Anonymous

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0289  Thursday, 3 November 2011

 

[1] From:         Marie Merkel < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         October 27, 2011 8:51:07 PM EDT

     Subject:      Re: SHAKSPER: Academic Response to Anonymous

 

[2] From:         Alexander Huang < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         October 28, 2011 12:38:01 AM EDT

     Subject:      "Anonymous" Making the Rounds 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:         Marie Merkel < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         October 27, 2011 8:51:07 PM EDT

Subject:      Re: SHAKSPER: Academic Response to Anonymous

 

Thanks to Tom Reedy for posting links to the "teaching materials" cunningly supplied to college professors and high school teachers by the makers of Emmerich's "Anonymous".  Another link which may be of interest covers the "National Education Standards for Anonymous": 

 

http://www.ymiclassroom.com/AnonymousStandards.pdf

 

These materials seem to be distributed by YMI or "Young Minds Inspired":

 

http://www.ymiclassroom.com/

 

I'm not in academia, so have no idea of what goes on in classrooms these days.  How likely it is that educators at either the high school or college level will actually use Sony's blatant propaganda?

 

Marie Merkel     

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:         Alexander Huang < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         October 28, 2011 12:38:01 AM EDT

Subject:      "Anonymous" Making the Rounds

 

I just took my students to a pre-release screening of "Anonymous" in Washington, DC, last night arranged by Sony Pictures. The film to look forward to, I think, is Ralph Fiennes' Coriolanus

 

"Anonymous" calls to mind such films as Miloš Forman and Peter Shaffer's Amadeus ('darker,' alternative, and sexier biography of Mozart). Gosh I desperately wish arts and literature matter so much (our careers depend on it after all; like Fox Mulder in the X-Files, I wanted to say "I want to believe"). But truth is, that was not the case, and it still isn't today. Jonson and all risking their life to protect de Vere's precious manuscripts for all eternity that would make up the "Complete Works of Shakespeare" and the tearful bedside farewell and "handing down the torch (of the fire of Muse)" between Jonson and the earl? What's up with our dear Kit Marlowe's guest appearance?

 

Interestingly, there is one thing even undergraduates and non-specialist audiences do not buy. The film presented a very unconvincing picture of literary production. In the whole of early modern England, no one other than the earl could write good poetry, and "Shakespeare," Jonson, Marlowe, and all stumbled over one another to beg (or threaten as the case may be) Edward de Vere for an uninterrupted supply of manuscripts (which acts peculiarly as drugs). Seriously? The film also misled the audience to assume that no other companies or performance venues mattered in Shakespeare's time. 

 

I am disappointed that a film so self-consciously structured as a "teachable" (!?) work with coffee table books and all (think back on Luhrmann or Billy Morrissette) would do such a lousy job on "packaging" history in what amounts to nothing more than a assembly line. Did they think that they can convert the fictive (and real) audiences by having Derek Jacobi in the prologue? 

 

The good thing that can come from "Anonymous," I hope, is that it can lead people to the real tour-de-force that is Shapiro's Contested Will, REED (http://www.reed.utoronto.ca/), and Early Modern London Theatres (http://www.emlot.kcl.ac.uk/). 

 

 

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