2013

Ardenwatch

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0221  Tuesday, 7 May 2013

 

From:        John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 6, 2013 3:34:42 PM EDT

Subject:     Ardenwatch 

 

As the Arden Third Series stumbles towards its conclusion (if not a completion), there are persistent rumours that General Editors have been appointed for the Arden Fourth Series.

 

If that is the case, we can probably expect the first volumes to appear in about ten years time, and a conclusion (again, not necessarily a completion) about twenty years after that. As I won’t live to see the fourth series finished, perhaps I should start to collect the First Series instead?

 

John Briggs

 

Shakespeare the Grain-Dealing Tax Evader

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0220  Monday, 6 May 2013

 

[Editor’s Note: Okay. This is it for this thread. I will publish no more on this topic. –Hardy] 

 

[1] From:        Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         May 5, 2013 12:22:40 AM EDT

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Peer review of Egan treatise 

 

[2] From:        Michael Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         May 5, 2013 1:19:01 PM EDT

     Subject:     Shakespeare Businessman 

 

 

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

From:        Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 5, 2013 12:22:40 AM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Peer review of Egan treatise

 

John Briggs quotes me as saying

  

> Wasn’t the reviewer Eric Sams, who provided both the forward 

> and an essay published in your treatise?

 

And comments

 

>I’m sure Michael Egan will say that you’ve got that backwards . . . 

 

It is sometimes (but not always) difficult to predict what Michael Egan will say. But I am not sure I take your point. Are you saying that perhaps it wasn’t Sams the reviewer who served as contributor to the volumes, but Sams the contributor who acted as reviewer. If so, I can’t see that it matters. It seems commutative to me.

 

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

From:        Michael Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 5, 2013 1:19:01 PM EDT

Subject:     Shakespeare Businessman

 

There seems little point in continuing this so-called discussion which has, as usual, descended to name-calling and gratuitous sneering. Larry Weiss calls me a whore, the appalling Gabriel Egan once again demonstrates that he doesn’t understand what a variorum edition is, and others unforgivably attack the late Eric Sams for the crime of supporting my attribution to Shakespeare of 1 Richard II

 

We need to remind ourselves where this discussion began and what has given rise to this gratuitous and irrelevant invective. Jayne Archer and her colleagues at Aberystwyth innocently restated what is well-known but underplayed in the traditional accounts of Shakespeare’s life, that the man was apparently a moral and political hypocrite. Squawk as you like, if you maintain that the grain-profiteer and the author of Lear are one and the same man the contradictions are irresolvable.

 

I need to add that Eric Sams is one of the great but unsung scholar-heroes of recent Shakespeare history. Among other accomplishments he single-handedly added Edward III to the canon. He did not quite make his case for Edmond Ironside, in my opinion, but that never interfered with our friendship. Nor did my views on the SAQ get in our way, despite the fact that Sams was aggressively anti-Oxfordian.

 

Sams’ integrity and intellectual honesty is something we can all learn from. The Real Shakespeare is a great book. Yes, he kindly wrote the preface to my edition and contributed an article to its Commentary section. No, he did not peer-review it for Edwin Mellen Press, though I’m glad Larry Weiss now concedes that EMP’s manuscripts are indeed peer-reviewed.

 

Michael Egan

 

Greenblatt’s Freedom

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0218  Monday, 6 May 2013

 

[1] From:        Mari Bonomi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         May 4, 2013 5:57:49 PM EDT

     Subject:     Re: Greenblatt’s Freedom SONNET 148

 

[2] From:        David Bishop <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         May 5, 2013 9:27:28 PM EDT

     Subject:     Re: Greenblatt 

 

 

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

From:        Mari Bonomi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 4, 2013 5:57:49 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: Greenblatt’s Freedom SONNET 148

 

I confess—as I reread and then thought about Sonnet 148, a song leaped into my consciousness—

 

From the Rogers and Hammerstein score for the TV Cinderella . . .

 

The Prince sings first to Cinderella, asking “Do I love you because you’re beautiful, or are you beautiful because I love you?”

 

I suspect Mr. Hammerstein was familiar with Shakespeare :)

 

Mari Bonomi

 

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

From:        David Bishop <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 5, 2013 9:27:28 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: Greenblatt

 

Will Sharpe says I caused some confusion by being imprecise, and I think he may be right. I do think, though, that I can claim a little poetic license, and even reasonable accord with the vernacular, in witness whereof I cite the fact that Will knew what I was trying to say. Consider: “They docked his pay for being late—and he wasn’t late!” 

 

To look again at the lines in question:

 

O me, what eyes hath love put in my head,

Which have no correspondence with true sight!

Or if they have, where is my judgement fled,

That censures falsely what they see aright?

 

The sigh of the first two lines makes the judgment that the beloved is truly ugly (imperfect or unbeautiful perhaps, but ugly will do for the moment). It also expresses something else. Exasperation? The “me” of “O me” is hard to pin down. But the judgment is, it seems, correct. Until the beginning of the next line, which suggests the possibility that the eyes of love, contradicting judgment, might see the truth: the beloved is really beautiful.

 

This speculation comes from something other than the eyes. We would need judgment to see that the eyes of love are seeing truly. But the original judgment would then be contradicted by this new, better judgment. This implicit judgment, though, is not what is called judgment in these lines. Instead the assumption is that there are a) the beloved as seen with the eyes of love; b) the beloved as “seen” by judgment; c) truth. 

 

So judgment says that the beloved is ugly, while the eyes of love say s/he is beautiful. If the eyes of love see truly, then judgment judges the beloved falsely. We take “censure” to be negative, and so to imply “ugly”, but Duncan-Jones (I haven’t located a Booth yet) says it then had no such connotation. It simply meant to judge. This bit of information I would call esoteric. Maybe it’s right. Or maybe there are indications that the word had already begun its transformation into the word as we use it now. In either case, the judgment makes a false judgment—a little tricky since the judging seems to be done here while the judgment is fled. One might say, How could I have made such a false judgment? My judgment must be gone! Or maybe out to lunch.

 

Still the core idea of lines 3 and 4 remains: the judgment does not falsely regard the beloved as beautiful. It falsely regards the beloved as ugly. There are no two ways about it: Greenblatt has made a mistake. Whether this is just a small, atypical mistake in a paradigm-shifting book awaits the judgment of posterity. My initial impression is that the book is wrong and misleading in a number of ways, and, on the whole, rather dull. But maybe those who love it see aright.

 

Moving on to the next line: “If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote”—we might conclude that Shakespeare can make your head spin.

 

Best wishes,

David Bishop 

 

Sun, Coal, Fog, Smog

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0219  Monday, 6 May 2013

 

[1] From:        Marianne Kimura <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         May 5, 2013 5:23:00 AM EDT

     Subject:     Sun/Coal 

 

[2] From:        Abraham Samuel Shiff <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         May 5, 2013 11:35:24 AM EDT

     Subject:     The Burning of Coal 

 

 

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

From:        Marianne Kimura <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 5, 2013 5:23:00 AM EDT

Subject:     Sun/Coal

 

About the sun/coal allegory idea

 

I want to clear up the idea that the structure in “Romeo and Juliet” which may be an allegory representing mankind’s changing economic relationship to the sun (due to fossil fuels) over many centuries or millennia must be depressing and regrettable.  

 

Of course, I agree that the way Romeo approaches the comatose Juliet seems a bit scary. But think beyond that scene. In Act V, scene 1, Shakespeare makes Romeo tell a dream about waking up from death to find his lady had revived him with kisses:

 

If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep, 

My dreams presage some joyful news at hand: 

My bosom's lord sits lightly in his throne; 

And all this day an unaccustom’d spirit 

Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts. 

I dreamt my lady came and found me dead— 

Strange dream, that gives a dead man leave to think!— 

And breathed such life with kisses in my lips, 

That I revived, and was an emperor. 

Ah me! how sweet is love itself possess’d, 

When but love's shadows are so rich in joy!

 

And we can see renewable energy (as wind and waves and solar panels etc.) getting more and more attention these days. People are discussing carbon footprints a lot.

 

Furthermore, the timing is not specified. If the return to a sun economy takes 1000 or 2000 years, then all of us reading this will not be around to see it. It actually won’t matter to us. On the other hand, Shakespeare will still be relevant. He was “for all time” (quoting Ben Johnson):

 

He was not of an age, but for all time!

And all the Muses still were in their prime,

When, like Apollo, he came forth to warm

Our ears, or like a Mercury to charm!

Nature herself was proud of his designs,

And joyed to wear the dressing of his lines!

 

Humans thousands of years from now may well enjoy a greener, cleaner planet once fossil fuels have been used up. And Shakespeare may well be recognized for his achievement: to tell the tale, to put the message for future generations into a wonderful code, readable universally. For we know that Shakespeare’ plays are easy to perform in any language and any setting. 

 

Solar energy and Shakespeare are both universal. My idea is not a gloomy, fraught and horrible message, but one that may show what Shakespeare had in mind: to defend and extol the forces that keep our planet fit for our habitation: photosynthesis, the hydrological cycle, etc. He was a marvelous human being, showing us, many centuries after his death, what is important, who we are, and where we are in the cosmos.

 

Marianne Kimura

 

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

From:        Abraham Samuel Shiff <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 5, 2013 11:35:24 AM EDT

Subject:     The Burning of Coal

 

In his response (SHAKSPER, 04 May 2013, SHK 24.0212, item [3]), Larry Weiss apparently misinterpreted the use of ellipsis to shorten the title of a poem describing pollution in London (SHAKSPER, SHK 24.0206, 26 April 2013 item [5]) to mean a focus on the word fog.

 

This is curious, inasmuch as the editor chose to print the entire poem with the full title, which is: ‘Upon the foggie air, Sea-coal smoke, Diet, Filth and Mire of London.” The poem describes the effects of coal smoke.

 

The other work cited and quoted from is by Sir Hugh Plat, published 1603. The editor printed the title page; unambiguously about coal. Another quotation from Sir Hugh (leaf B4v): “Also the stirring of common seacole fires after they are once caked and knit together doth make a hellish smoke and smolder, dispersing the sootie substance & subtle atomies [sic] abroad into the air, . . . ”

 

Is Weiss blowing fog to obscure the fact that he was not knowledgeable about Elizabethan use of coal for fuel and the deleterious consequences of coal smoke?

 

Abraham Samuel Shiff

Graduate Student

Master of Liberal Studies Program

The Graduate Center

City University of New York

 

Hollinshed

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0217  Monday, 6 May 2013

 

From:        Jack Ferstel <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         May 4, 2013 11:52:28 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Hollinshed

 

In reference to Professor Rubinstein’s query about the differences between the 1577 edition and 1587 editions of Holinshed’s Chronicles, the latter being the one considered as used by Shakespeare: The Holinshed Project at Oxford would be the place to begin: They have a wonderful site with both editions available for reading and comparing side-by-side. They have also developed a tool to help in comparing the two editions.

 

Check out: http://www.english.ox.ac.uk/holinshed/

 

Jack Ferstel

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

 

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