CFP: Service Shakespeare

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0358  Thursday, 30 August 2012

 

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

Date:         August 30, 2012 9:56:38 AM EDT

Subject:     Call for Papers

 

I am delighted to announce that I shall edit a special section in Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation (http://www.borrowers.uga.edu/cocoon/borrowers/about) about what for now we are calling Service Shakespeare. This is a call for papers with apologies for cross postings.

 

By Service Shakespeare, I mean Shakespeare used in the service of different populations, especially needy or isolated populations. Perhaps the best-known example is the Shakespeare in prisons programs, and the best-known example of this is the documentary Shakespeare Behind Bars. I hope to cast the net rather widely. My own contribution will be about using Shakespeare as a therapy for Alzheimer’s patients. Topics may include Shakespeare amongst those with other illnesses, with mental disabilities, the homeless, the poor, Shakespeare produced for those in the armed services, and serving the handicapped in professional theatre companies. Let these serve as examples of the sort of topics sought, not as limitations. I am open to any great idea as long as the emphasis is on using Shakespeare to serve others or as a therapy. Please contact me with your proposals.

 

Michael P. Jensen

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

Shorthand

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0357  Wednesday, 29 August 2012

 

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

Date:         August 28, 2012 8:13:35 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: Shorthand

 

Werner Broennimann observes of “take up”,

 

> This is an effect a revising dramatist might well seek,

> particularly if he is in the process of cutting some lines

> at the end of a scene which is nothing but full of urgency.

 

I hadn’t suggested that “take up, take up” is senseless, but that it derives from Qa, what with its t’s k’s & great p’s. A revising dramatist could (and did!) make use of the repetition. The question is: Was that dramatist Shakespeare? As for drama, “we’ve got thirty minutes” may be urgent enough. And maybe the audience liked the added speeches. My point, reinforced elsewhere: F derives from Q1. Werner, what is your opinion on that? And do you like F’s revision of 5.3, “By rule of Knight-hood,” which I also reported? I would like to move on to more of the Q1/F corruption. Taking up ‘take up’ for keeps keeps us from other evidence adduced by Stone and prior scholars.

 

Steve Urkowitz remarks:

 

> By selectively citing Peter Blayney’s work,

 

Blayney offers a good selection, but I cite Stone more. Isn’t citation selective in any case? These guys are really good.

 

> and by sidestepping the documentation for what

> authorial revisions look like in Early Modern play-scripts

> (see Honigmann and Ioppolo for these),

 

I don’t side-step that at all, but comment extensively. Perhaps Steve would like to cite some himself.

 

> Maybe Gerald Downs really likes the quiet passages

 

I don’t much care for any of it but the problems are interesting.

 

> No matter who built or accidentally generated those

> distinct patterns, in this essentially unprovable context

> of . . . bibliographical observation and argumentation,

> the patterns bubble up.

 

But Steve argues Shakespeare as reviser.

 

> And if the differences really came out of other hands

> or even from those typewriting monkeys,

 

Someone (and some others) long ago took Q1 seriously enough to repair and ‘improve’ it. Steve, do you think the repair was made on Q1 or do you think the revision was of the foul papers before Q1 came to be? That’s an important question. We might move along to that.

 

Gerald E. Downs

King Lear Analysis: 2.4

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0356  Wednesday, 29 August 2012

 

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

Date:         August 28, 2012 8:13:48 PM EDT

Subject:     King Lear Analysis: 2.4

 

Some confusions in King Lear can outlast early and modern attempts at correction. Rather than rely on F’s authority in these cases it’s better to assume both authority and corruption in Q1 and its printer’s copy. That may be as close to Shakespeare as we get. At 2.4.91–105 (outer E), Q(corrected) reads:

 

   Glost. My deere Lord, you know the fierie qualitie of the

Duke, how vnremoueable and fixt he is in his owne Course.

   Lear. Vengeance, death,plague,confusion,what fierie quality,

why Gloster,Gloster, id’e speake with the Duke of Cornewall,and

his wife.

   Glost.  I my good Lord.

   Lear.  The King would speak with Cornewal, the deare father

Would with his daughter sp eake,commands her seruice,

Fierie Duke, tell the hot Duke that Lear,

(Qb 2.4.91–105 [TLN 1161–69])

 

Qa and Qb each seem to influence F with “incompatible variant pairs”:

 

come and tends seruice,    (Qa TLN 1168

The fierie Duke,                                1169)

 

commands her service,

Fierie Duke,                        (Qb and Q2)

 

commands, tends, service, (F TLN 1378           

Fiery? The fiery Duke,                     1380)

 

Comparing F, “Fiery? The fiery Duke, tell the hot Duke that—” to Qa, “The fiery Duke, tell the hot Duke that Lear”, I tend to agree with Stone that Qa “represents the authentic text”, since it is metrically acceptable. Qb 105 begins, “Fiery”; that’s OK if a trisyllable, but no better than Qa. Blayney speculates that “fierie the duke” was in Q1 copy unpunctuated, which a compositor (purposely or not) transposed to “The fierie Duke”. Next, unclear foul-proofing instructions to reverse the transposition (as per copy) caused “the” to be dropped in Qb, where miscorrection made an otherwise unnecessary change (245). These suggestions plausibly assume “good” copy. Yet the notion that F’s “collator” found Qa’s “The fierie Duke” in need of correction is unlikely unless something indicated that his ms. copy was imperfect. Blayney credibly takes Q2’s “Fierie Duke” (with no definite article) to be that something; the elements of F’s redaction of line 1380 are then in Qa and Q2 (F’s supplementary copy). That would also be said of F’s “commands, tends, seruice,” if it derives not from an authoritative source, but a similar conflation.

 

Qa reads “The King would speak with Cornewal, the deare fate / Would with his daughter speake, come and tends seruice,”. If Qb’s “commands her seruice,” is conjectural sophistication, then F is faulty. The King’s momentary lapse into third-person conciliatory phrasing is a facetious second request for the presence of both Duke and daughter, where Qa’s “come and tends service” may accurately reproduce copy: Contracted “his” is common in Shakespeare; e.g. Q1 reiterates Lear’s order: “Tell the Duke and’s wife, Ile speake with them / Now presently, bid them come forth and heare me,” (1179), where an apostrophe is more apparently needed. Qa’s “tend[’]s” is sensible (Q2 Hamlet, “The time inuests you goe, your seruants tend.”) But without the contraction mark the meaning was lost in print (and after). Phonetically correct but under-punctuated copy solves the crux; consequences of miscorrection credibly stem from the first reading. What kind of Q1 copy might lead to so much corruption?

 

Gerald E. Downs

 

World Shakespeare Festival 2012: Troilus and Cressida

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0355  Wednesday, 29 August 2012

 

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

Date:         Monday, August 27, 2012, at 10:10 PM

Subject:    World Shakespeare Festival 2012: Troilus and Cressida

 

Dear Hardy,

 

Thank you for that fascinating description of the Wooster Group/RSC Troilus and Cressida. I became familiar with the Wooster Group’s work when I was rather randomly assigned a class on Avant-Garde theatre to teach. Could you possibly tell us something about what was done with the role of Cressida in this production? I am particularly curious about her entrance to the Greek camp, and her final scene with Diomedes, being watched by Troilus, Ulysses and Thersites, as these scenes must have been tackled only after the two halves of the company began to be integrated. The Wooster Group usually employs a lot of props and costume elements that a fairly obvious signifiers of one thing or another, to the modern, pop-culture trained eye; were any of these brought to bear on the person of Cressida?

 

**********

Hardy’s Response (in hopes others will expand upon remarks)

 

What a wonderful question.

 

My experience with theatre after feminism has convinced me of the importance of how the treatment of Cressida in contemporary productions is an expression of her commodification by the men around her. From my perspective, the most interesting and successful productions are those that explore this issue. 

 

Having said this, and I appeal other others who were present to expand and correct me, because so much was going on, I did not feel that this production particularly emphasized the “trading,” as it were, of Cressida. 

 

As I previously reported and I have since received further information from Tom Cartelli about the documentaries and their relations to what was happening on the stage, the Wooster Group delivered their lines in a drone mimicking that of Pacific Northwest Native Americans. The drone, at first, was disorientating, as was the drumming and musical accompaniment and effects, so some details are not as clear for me as they might but that was the point I believe. 

 

As I recall, Diomedes appears in Troy to fetch Cressida as a blustering military type. To signify her being “traded” from the Trojans to the Greeks, Cressida strips from her Native American garb and, as I recall, puts on a rather plain frock. I do not remember that Cressida was particularly “MANhandled” at her arrival in the Grecian camp, at least not as much as I have seen in other productions nor was she overly demonized as a “daughter of the game." The pace was rapid, and so much was going on that I might have missed significant details.

 

I believe Calchas was not present when Diomedes fetched Cressida for the scene in which Troilus’s sleeve was exchanged or taken. The Swan stage is relatively small, and the overhearing scene was staged completely non-representationally. Thersites was behind Troilus and Ulysses while Diomedes and Cressida were further downstage. Again, because the production was striving not to be representational, it is difficult to attribute emotions to the characters from their actions in this or any other scene. At Troy, when Troilus and Cressida touched their fingers to each other, lights flashed and noises sounded giving the impression of an intense electrical shock passing between them. During the betrayal scene there may have been loud noises but they did not particularly register with me. Thersites was his usual mastic self, as sleazy was he could be, and his portrayal perhaps signified more realistic, identifiable emotions than the Trojans did. 

 

I am sorry that I cannot be more comprehensive and I do hope others might continue this conversation.

 

Hardy

Shorthand

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0354  Tuesday, 28 August 2012

 

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

     Date:         August 27, 2012 2:54:03 PM EDT

     Subject:     SHAKSPER: Shorthand 

 

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

     Date:         August 28, 2012 9:48:54 AM EDT

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Shorthand 

 

 

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

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

Date:         August 27, 2012 2:54:03 PM EDT

Subject:     SHAKSPER: Shorthand

 

Q1 uncorrected “Take vp to keepe” and its corrected Q1 version “Take vp the King” as well as the F-version “Take vp, take vp” in King Lear 3.6.102 has generated many words. I would call on the contestants to “Take up. Take up!”, which in Philip Massinger’s The Great Duke of Florence I.2.153 (1636) means as much as “Take a hold of yourself”, insistently said twice to a man enraptured by the beauty of a woman. The repetition in King Lear, as Steve Urkowitz has pointed out, conveys a sense of urgency. This is an effect a revising dramatist might well seek, particularly if he is in the process of cutting some lines at the end of a scene which is nothing but full of urgency. Shakespeare uses the same repetition, although admittedly not in immediate proximity, in the First Induction to The Taming of the Shrew. The Lord says to his followers that they should take up the drunk: “Then take him up and manage well the jest” (line 42). He then explains the details of his scheme, and repeats “Take him up gently and to bed with him” (line 69). Context is wider than only one play, and it can give plausibility, if not authenticity, to the choice of words and phrases. Drunks and old people must be treated carefully: it is worth repeating.

 

Werner

 

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

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

Date:         August 28, 2012 9:48:54 AM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Shorthand

 

I recognize that Gerald Downs isn’t going to change his mind about the sources of variants in LEAR.  But I’m still happy to carry on a conversation about the texts because every time we get up close and personal with that stuff, my brain-cells get all bubbly. (Sorry for that autobiographical lit-crit term, not found in the Princeton Dictionary of Lit Crit, I fear.)

 

Gerald asks that we step back to consider as a better “larger context” for specific variants not just the scene-sequences where the end-of-scene cuts happen but rather: “The surrounding context (writ large)” which “is Q1 corruption, much of which the reviser (Q1 to F) is unable to overcome.” 

 

By selectively citing Peter Blayney’s work, and by sidestepping the documentation for what authorial revisions look like in Early Modern play-scripts (see Honigmann and Ioppolo for these), Gerald says and says and says that Q1 is corrupt.  I’ve shown that almost all of what has been called “corruption” ain’t that at all but rather is evidence that the piece was in progress.  As my old buddy Albert Einstein told us, “Your theory determines what you see as evidence.”  So, let’s agree that we won’t agree about what we can use as evidence.  Okay?

 

And may we move on a little?  Around the urgency of “take up the king” or “take up, take up,” a play is going on.  Maybe Gerald Downs really likes the quiet passages spoken by Kent and then by Edgar at the end of 3.6 which are not found in the Folio.  He quotes Stone’s book: 

 

A cut. Stone takes note, “Reflective comment at the close of a scene: the motive is once again retrenchment.”

 

What should we do next?  My training and experience as a quasi-scientific theatrically-oriented critic, as a director, and as a teacher for, like, a half a century, all lead me to want to show these variants to actors, to other teachers, and to kids in my classes.  I want THEM to see and to feel the different impact of the different texts.  If they do note the differences, then I’ve taught them something about how plays work.  “We can have zip-zip-zip quick rhythms of events and actions, or we can have quick-slow-quick rhythms.”  No matter who built or accidentally generated those distinct patterns, in this essentially unprovable context of fishy-swishy bibliographical observation and argumentation, the patterns bubble up.  Put 'em on stage and they’re beautiful to watch.  Both of 'em.  

 

My campaigns over the years are to get folks to see the alternatives in their gloriously theatrical alternativity.  I try to HOPE that my vision of Shakespeare as the responsible party will prevail, only because I feel that will ensure attention to their variety and to their otherwise-invisible very existence.  And if the differences really came out of other hands or even from  those typewriting monkeys, then I hope we could get endowed chairs of Typewriting-Monkey Studies, for which I, as a typewriting monkey myself, will be eminently qualified.

 

Steven Monkowitz

Extinguished Professor, CCNY English and Theatre

 

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