MLA Digital Challenge—New Variorum Edition of Shakespeare

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0500  Thursday, 6 December 2012

 

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

Date:         December 6, 2012 12:24:12 AM EST

Subject:     MLA Digital Challenge—New Variorum Edition of Shakespeare

 

Earlier this year the MLA Committee on the New Variorum Edition of Shakespeare sponsored a digital challenge seeking the most innovative and compelling uses of the data contained in its recently published volume, The Comedy of Errors. The MLA released the XML files and schema for The Comedy of Errors under a Creative Commons BY-NC 3.0 license. The committee sought entries featuring new means of displaying, representing, and exploring this data in the most exciting API, interface, visualization, data-mining project, or other use of The Comedy of Errors XML.

 

The committee is pleased to announce that the winner of the challenge is Patrick Murray-John’s Bill-Crit-O-Matic (http://billcritomatic.org). The runner-up was Doug Reside and Gregory Lord’s Comedy of Errors (http://comedyoferrors.zengrove.com/).

 

Bill-Crit-O-Matic complements the print edition of The Comedy of Errors. By inverting the relation between the commentary and the play text, it takes advantage of the richness of the New Variorum Shakespeare’s data and facilitates engagement with the history of Shakespeare criticism. One can begin using the site by searching the commentary, bibliography, or appendix for words, passages, topics, and scholars and continue by following the scholarly and critical conversations that are opened up by the results.

 

Members remarked that Bill-Crit-O-Matic “recognizes that an NVS edition is a kind of print database, with data structures and relationships that can be rearranged and visualized” and that it sets up “a way of interconnecting the data as conversations between scholars.” The committee found Bill-Crit-O-Matic to be accessible and inviting to students as well as scholars and looks forward to seeing it continue to evolve.

 

Scholars may still freely download these files from GitHub and use this material in their research.

 

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

 

Committee Chair: Alexander C. Y. Huang

Committee Members:

Michael R. Best

Heidi Brayman Hackel

Alan Galey

Richard A. J. Knowles (ex officio)

Katherine A. Rowe

Sarah Werner

Paul Werstine (ex officio) 

 

The Venus & Adonis Dedication

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0499  Wednesday, 5 December 2012

 

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

     Date:         December 4, 2012 5:12:41 PM EST

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Ven. Dedication 

 

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

     Date:         December 5, 2012 12:45:44 AM EST

     Subject:     Re: Ven. Dedication 

 

[3] From:        William Sutton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         December 5, 2012 7:10:29 AM EST

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Ven. Dedication 

 

 

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

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

Date:         December 4, 2012 5:12:41 PM EST

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Ven. Dedication

 

Ian Steere wrote:

 

> So far, there has been no overt response to the

> evidence that there are contrary themes in the

> V & A dedication—and that both were deliberate.

> Given that we have members who will leap with

> alacrity on any perceived weakness of argument

> (and thank God for them), we may take it that

> the premises are solid.

 

I really wouldn’t advise taking silence for assent. There are suggestions that professional Shakespearians hear and read every week that are so silly that they don’t dignify them with a comment. I’m not saying yours is one of these, just offering a caution about interpreting the lack of response.

 

If you’re looking for comments about what professional Shakespearians might find to object to in your expression of your argument, you could start with the terms you use to characterise sexual behaviour, such as “Shakespeare is . . . fully hetero or thereabouts”.

 

One school of thought about sexuality that is widely given credit in Shakespeare studies today is that early modern people didn’t think in terms of being hetero- or homo-sexual. They instead thought in terms of sinful behaviour. A man’s wild afternoon of over-indulgence might include playing games of chance, drinking, smoking tobacco, and sleeping with young male prostitutes.  Such a man might wake up the next day thinking that the last of those activities no more defined him than the other ones did; they were just all sins. That is, there wasn’t for them an available identity of ‘homo-sexual’ or ‘hetero-sexual’, there was just sinful and indulgent behaviour to avoid.

 

This hypothesis about early modern notions of sexuality arises from the writings of Michel Foucault and was popularized in Shakespeare studies by Alan Bray. It is not uncontested (Joseph Cady has useful counter-evidence, for example) but it is the dominant view in Shakespeare studies. Ignoring it and writing as if ‘homo-‘ and ‘hetero-‘ were categories that we can unproblematically apply to the early moderns is likely to make professional Shakespearians take little notice.

 

Lastly, you ask:

 

> . . . why does the V & A dedication convey veiled insults

> and rebuke?

 

To be frank, I wasn’t convinced by your assertion that it does. I just can’t see them.

 

Gabriel Egan

 

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

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

Date:         December 5, 2012 12:45:44 AM EST

Subject:     Re: Ven. Dedication

 

>So far, there has been no overt response to the evidence that 

>there are contrary themes in the V & A dedication—and that 

>both were deliberate. Given that we have members who will 

>leap with alacrity on any perceived weakness of argument 

>(and thank God for them), we may take it that the premises 

>are solid.

 

Very well, I shall leap with Alacrity, and then go to my cabin with Celerity.

 

Ian Steere’s double entendre reading of the V&A dedication is ingenious, and maybe even intriguing, but it is too improbable for serious consideration. What’s the good of a disguised insult if no one gets it? Surely, Wriothesley could not have seen the occult meaning and it is a fair bet that none of his friends did either. Surely, he would not have continued his patronage if he had been so grossly outed and insulted, or if he were the butt of jokes and behind-the-hands sniggering. WS dedicated the later R/L to him, so it is likely that he remained on good terms with Southampton. Shakespeare was capable of much subtlety, but a disguised insult that no one discerned for more than 400 years is a bit of a stretch.

 

Steere’s “scenario,” serves only to underscore the fanciful quality of the conjecture.  Why not go all the way and identify Marlowe as the rival poet?

 

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------

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

Date:         December 5, 2012 7:10:29 AM EST

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Ven. Dedication

 

Hi all,

 

Does the fact that Shakespeare is a distant relative of Southampton through his mother’s family have any bearing perhaps on why he would be his patron?

 

Yours,

William

Lincoln

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0498  Wednesday, 5 December 2012

 

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

Date:         December 5, 2012 1:44:58 AM EST

Subject:     Re: Pop Culture Ref

 

I haven’t seen the movie myself, but it is true that Lincoln was a big “fan” of Shakespeare, once even providing pro bono legal representation to a theatrical troupe facing religious opposition to performance in Illinois. He was also reported to have been brooding over Macbeth just a few days before his death (although to me this sounds just a little too neat to be true).

 

Esther

Book Announcement: Kozintsev’s Shakespeare Films

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0497  Wednesday, 5 December 2012

 

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

Date:         December 5, 2012 11:38:51 AM EST

Subject:     Book Announcement: Kozintsev’s Shakespeare Films

 

Kozintsev’s Shakespeare Films: Russian Political Protest in Hamlet and King Lear

 

By Tiffany Ann Conroy Moore

Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-7135-5
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4766-0028-4
9 photos, notes, bibliography, index
202pp. softcover (6 x 9) 2012

McFarland

 

http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-7135-5

 

About the Book

This book is a study of Grigory Kozintsev’s two cinematic Shakespeare adaptations, Hamlet (Gamlet, 1964), and King Lear (Korol Lir, 1970). The films are considered in relation to the historical, artistic and cultural contexts in which they appear, and in relation to the contributions of Dmitri Shostakovich, who wrote the films’ scores; and Boris Pasternak, whose translations Kozintsev used. The films are analyzed respective to their place in the translation and performance history of Hamlet and King Lear from their first appearances in Tsarist Russian arts and letters. In particular, this study is concerned with the ways in which these plays have been used as a means to critique the government and the country’s problems in an age in which official censorship was commonplace. Kozintsev’s films (as well as his theatrical productions of Hamlet and Lear) continue along this trajectory of protest by providing a vehicle for him and his collaborators to address the oppression, violence and corruption of Soviet society. It was just this sort of covert political protest that finally effected the dissolution and fall of the USSR.

Book Announcement: Shakespeare and the Shrew

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0496  Wednesday, 5 December 2012

 

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

Date:         December 5, 2012 12:11:33 AM EST

Subject:     Book Announcement: Shakespeare and the Shrew

 

Dear colleagues,

 

I am about as pleased as I ever have been about anything to let you know that my book Shakespeare and the Shrew: Performing the Defiant Female Voice is now in print, as part of Palgrave Macmillan’s “Shakespeare Studies” series.

 

Here is the link to Palgrave's site:

<http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=532976>

 

I have identified twelve characters in Shakespeare’s plays as being derived from the theatrical stock type, the ‘shrew’ (who is included and who omitted will most likely generate plenty of argument before we even delve into the content), and looked at both the text and how they have appeared in performances from around the last twenty years.

 

This is the dust jacket blurb:

Whenever Shakespeare wrote a ‘shrew’ into one of his plays he created a character who challenged ideas about acceptable behaviour for a woman. This is as true today as when the plays were first performed. A shrew is a woman who refuses to be quiet when she is told to be, who says things that people do not want to hear. She is constructed to alleviate male anxieties through ridicule, but like so many objects of comedy or derision, she is full of power because of her very ability to generate these anxieties. ‘Shrew’ is supposed to be an insult, but has often been used to describe women enacting behaviour that can be brave, clever, noble or just. This book marries an examination of Shakespeare’s shrews in his plays with their history in recent performance, to investigate our own attitudes to hearing women with defiant voices.

 

Best regards,

Anna Kamaralli

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