Book Notice: Who Hears in Shakespeare?

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0034  Wednesday, 30 January 2013

 

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

Date:         January 29, 2013 9:14:30 PM EST

Subject:     Book Notice: Who Hears in Shakespeare?

 

Laury Magnus and I have recently published Who Hears in Shakespeare? Auditory Worlds on Stage and Screen. Our publisher, Roman and Littlefield, is making it available to SHAKSPER subscribers at a discount price, available at the Rowman and Littlefield website listed below.

 

Just as a very small biographical note, Michael Shurgot, Yu Jim Ko, and I were all in the very first NEH summer seminar that Ralph Cohen offered at James Madison. And Laury was in the next one, if my sequence is right. It might be interesting (to Ralph for sure) to tally the number of books that have been inspired by things that Ralph put in motion—we have dedicated our volume to him.

 

Who Hears in Shakespeare? Auditory Worlds on Stage and Screen. 

Edited by Laury Magnus and Walter W. Cannon. 

Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2012.

 

This volume, examining the ways in which Shakespeare’s plays are designed for hearers as well as spectators, has been prompted by recent explorations of the auditory dimension of early modern drama by scholars such as Andrew Gurr, Bruce Smith, and James Hirsh. To look at the acoustic world of the plays involves a real paradigm shift that changes how we understand virtually everything about Shakespeare’s plays: from the architecture of the buildings, to playing spaces, to blocking, and to larger interpretative issues, including our understanding of character based on players’ responses to what they hear, mishear, or refuse to hear. Who Hears in Shakespeare? Auditory Worlds on Stage and Screen is comprised of three sections on Shakespeare’s texts and performance history: “The Poetics of Hearing and the Early Modern Stage”; “Metahearing: Hearing, Knowing, and Audiences, Onstage and Off”; and a final section entitled “Transhearing: Hearing, Whispering, Overhearing, and Eavesdropping in Film and other Media.”

 

Chapters by noted scholars explore the complex reactions and interactions of onstage and offstage audiences and show how Shakespearean stagecraft, actualized both on stage and/or adapted on screen, revolves around various situations and conventions of hearing, such as soliloquies, asides, eavesdropping, overhearing, and stage whispers. In short, Who Hears in Shakespeare? enunciates Shakespeare’s nuanced, powerful stagecraft of hearing. The volume ends with Stephen Booth’s Afterword, a meditation on hearing in Shakespeare that returns us to consider Shakespearean “audiences” and their responses to what they hear—or don’t hear—in Shakespeare’s plays.

 

 

Contributors:

 

David Bevington 

Stephen Booth

Anthony Burton

Walter Cannon

Gayle Gaskill

Andrew Gurr

James Hirsh

Jennifer Holl

Bernice W. Kliman

Laury Magnus

Erin Minear

Nova Myhill

Phillipa Sheppard

Kathleen Kalpin Smith

 

 

About the Editors:

 

Laury Magnus is Professor of Humanities at the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY.

 

Walter W. Cannon is Professor of English at Central College in Pella, Iowa.

Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2012

 

 

Save 20% with Promo Code LEX20SEP11*

Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group

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All orders from individuals must be prepaid / prices are subject to change without notice / Billing in US dollars / Please make checks payable to Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group

 

http://www.rowmanlittlefield.com

1-800-462-6420 

 

Rowman & Littlefield, 15200 NBN Way,

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Cloth 978-1-61147-474-9 

Who Hears in Shakespeare? Auditory Worlds on Stage and Screen

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Electronic 978-1-61147-475-6 

Who Hears in Shakespeare? Auditory Worlds on Stage and Screen

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Pale Fire

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0033  Monday, 28 January 2013

 

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

Date:         January 28, 2013 10:05:14 AM EST

Subject:     Pale Fire

 

Those of us who have read SHAKSPER for years know that Charles Weinstein doesn’t like Simon Russell Beale’s performances. That’s fine, of course, even for those of us (like me) who think he is a superb actor. What continues to perplex me is why Weinstein goes on going to see him perform when he knows, from past experiences, that he is very unlikely to enjoy the result. I happened to think the Timon production was magnificent – and, in the interests of full disclosure, I wrote the programme note for the production. But if I knew I was almost certainly going to dislike the central performance, especially in a play as dominated by its central role as Timon is, I would save myself the irritation of watching, even though opportunities to see Timon don’t come round too often. There are a number of actors whose work I find I have consistently disliked (some may be disliked by Weinstein too) and so I don’t buy tickets to see them anymore. Professional theatre reviewers have no choice – it is their job to watch productions they have reasonable expectations of loathing. But for Weinstein and me, as mere amateurs, the choice to save our money and avoid raising our blood pressure seems entirely rational. Or am I missing something?

 

Sex and Gender in Shakespeare’s England

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0032  Monday, 28 January 2013

 

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

Date:         January 28, 2013 10:40:27 AM EST

Subject:     Sex and Gender in Shakespeare’s England

 

Last week’s posting on my blog, Sex and Gender in Shakespeare’s Englandwww.jinnywebber.com/blog, is entitled “The Boy Actor and Sex.” Part 2 of that topic will appear this week. Past posts appear beneath the current one, so far four in all. 

 

You’re welcome to have a look! Postings every Friday.

 

Many thanks,

Jinny Webber

www.jinnywebber.com

www.shakespeareantrilogy.com

 

BritGrad 2013 Conference Registration

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0031  Monday, 28 January 2013

 

From:        British Graduate Shakespeare C <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         January 28, 2013 4:03:10 AM EST

Subject:     BritGrad 2013 Conference Registration

 

Dear All,

 

Registration is now open for the Fifteenth Annual British Graduate Shakespeare Conference, June 6-8 2013. We welcome abstracts from graduate students on any topic in the field of Shakespeare and Renaissance Studies. Undergraduate students in their final two years of study are also invited to attend the conference as auditors. 

 

BritGrad is run by students for students, and it provides a friendly and stimulating academic forum in which graduate students from all over the world can present their research and meet together in an active centre of Shakespeare scholarship. The setting for this exciting conference is the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute, in the heart of Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon. This provides a uniquely located campus base from which to visit the Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare’s Birthplace and historical properties, and the specialised research libraries of the Shakespeare Institute and the Shakespeare Centre archives. 

 

This year’s conference will feature talks by Martin Wiggins (The Shakespeare Institute) and Catherine Richardson (University of Kent), Jonathan Slinger (Royal Shakespeare Company), and Mairi Macdonald (Shakespeare Birthplace Trust), among other plenary speakers. Delegates also have the opportunity to attend the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Hamlet, directed by David Farr and starring Jonathan Slinger, at a group-booking price on the 6 June evening. Lunch will be provided on each day, and there will also be a dance and a drinks reception for the delegates. 

 

We invite abstracts of approximately 200 words for papers twenty minutes in length (3,000 words or less) on subjects relating to Shakespeare and/or Renaissance studies. Delegates wishing to give papers must register by Friday 25 April; auditors must register by Thursday 23 May

 

Online registration is now open here:  http://britgrad.wordpress.com/registration . 

 

A copy of the registration form is also attached to this email, and is downloadable as well from  http://britgrad.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/britgrad-registration-2013.pdf 

 

Please see the attached Call for Papers for further information. A printable poster is also attached, for university departmental contacts to display at their institutions. Due to the growing success of this annual conference, we strongly encourage early registration to ensure a place on the conference programme.

 

We look forward to seeing you at another successful conference.

 

All the best,

The BritGrad Committee 

 

The Fifteenth Annual British Graduate Shakespeare Conference

6-8 June 2013

The Shakespeare Institute

Mason Croft, Church Street

Stratford-upon-Avon WARKS

CV37 6HP

 

Blog: www.britgrad.wordpress.com   

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/BritGrad-2013/107650962644721

Twitter: www.twitter.com/britgrad

 

BritGrad 2013 Poster: pdf  BritGrad Poster 2013

 

BritGrad 2013 CFP: pdf  BritGrad 2013 CFP

 

BritGrad 2013 Registration: pdf  BritGrad 2013 Registration

 

Pale Fire

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0030  Sunday, 27 January 2013

 

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

     Date:         January 18, 2013 3:53:43 PM EST

     Subject:     RE: SHAKSPER: Pale Fire 

 

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

     Date:         January 18, 2013 4:10:03 PM EST

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Pale Fire 

 

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

     Date:         January 18, 2013 8:46:52 PM EST

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Pale Fire 

 

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

     Date:         January 18, 2013 11:16:10 PM EST

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Pale Fire 

 

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

     Date:         January 18, 2013 11:22:31 PM EST

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Pale Fire 

 

[6] From:        Peter Hyland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         January 19, 2013 1:06:56 PM EST

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Pale Fire 

 

 

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

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

Date:         January 18, 2013 3:53:43 PM EST

Subject:     RE: SHAKSPER: Pale Fire 

 

For what it’s worth, I saw the production of Timon at the National last Aug. and loved it. However, I have not read the review in question. 

 

All the best,

Evelyn Gajowski

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

 

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

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

Date:         January 18, 2013 4:10:03 PM EST

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Pale Fire

 

Congratulations to Charles Weinstein for striking a few sparks—though I must say I’ve also enjoyed some of the Urkowitz-Downs debate.

 

Gabriel Egan typically writes much better than the author I will call the Jargonist, whose words appeared on this list. But his defense of the Old Order is a bit breathtaking. It seems to me that he calls bad writing good, good bad, and confusion clear. As for his particular criticisms of Weinstein, one could argue that “sybaritic” did not rightly apply to junk-bond selling, but when it comes to snorting coke and hitting on nubile women I think it fits perfectly. As for co-optation, maybe British usage differs, but in American Weinstein’s is fine.

 

Back to the Jargonist, who wants to avoid “passive analysis”, presumably in favor of “active”, which is apparently synonymous with “ideological”. Since the “interpretation” will not be done, but “taken account of”, I’m not sure whose interpretation, or active analysis is involved. The “presence of the Italian world” in England will be seen not as an influence but as a generator of “processes” like appropriation and transformation—which would seem to resemble influence. This “presence” will also generate “ideological opposition”. How would one oppose the “presence of the Italian world”—ideologically or otherwise? This generation of opposition is accomplished through “a continuous dialectical interchange of compliance and subversion”. Compliance and subversion of the presence? This is the passage Egan believes is perfectly clear, at least to the properly educated.

 

Perhaps one could rephrase it: Italian stereotypes, tropes, plots, characters, etc., turn up in Elizabethan writing. The writers adapt these to suit their own purposes.

 

Best wishes,

David Bishop

 

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

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

Date:         January 18, 2013 8:46:52 PM EST

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Pale Fire

 

“Sybaritic:...characterized by or loving luxury or sensuous pleasure: to wallow in sybaritic splendor.”—Dictionary.com 

 

“Co-optation:...To neutralize or win over (an independent minority, for example) through assimilation into an established group or culture: co-opt rebels by giving them positions of authority.”  --Free Online Dictionary 

 

“Free-floating veneer” was paradoxical. 

 

I don’t know Simon Russell Beale and therefore have no “personal dislike” of him. I simply think he’s a bad actor.

 

--Charles Weinstein

 

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------

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

Date:         January 18, 2013 11:16:10 PM EST

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Pale Fire

 

Gabriel Egan finds the passage quoted by David Bishop as an example of turgid tenurespeak to be a model of lucidity, but he offers a paraphrase which I assume is intended to lampoon the original:

 

“Granted, at 104 words it’s a bit long to be one sentence. But it’s pretty clear in its meaning, surely. I understand it to say that previous studies have been dull collections of facts and phenomena, while this one is informed by high French theory of the late 1960s, specifically Kristevan notions about intertextuality that go beyond simple source spotting and engage the concept of a dialectic interaction rather than merely observing that ‘A is found in B’. The only bit of jargon it uses that perhaps falls outside what any English Literature graduate should be expected to know is “positivistic-deterministic hermeneutics”, and it’s not unreasonable to use a dash of undergraduate-level epistemology in this context.”

 

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------

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

Date:         January 18, 2013 11:22:31 PM EST

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Pale Fire

 

>I assume Larry Weiss, David Bishop and Bruce Young are aware 

>that the production of Timon that Charles is reviewing with his 

>usual hauteur has been running since last July and has been 

>extensively reviewed in the British press, not to mention the 

>NYT and the New Yorker. Numerous descriptions are thus 

>available online. To Charles’s customary distress, virtually all 

>reviewers have praised Beale’s performance.

 

That doesn't mean that the emperor isn't naked.  

 

In any event, even Charles praised Russell Beale’s performance; he said “given his peculiar harmony with the role, and despite his rhetorical mediocrity and emotional constipation, this is the most adequate work that I have seen Beale do. He is a tolerable actor for a second-rate Shakespeare play.” High praise indeed, weighing all the factors.

 

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------

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

Date:         January 19, 2013 1:06:56 PM EST

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Pale Fire

 

Larry Weiss thinks that Charles Weinstein’s review of Timon of Athens is well-written and that if it is “even half accurate” (much virtue in if) most of us would dislike the production. Bruce Young is also impressed by it and asks for a thoughtful response to it. David Bishop provides an example of bad writing to show that Weinstein’s is “a breath of fresh air.” It’s not possible to tell about Bishop, but neither of the other two saw the production. Duncan Salkeld has provided the kind of response Young asks for, but as Arthur Lindley points out, there are many reviews available online, not all of them badly written, and hardly any of them concurring with Weinstein’s position. What is worrying about these responses (and I would add Harry Berger Jr’s that Weinstein’s review is “outstanding” and Ros Barber’s that it is “well-written”; at least she saw it, though it’s a little sad that because she didn’t like the production either she is not interested in any response to Weinstein), is the assumption that because it is well written it must be valid. But anyone who deals extensively with literature is well aware that something can be “brilliantly written” and still be pernicious nonsense: reread the account of Beale’s Timon in the penultimate paragraph, which elides the distinction between Beale’s personality and his performance. Perhaps those with shorter memories than mine should search the SHAKSPER archives. They’ll find that some years ago Weinstein frequently submitted reviews to this forum, almost all of them as relentlessly reductive as this one, and many of them apparently with the main function of performing this kind of hatchet job on Simon Russell Beale.

 

Peter Hyland

 

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