MV Dialog

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.312  Saturday, 24 September 2016

 

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

Date:         September 23, 2016 at 6:03:29 PM EDT

Subject:    MV Dialog

 

John Drakakis and I have exchanged a few emails regarding my last post, Bassanio as Essex [cont3]. He has given me permission to post those exchanges. They follow, first to latest.

 

Bill Blanton

 

 

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

Sent: 20 September 2016 20:37

To: John Drakakis

Subject: Re: MV Dialog

 

Attached is the next installment in the Bassanio as Essex discussion. I plan on sending it in to Hardy late next week.

 

I look forward to learning more about what you consider to be "evidence."

 

Respectfully,

Bill

 

 

On Sep 19, 2016, at 06:34 AM, John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote:

 

Thanks for this Bill,

 

Your gloss on Jason is historically accurate in literary terms BUT the conclusions you draw from it re Essex have no basis, I’m afraid. The Jason ref is a common one and is in line with the major source narrative. It is quite improbable that Shakespeare would have had this kind of intimate knowledge of the Elizabeth-Essex relationship (that you distort in order to fit your own speculations). You forget that it was Elizabeth who was the centre of power, and 1596-7 (the date of MV) is not the same as 1601 when the Essex rebellion was quashed and he was executed. The implication of your speculation is that Shakespeare was party to a plot to topple the monarchy, and that this began in 1596-7.  If you consider the ‘literary’ context of the play, then you would find other links that would lead you to very different speculations that have a sounder historical and cultural basis. 

 

I admire your engagement with the play, but I think you need to be protected from speculations that would incur ridicule from the SHAKSPER readership.

 

Cheers

John 

 

 

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

Sent: 18 September 2016 22:19

To: John Drakakis

Subject: MV Dialog

 

John

 

Thank you for your remarks and your concern.

 

I will go ahead and post this installment. Please feel free to use your email as your reply, including the last sentence. However, I would be grateful if you would clarify a few points.

 

How is the Jason reference in MV in line with Il Pecorone? Bullough’s translation does not mention Jason.

 

I have taken the information regarding the Essex-Elizabeth relationship from Lacy’s book Robert, Earl of Essex. To what distortions do you refer?

 

Respectfully,

Bill

 

 

On Sep 21, 2016, at 04:55 AM, John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote:

 

Thanks for this Bill,

 

In answer to your first question, I think you need to cast your net wider than Il Pecorone.  The Jason image was fairly common I think, and the golden fleece story well-known.  For example, see the beginning of Act 2 of Newton's translation of Seneca's Medea, that was widely circulated and provided (along with other Seneca plays) both a template and a fund of images, not to mention tragic form, for later drama.

 

On your second question:  taking material from one historicaal source - no matter how reliable - and grafting it onto the play raises all the questions that I raised in my last email. Moving material from one domain to another and then claiming a connection on the sole basis of possibility falls far short of the protocols that are needed to establish 'evidence'.  I think when you do this you 'distort' the play, and that was my point.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Cheers

 

John

 

PS I haven't posted this on SHAKSPER mainly because it gives the lunatic fringe too much of an opportunity to parade its ignorance.  Your case needs to be taken seriously, and I'll try and find ways to key your concerns into a larger (and I think more productive) debate about how we connect 'history' to drama in this period. 

 

 

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

Sent: 22 September 2016 22:42

To: John Drakakis

Subject: Re: MV Dialog

 

John

 

I am grateful for your answers to my questions.

 

Please do not be concerned about my being ridiculed. It have expected it, and am surprised that it hasn't yet materialized.

 

Even the lunatic fringe might benefit from this more structured approach. And others than the fringe do read our posts; maybe something we say will trigger more contributions from them.

 

So please feel free to include these email exchanges as your reply to my latest post. Or maybe you could give me permission to include them in my next post.

 

Respectfully,

 

Bill

 

 

On Sep 23, 2016, at 04:55 AM, John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote:

 

Include them in your next post Bill,

 

Cheers

 

John

 

 

 

Shakespeare for Kindle

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.311  Saturday, 24 September 2016

 

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

Date:         September 24, 2016 at 8:26:39 AM EDT

Subject:    Q: Shakespeare for Kindle

 

I’m looking for a Kindle edition of Shakespeare. Any opinions about which is the most readable?

 

Thanks,

Jeff

 

 

 

Bowdlerizing the Bard

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.310  Friday, 23 September 2016

 

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

Date:         September 19, 2016 at 4:35:44 PM EDT

Subject:    Bowdlerizing the Bard

 

I hear from my friend Joyce that King’s College, Cambridge has a new is play on Bowdlerized Shakespeare.  “Out, crimson spot!” Featuring Thackeray’s denatured version given to his daughter.  Wonder if they knew about trigger warnings and microaggressions in that less-enlightened time?  I can think of campuses where something like it would be much in demand today, though the prime target of today’s Bowdlerizers is no longer Shakespeare, who was purged en bloc years ago, but Wikipedia itself.

 

Ward Elliott 

 

 

https://kcctreasures.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/bowdlerizing-the-bard/

 

Bowdlerizing the Bard

 

According to the OED, the etymology of the verb “to bowdlerize”, meaning “to expurgate (a book or writing), by omitting or modifying words or passages considered indelicate or offensive”, comes from Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825), “who in 1818 published an edition of Shakespeare, ‘in which those words and expressions are omitted which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family’”.

 

In the collection of books bequeathed to King’s College by its sometime Provost George Thackeray (1777-1850), a cousin of the novelist William Makepeace Thackeray, is a copy of the fifth edition of Thomas Bowdler’s eight-volume The Family Shakspeare (1827):

 

Title of page of vol. 1 of Thomas Bowdler’s The Family Shakspeare (London: Printed for Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, Paternoster-Row, 1827) Thackeray.J.63.1

 

Some of the alterations to Shakespeare’s plays made by Bowdler include, for example, Lady Macbeth’s line, “Out, damned spot!” changed to “Out, crimson spot!” (Macbeth, V.1); in Henry IV, Part 2 the prostitute Doll Tearsheet is omitted from the story altogether; and in all plays the exclamation “God!” is replaced with “Heavens!”

 

Below is the scan of a line spoken by Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet (II.iv) as it appeared in the Fourth Folio of Shakespeare’s plays (1685) along with the expurgated version printed by Bowdler (vol. 8, p. 168):

 

Spot the difference: Mercutio’s “the bawdy hand of the dial is now upon the prick of noon” has been changed to “the hand of the dial is now upon the point of noon”.

 

Thackeray’s obituarist writes that “In his discipline generally there was something of almost Roman firmness … Yet under the rigid manner lay the kindest sympathy”. While his library included the First, Second and Fourth Folios of Shakespeare’s plays – as well as later editions – it is interesting that this is the edition he decided to present to his daughter, who recorded the gift on the fly-leaf of all eight volumes: “Mary Ann Eliz.th Thackeray the gift of her father”. But this is perhaps more a reflection on the times than on Thackeray himself.

 

All these books, along with many other treasures, will be on display at King’s Library’s free Shakespeare exhibition as part of Open Cambridge on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th September, 10.30am – 4pm:

 

http://www.opencambridge.cam.ac.uk/news/kings-college-library-and-archives-open-their-doors

 

We hope to see many of you there!

 

IJ

 

 

 

Novel: The Hamlet Paradigm

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.309  Friday, 23 September 2016

 

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

Date:         September 20, 2016 at 2:26:12 AM EDT

Subject:    The Hamlet Paradigm

 

I’d like to announce the publication of my novel The Hamlet Paradigm, a thriller set in Japan. Custom Book Publications, a small niche publisher based in Hong Kong has just released it as a paperback and eBook.

 

I have interwoven into the plot all sorts of Shakespearean elements—well, the ones I’ve found as I’ve done my research! Especially, of course, the sun! Also, now, you will see Sirius in the novel (I’m serious!) Also the ideas of Giordano Bruno. I had a ton of fun with it, and I’m delighted to share it all with you. (My research continues to be all free and you can check out my articles on Academia.edu and Slideshare)

 

Here is the link to the publisher's website:

http://www.custombookpublications.com/books.htm

 

(My book has the mystical fox mask on the cover!)

 

Thanks always,

 

Marianne Kimura

Associate Professor

Kyoto Women's University

Kyoto, Japan

 

 

 

Novel: Ian McEwan's Nutshell

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.308  Friday, 23 September 2016

 

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

Date:         September 21, 2016 at 12:10:36 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Novel

 

Anyone who likes Shakespearean novels might enjoy the new Ian McEwan, Nutshell - a version of Hamlet from inside the womb.  It’s brilliantly done and very funny, in its ghastly way.  With a lush-ous Gertrude.

 

Julia

 

 

 

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