For us, September has been a calm Shakespeare month. My alter ego Rhuddem Gwelin has taken over my head and has been busy finishing An Isle Full of Noises – the Merlin Chronicles Volume 3 in which Shakespeare plays a small but important role, so I suppose one could say that’s the big Shakespeare project for the moment.
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- In Keith Thomas’s The Ends of Life – roads to fulfillment in early modern England he writes, ‘A persistent theme in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama was the dread of personal annihilation after death, the fear that life might indeed be a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing.’ There were many other references in the first half of the book (see the June report) but I had to read a couple of other books before now finishing this one.
- Dagens Nyheter
- mentions the production going on in Helsingör in Denmark of Hamlet.
- has a review of the Swedish translation of Ali Smith’s Autumn and mentions that Shakespeare has always been important for Smith. In this one the characters go to a production of The Tempest. It sounds like something I’d like to read. There, added to my to-read list at the local library.
- has a little notice about a podcast about Shakespeare and politics. The notice ends with, ‘Not surprising that the British bard has a few things to say about us in our time.’
- In Stephanie Butland’s The Lost for Words Bookshop Loveday works in the bookshop of the title.
- Book requests fall into four categories. The first is ‘the misremembered/inaccurate. (I’d like a copy of Any Which Way But Loose by William Shakespeare, please.’ ‘Could you mean Much Ado About Nothing?’ ‘No, I don’t think so. It’s a play. Could you look in the drama section?’)’.
- Archie, the owner, has sold many partial Complete Works of Shakespeare and in the one Loveday now has it’s Romeo and Juliet that’s missing.
- Archie jokes that he has several passports (it might not be a joke) and Loveday laughs and says, ‘What, if the second-hand-bookshop mafia comes after you because they’ve finally realised you were the one who stole the missing first folio Complete Works of Shakespeare…?’
- Loveday has a messy love life and reckons that having a normal one is about as likely as a copy of Pericles signed by Shakespeare turning up.
- In The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve by Stephen Greenblatt the author writes:
- ‘There are more species in heaven and earth than were dreamed of in the Bible.’ Don’t you just love Stephen Greenblatt?
- When he was in Iran for a Shakespeare congress, he visited what might be described as a Garden of Eden, at least a restful green place of water in the midst of a great desolate desert.
- ‘When Shakespeare sat down to write King Lear, he had before him…’ a variety of sources and Greenblatt concludes, ‘ Do we think for a moment that Shakespeare was not the author of his great tragedy? Would we refer to Shakespeare as ‘the redactor’ of King Lear?’ In the discussion of how many people actually sat down to write the first books of the Old Testament.
Further since last time:
- Finished writing (well, my alter ego Rhuddem Gwelin did): An Isle Full of Noises – the Merlin Chronicles Volume 3 in which Shakespeare and Merlin are friends.
- Invited: to give my talk ‘Shakespeare and magic’ in November at Picnicon, the sci fi/fantasy day at the Västerås library.
- Booked: tickets to Shakespeare in Love at Stockholm’s Stadsteater with Hal and friends MR, AB and LR in December.
The insult for today, 1 October 2018: ‘Damn her, lewd minx! O, damn her!’ Othello. That’s not an insult. It’s a misogynist tragedy.
Posted this month
- This report
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