Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday October 29 2012

We finished reading As You Like It yesterday so the coming week will be devoted to reading the intro and Bloom’s analysis.  The two movies we have will be our film fare next weekend.  After that….well, according to the general chronology, Hamlet is next, as I mentioned before, but not only am I a little afraid of Hamlet, we have about 20 movies and a lot of analysis so it will be a maaaajor project.  I think it will have to wait until the New Year.  So we’ll break our own chronological rules and skip Hamlet for the time being.  But that’s the future! This is now….

From Gregory Doran's Shakespeare Almanac:
  • October 25 is St. Crispin’s and St. Crispian’s day and the Battle of Agincourt took place on this day in 1415. If Henry V didn’t really say, “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers…” he should have.  He undoubtedly would have if he had known some guy was going to write a play about him nearly 200 years later, making them both famous forever.
  • On the very same day (Doran neglects to tell us which year) a neighbor, Richard Quinney, wrote to Shakespeare asking to borrow £30. That was a lot of moolah in those days.  Doran doesn’t tell us, either, if Quinney got the loan.
  • On October 27, 1607, let’s hope Shakespeare was outside and that it wasn’t cloudy because Halley’s Comet passed.

Shakespeare sightings:
  • Richard Dawkins, in his The Greatest Show on Earth, the Evidence for Evolution he writes “What a piece of work is the mammalian skeleton.” Any guesses on the real quote and which play? Bonus question: In which musical was this put to music? Later in the book Dawkins explains that our getting goose bumps is an evolutionary leftover from our hairier ancestors whose hair stood on end (our evolutionary cousins’ hair still does).  One of his examples of when we are moved to such physical response is when we “are haunted by the peerless craftsmanship of a Shakespeare sonnet”.
  • In the movie Wit Emma Thompson’s character, the literary scholar Vivien Bearing, is told by her professor (Eileen Aitkins) that “if you go in for that kind of melodrama, I suggest you take up Shakespeare.” Later the observation was made (by the same professor if memory serves right) that John Donne’s poetry “makes Shakespeare sound like a Hallmark card”.  Well, these two quotes are quite insulting, I must say.  But they were funny in the movie, which in spite of its title, needs as much comic relief as it can get.
  • Sadly for the Swedish world of theater, actor/director Göran Stangertz died yesterday.  His debut as a director was a pop musical version of Twelfth Night.

Further, since the last report:
·         Finished reading aloud with Hal: As You Like It.
·         Received a lovely gift from my friend Snazzy Jazzy: a bookend with a cut-out portrait of Shakespeare. Thank you!
·         Shakespeare Calling follower Harold Berglund’s art exhibit continues.  Have you spotted the Shakespeare connection?

·         A review of Marxists Shakespeares, (editor Jean E. Howard et. al.)
·         This Monday Report

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