Monday, June 3, 2013

Monday June 3 2013

As predicted, I didn’t get the text for All’s Well That Ends Well finished this week but it is on its way.  Next Monday I have to work and the following two Mondays we’ll be in London so next time I’ll have a report on the Shakespeare conference and the All’s Well text. Until then, to you pagans out there, I wish you all a Happy Midsummer!
From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary:
  • Bristol, mentioned in a couple of the Henry plays, was medieval England’s second most important commercial center.
  • British, in spite of being an obvious description (at least to us) of Shakespeare and the people around him, is a word used in only two of his plays, King Lear and Cymbeline.
  • Byzantium, the last entry in the B’s, was mentioned only in Timon of Athens but its fall to the Ottomans in 1453 led to an obsessive fear throughout Shakespeare’s lifetime that Europe would be invaded by the Ottoman Empire.

 Shakespeare sightings:
  • In Roswell, Season Three, Maria says to Liz, “You and Max are totally Romeo and Juliet against the world.”  To which Liz replies: “Actually, Romeo never called last night.”
  • As promised, Shakespeare shows up at the end of Deborah Harkness’ Shadow of Night. Diana doesn’t actually meet him, but her father (also a time traveler) does and claims that he gives Shakespeare the idea to use “Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark”.  The very last chapter is actually told from Shakespeare’s point of view as he starts writing the plays that would make him famous.  Luckily Harkness didn’t present him as a wizard, vampire or demon as she did Christopher Marlowe.
  • In the Friday crossword in Dagens Nyheter one of the clues was about Dustin Hoffman’s brother in Marathon Man, who was evidently a Shakespeare expert.  I haven’t seen the film so I didn’t know his name.
  • Deborah Moggarch, of Hotel Marigold fame, has written a new hotel novel called Heartbreak Hotel. Small gentle referrals to Shakespeare are scattered throughout the story, mainly in connection to the congenial aging actor Buffy who has transformed from “a lithe Hotspur to a portly Falstaff”. He was afraid that his son wanted to get rid of him since he was “a querulous, doddering King Lear, a part for which he had secretly prepared for years and never been offered.” Subtle quotes find their way into the narration, for example, “Actors may strut and fret upon the stage but they were basically children dressing up in costumes.” It’s quite a charming novel.

 Further this week:

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