Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday September 23 2013

This week we were reached by the sad news that an old and dear friend has died. I have known LM since I was a child. In recent years we have had more regular contact and though he was not a blog follower officially, he kept track of what went on here and we had some interesting Shakespeare discussions. LM, you will be sorely missed in many ways.

From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary.
  • Cobham, Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester, supposedly dabbled in witchcraft which wasn’t a smart thing to do in the 15th century. D and F think that Shakespeare portrayed her in a negative light. Maybe so but not more than all of his characters and she had a noble moment in Henry VI Part Two when she was paraded through town stripped of all signs of wealth and status, but not her own dignity.
  • Colmekill is a small island of the Inner Hebrides where Scottish kings were buried, including the historical Macbeth. The island was also sacred to the Druids. The Protestants of the 16th century desecrated the site so that we no longer know exactly where Macbeth is buried.

 Shakespeare sightings:
  • Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs novels are among my favorites and in Among the Mad the tragic villain quotes Shakespeare:
    • “Toil and trouble, toil and trouble.
    • “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.”
  • My Own Private Idaho was on TV this week and DN had a little notice about it: “One of the most talked about American indie films of the 90’s. A strange, fanciful, uninhibited narration of two male prostitutes with Shakespearian pretensions. None of those involved get better than they are in this film. Definitely not River Phoenix who with this role gave narcolepsy a face (and who died a James Dean death shortly thereafter).”
  • Dagens Nyheter also distributed its fall theater section and there is plenty of Shakespeare going on, including some live broadcasts of theatrical performances. See also today’s “Keeping up with Shakespeare” under “Ruby’s Reflections”.
  • In the film Cry-Baby Grandma Polly Bergen tells unhappy Alison, who is having romance problems, “Heavy is the head that wore the crown last night” or something to that effect.
  • Steven Daly, in his text about Cry-Baby in Johnny Depp a Retrospective, described the film as “garnished with a variation on the old Romeo and Juliet theme”.
  • The novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer had many Shakespeare references (see “Monday Report September 2 2013”) but in the movie you had to really be on the alert to see the one reference to Hamlet flash by.
  • Today’s Dagens Nyheter had a review of Hamlet at the Uppsala Stadsteatern. The reviewer was not charmed.  In fact it’s called a “crash landing” and the reviewer felt only “indifference for the collection of junkies, zombies and astronauts.” Oh dear. And we just booked our tickets.  Still, I don’t always agree with reviews. It sounds like it could be interesting…I’ll let you know in November.

 Further this week:
  • Finished writing the rough draft of text for: Timon of Athens.
  • Wrote for Ruby’s Reflections: “Keeping up with Shakespeare”.
  • Received: quarterly magazine from the Swedish Shakespeare Society.  If you live in Sweden and haven’t joined, I recommend it.
  • Ordered tickets to Hamlet in Uppsala in November. Actually our friend YW did all the work.

 Posted this week:
  • On Ruby’s Reflections: “Keeping up with Shakespeare.”
  • This Monday report.

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