Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday November 11 2013

 Finally our Lear marathon is over.  The movies have been watched and reviewed, my text is done, at least the rough draft.  Next week, for sure, barring unforeseen happenings, it will be ready to post here. With all the buildup you’re probably expecting something extraordinary. I don’t know about that but I can promise you a bit of good old Lear pathos.  But that’s next week.

From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary.
  • Eglamore is the name of a nobleman who helps Silvia flee from Milan in Two Gentlemen from Verona, then runs away. It could be a reference to a figure in the Merlin legend in which there is a runaway knight called Eglame.
  • Elsinore, as we all know, is the castle in Hälsingör in Denmark (my computer can’t make the Danish ö so you’ll have to put up with the Swedish one) in which Hamlet takes place. It’s a real castle. I’ve been there.  It’s probably not quite the same now though as it was in Hamlet’s day. Or rather, Shakepeare’s.

Shakespeare sightings:
  • Dagens Nyheter had a report about a cultural figure named Svante Grundberg in honor of his 70th birthday.  When asked what he’s reading now the answer was, “Before I read Shakespeare, Scott Fitzgerald, Kafka and all that jazz. Now it’s mostly biographies of musicians and old Hollywood oddballs.”
  • The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths started out as an interesting detective novel starring an archeologist who runs across a case requiring knowledge of Shakespeare. The quotes “A little touch of Harry in the night” (Henry V) and “A man may see how the world goes with no eyes” (King Lear) are used and volumes of Shakespeare are lying around the characters’ bookshelves.  Unfortunately this, the landscape and the history were the highlights.  The story itself was uninteresting in the final analysis.
  • Open City by Teju Cole is about a scholar who got a poor grade in a Shakespeare seminar but learned bits of the Sonnets.
  • Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt is starting out with a bang. I’ve only read the introduction so far, and Shakespeare has only been mentioned once as Greenblatt’s primary interest, but already I’m excited about it. It’s about the lost manuscript of Lucretia’s The Nature of Things being found and becoming instrumental in kicking off the Renaissance.  I’m sure there will is Shakespeare to come. And  I think I’ll have to start a Stephen Greenblatt fan club. 

Further this week:
  • Watched: two films of Lear, the one with Patrick Magee and the one with Paul Scofield.
  • Wrote and posted: reviews of same.
  • Ordered from Bokus: Sleep of Death by Philip Gooden, a detective novel that takes place in Shakespeare’s London. The main character is a member of the Chamberlain’s Men.  Should be interesting.
  • Ordered from Bokus: Shakespeare’s London on Five Groats a Day by Richard Tames.  Also sounds interesting. We’ll have to start saving our groats!  

Posted this week:

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