Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday May 12 2014

There’s not much for me to boast about this week. The text on Coriolanus is getting written in fits and starts but it is not done. It’s very complicated, at least my brain thinks so.  Maybe next week...

From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary.
  • Lappland (which Hal and I have visited and seen the reindeer along the road and have been eaten alive by the mosquitoes mentioned in D&F) was in Shakespeare’s day inhabited by “a mysterious people at the top of the world.” The English traded with Russia though and would have been in contact with the Lapps (samer in their own language and these days in Swedish as well) quite regularly. Lapland was known for its sorcery. This is mentioned in A Comedy of Errors.
  • Lear was not invented by Shakespeare but has figured in many legends. One who was instrumental in establishing it was Geoffrey of Monmouth (of King Arthur and Merlin fame although D&F don’t mention this). We don’t know if Lear really existed or where his name comes from; possibly Leir Castre (Leir’s town), the Celtic sea god Lir or the Welsh tales of Lyr.

Shakespeare sightings:
  • Follower of Shakespeare Calling, IA, sent me this message: "I read in the magazine "Historia" yesterday that they have found two new portraits of Shakespeare. Exciting ;-)"  Exciting indeed! I Googled it and came up with this link .  Thank you, IA!
  • LL-förlaget, which is a Swedish publisher of Easy Readers in Swedish, is celebrating Shakespeare’s 450th birthday by publishing an easy reader of Romeo and Juliet.
  • The Pickwick Papers is not my favourite Charles Dickens novel (I love Dickens) and it is taking me a long time to get through it. On page 541 Shakespeare is mentioned but I really don’t understand why. It seems that somebody is calling somebody else “Shakespeare” for no reason that I can see, but there you have it. It’s a Shakespeare sighting anyway.
  • How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran is, in spite of the somewhat possibly misleading title, about a very funny and spot on “strident feminist” who only slightly connects to Shakespeare by mentioning Rabelaisian and Falstaffian people who really enjoy “sensory delights”.
  • There was a long article in Dagens Nyheter about the Globe’s wandering (global!) of Hamlet (directed by Dominic Dromgoole and Bill Buckhurst) which has now reached Sweden – but not Stockholm! It’s in Ystad (of Wallander – Kenneth Branagh, you know, who should be doing Shakespeare! -  fame) far away from here. The critic was not terribly impressed and suggested we go see something at the Globe instead.  Well, yeah. But this Hamlet really ought to come to Stockholm too. I want to see it!
  • My colleague M has given me an article from Svenska Dagbladet – another contribution to the celebration of the 450th anniversary.  It’s a long article that wanders from his glove making father, to his turbulent times, to his love of language. Thank you, M!
Further since last time:
Posted this week:
  • This Monday report.

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