No book report this time – my head is filled with Cymbeline and the Romans. I just completed the rough draft of my text this morning but I have a feeling there’s a lot of work left to do on it. Still, I hope to be able to post it next week. We’ll see. In the meantime, here’s a short Monday report.
From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary.
- Norway is a beautiful country with an interesting history. There is a long history of war and trade with England but: “By the time of the Renaissance...[there] was a curious kind of kinship with the Danes and the Norwegians, as the English had absorbed the settlers, traded in the Baltic and was no longer threatened by Norway except as part of the soon-to-decline Danish nation.” The Norway of Hamlet we are told, is “utter fiction”.
- Oberon is the King of the Fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and is according to some legends the son of Julius Caesar and Morgan La Fey (which sort of makes him King Arthur’s step-nephew and step-brother to Mordred. How very complicated...)
- The Lie is a novel by Helen Dunmore about Daniel, a young man from Cornwall who returns after World War One. He remembers finding in the library of his rich friend’s father The Complete Works of Shakespeare. Unfortunately, though Daniel comes to love literature and often quotes from memory, no more Shakespeare shows up in the novel. It’s very good, nevertheless.
- Henning Mankell, the hugely popular and widely read author of, among much else, the Wallander series (done on TV with Kenneth Branagh in the title role in the British version), has sadly been stricken with cancer but is after rigorous treatment feeling quite fit. In a big article about him in Dagens Nyheter he lists Shakespeare’s plays among his theatre favourites. I wish Henning Mankell full recovery and long life!
- In the novel Oh Dear Silvia by Dawn French, the mad sister Jo remembers “being taught ridiculous unbelievable Shakespeare with doppelgangers in the stories, and I can remember thinking it was an impossible word and an impossible notion.”
Further since last time:
- Wrote: The rough draft on the text on Cymbeline.
Posted this week:
- This Monday report.