Monday, August 3, 2015

August 2015

It’s been a month of trying to learn to become a marketing expert. Publishing a book in Sweden and hoping to sell it internationally is truly not an easy task.  Another complication is that it’s summer and it seems the whole world is on holiday, including the publisher. But Shakespeare Calling – the book is out there. Below you will find the links for on-line purchase. Please encourage your local book shops and libraries to buy it! And once again, thank you all for visiting the blog throughout the years and for supporting this project.
It’s also been a month of getting back to the reading of the plays. We’ve finished The Life and Death of King John and the text will go up today. We’ve started Richard II. It’s good to be back.

Shakespeare Calling – the book

For those of you in the UK, Sweden and the rest of Europe:
or Adlibris, CDON or Bibliotekstjänsten

From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary:
  • Turks are often mentioned in Shakespeare. In his day the Ottoman Turks were the leaders of the Muslim world and Christian Europe felt threatened by them. They were not only being paranoid, though perhaps the threat wasn’t as large as they thought it was.  Any parallels to today, think you?
  • Ursula is a name I’ve always quite liked, maybe because I like bears. Ursulas show up in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Henry IV Part Two and Much Ado about Nothing, always as servants or working class women.

Shakespeare sightings:
  • On the title page of her book Wild Cheryl Strayed uses the quote ‘The breaking of so great a thing / should make a greater crack.’ Antony and Cleopatra
  • The White Family by Maggie Gee has one mention of Shakespeare. A pastor, talking about the racism in the town in England where the book takes place, quotes The Merchant of Venice: ‘If you prick me, do I not bleed?’
  • Facebook friend LW tagged me in (to?) a photo of puppies named Olivia, Othello and Ophelia. Thanks, LW!
  • In the film Hot Fuzz Sgt. Angel stops a speeder who turns out to be an amateur actor rushing to a rehearsal of Romeo and Juliet. Quotes abound as he and Juliet are then murdered, reportedly for being such bad actors.
  • Mark Rylance, Cromwell in the excellent Wolf Hall, is called in Dagens Nyheter ‘the Shakespearean actor.’ Sadly, I have never seen him in any Shakespeare roles.
  • Timothy Dalton is also called a Shakespearean actor in DN’s notice of showing The Living Daylights.
  • Looking at Tom Conti on IMDb I see that he prefers ‘contemporary over classical theatre (with nary a Shakespeare stage credit in sight’. A pity. He would be good. 
  • In Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
    • Two earlier publishers lost Shakespeare’s manuscript to The Comedie of Robin Hoode, or The Forest of Sherwoode.
    •  In speaking of her aunt Agnes Nutter, Anathema is misunderstood by Adam who says, ‘Which what?’ to which (haha) she replies, ‘No. Witch. Like in Macbeth.’
    • In a later discussion of the benefits of good vs evil, if there are any, Adam’s friend Wensleydale thinks they might both be unnecessary and says, ‘A plaque on both your houses.’  These kids often get their vocabulary confused.
  • In Michael Wood’s In Search of the Dark Ages we are told that although King Athelstan is almost unknown by us he was in his own time considered the English Charlemagne and was still well enough known in 1599 to have a play written about him by Thomas Dekker, Old Fortnatus, which was performed on ‘Shakespeare’s stage’, though Wood doesn’t tell us which one.
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost at the Roma Theatre on Gotland was reviewed by DN and called ‘Steaming hot Shakespeare light.’
  • On Religion is a collection of writings by Marx and Engels. It is well known that Marx was a Shakespearean and in ‘The Leading Article of No. 179 of Kölnische Zeitung’, on the role of religion in education and the state, Marx quotes Cornwall in King Lear: ‘He cannot flatter, he! -…’ unlike the ‘knaves’ amongst his followers. The connection, without further study and pondering, seems a bit obscure to me.
  • In the film Happiness while Philip Seymour Hoffman and Lara Flynn Boyle are sitting silently and tensely on the divan I notice a magazine, or maybe a script, with a picture of Shakespeare on the cover lying on the coffee table. I wasn’t sure at first because it was upside down from our point of view but when I stopped the DVD and tilted my head – yep, it was Shakespeare, all right.Further since last time:
Finished reading aloud with Hal: The Life and Death of King John
  • Started reading aloud with Hal: The Life and Death of Richard the Second
  • Missed: seeing Hamlet in Kungsträdgården in Stockholm because twice I got the dates wrong. Stupid! It seems fated that I won’t see Hamlet on stage. But I’ll keep trying… 

Posted this month
  • This report
  • ‘God and the kings or Blanche does it again’ in The Life and Death of King John

Posted 3 August 2015

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