Sunday, October 1, 2017

October 2017

There’s been a bit more Shakespeare action this past month, both in my little world, and out there in the big one. After much struggle I finished a text on that difficult play, Measure for Measure, which seems to become more problematic each time we read it. I’m not completely unhappy to leave it for this time, but what to choose next? A more pleasant problem!

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Shakespeare sightings:
  • In the novel A Separation by Katie Kitamura the narrator compares her mother-in-law to Lady Macbeth. She’s not terrible fond of her mother-in-law.
  • In Stephen King’s massive It (1090 pages) he only manages two references to Shakespeare:
    • One of the characters is taking a writing course and the teacher asks, ‘Do you believe Shakespeare was just interested in making a buck?’ implying of course that he wasn’t. Well, he probably was, maybe not only but quite a lot.
    • When Beverly insists that it’s her husband who has all the talent, not her, friend Richie says, ‘Methinks the lady doth protest too much.’
  • In Lisa McInerney’s The Glorious Heresies one of the thugs is called Shakespeare ‘because he was as verbose a thug as you could find.’
  • In the film Genius the author Tom Wolfe (Jude Law) considers himself Caliban, ugly and deformed, and his editor Max Perkins (Colin Firth) exchanges some quotes with him.
  • Dagens Nyheter
    • had a long article about a children’s illustrated version of Hamlet by Barbro Lindgren and Anna Höglund. It’s called Titta Hamlet (Look Hamlet) and the first line is, ‘Look Hamlet. Hamlet not happy.’ The reviewer thinks it’s a small masterpiece. ‘This is not just a good start for those who want to meet Shakespeare for the first time, but a surprisingly strong interpretation even for those who have kept company with Hamlet for a long time.’
    • is selling tickets to Rickard III (with Jonas Karlsson, we saw it a couple of years ago – brilliant!).
    • had an article about great finds in used book stores and mentions William Shakespeare – comedies, histories and tragedies. Published according to the true original copies. The second impression.’ It’s the most expensive book on, printed in 1632 and sold for 2 440398 Danish crowns in the Aanehus Aarhus antikvariat.
  • The TV program Go’kväll also talked about the above-mentioned kids’ version of Hamlet and the reviewer said essentially that the kids she’s read it to love it.
  • In the YA fantasy novel City of Bones the author Cassandra Clare starts out with a quote from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: ‘I have not slept. /Between the acting of a dreadful thing /And the first motion, all the interim is / Like a phantasm, or a hideous dream’. Sadly, though the novel is entertaining (somewhat), this quote does not make it great literature.

Further since last time:
  • Started reading: James Shapiro’s 1606 – The Year of King Lear
  • Finished reading aloud with Hal: Measure for Measure
  • Started reading aloud with Hal: the Sonnets, then reading the Swedish translation by Walter Dan Axelsson, then listening to those that are on the CD From Shakespeare with Love (bought because David Tennant reads many of them). So far we’ve read up to 18 (‘Shall I compare thee…’). Sadly, I really don’t like many of these early sonnets.

Posted this month

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