Monday, December 26, 2011

Monday, December 26 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

Since today is a holiday in Sweden I get a free blog Monday. Yay! It seems like more than two Mondays that I've been away and sadly it will be two more until I'm back. How will the Shakespeare world survive? Try to muddle through, friends....

  • Shakespeare sightings, quite a few this time since I've been offline. Anyway here they are –
    • An old one, actually, that I missed when it showed up: My dear beginner's English student GÄ wrote in an assignment about her mother in Poland who, in her 70's, still loves to read and one of whose favorites is Shakespeare. I'm pretty sure GÄ mentions it because I talk about Shakespeare a lot in class so it's kind of a prompted sighting.
    • In Harry Potter 6 – The Half-Blood Prince, one of the members of the Weird Sisters is at a party at Hogwarts and later, at the funeral at the end of the book.
    • In Harry Potter 7 – The Deathly Hallows, Harry is in Ginny's room for the first time and sees that she a poster on her wall of the Weird Sisters. Now since there probably won't be any more references to this famous band, it's time for a contest – who are the Weird Sisters and what play are they in? What is their most famous line? Great prizes for the one to answer correctly first!
    • In the book Slaget om Tammerfors (in the original Finnish Tampere Tulessa,in English The Battle of Tampere) which presents eyewitness reports to a significant part of the Finnish Civil War of 1918, the actor Jalmari Rinne, trapped in the Laterna Hotel in Tampere as the battle goes on, reports on March 26, “I don't know how many Shakespeare dramas I read while staying at the Laterna. But those which are less often produced, like the history plays, and the cannonades heard from the outside went very well together...” (rough translation).
    • In Sherman Alexie's short story “Can I Get a Witness” in his collection Ten Little Indians the main character wonders, after 9/11: “Men have walked on the moon and written Hamlet and painted the Sistine Chapel and played the piano like Glenn Gould...and other men still have the need to hang antlers and flags on their walls.”
    • The novel The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford is called in one of the reviews the Romeo and Juliet story about the antagonism between Chinese and Japanese immigrants in the US during World War Two. I can't quote the review because I've returned the book to the library.
    • We have now completed our backwards Springsteen marathon and in his early songs there is a lot of Romeo and Juliet (he's such a romantic!). Here are the last two: Point Blank: “I was gonna be your Romeo you were gonna be my Juliet, These days you don't wait on Romeos, You wait on that welfare check” and Incident at 57th Street: “Well, like a cool Romeo he made his moves, oh she looked so fine. Like a late Juliet she knew he'd never be true but then she really didn't mind”. Hmmm, did I say romantic?
    • On one of the last episode of Flight of the Conchords Bret has fallen in love and is trying to describe his beloved to the skeptical Jemaine. He says she's like Shakespeare's Juliet and Jemaine says, “What? Thirteen?”
    • In the book The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter by David Colbert, the author writes of the nasty basilisks, used in The Chamber of Secrets, and points out that, “William Shakespeare even mentioned a basilisk in his play Richard III. The evil title character kills his brother then immediately flatters his brother's widow by mentioning her beautiful eyes. But she replies, 'Would they were basilisks, to strike thee dead!'” Contest 2: What's her name and who had Richard actually killed to inspire such a response from her? He did kill his brother too but that was later. Big prizes for the first right answers!

Further, these weeks:
  • Book order but not received: Fintan O'Toole's Shakespeare is Hard but So Is Life. It's been on my Bokus wish list for a long time so when I received notice that it was available I ordered it, but it was too late. By the time my order came in, it was sold out again.
  • Movies watched: Dead Poet's Society. This should have been watched in connection with A Midsummer Night's Dream since the movie is about it, so to speak, but we didn't have it then and I wasn't at the time aware of the connection. The last time I saw the movie it was long before my Shakespeare days. Anyway, a movie well worth seeing with or without Shakespeare.
  • Now reading aloud with Hal: Richard II.
  • Text posted on blog: “Don't Trust Anyone Over Thirty – or Twenty-Eight– Adults vs Kids in Romeo and Juliet”.

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