Sunday, August 6, 2017

August 2017

We’ve finished reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream and watched a few films. It took a while but the text is also now written (see below). We haven’t yet chosen our next play but will do so in a day or two.                               

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Shakespeare sightings:
  • Dagens Nyheter writes about Dani Kouyaté who has been nominated for the African movie academy awards in seven categories, including best film by an African living abroad, for his Medan vi lever (While we live), which it won. He is planning a film of The Tempest to be filmed on Fårö.
  • In the novel New York 2140, by Kim Stanley Robinson:
    • The financial wizard Franklin, living in the flooded New York in the 22nd century, wonders how ‘do you invest in a mangled ambiguous zone still suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous tide flow?’
    • The two geeks called Mutt and Jeff, who reminded me from the beginning of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, are once again doing the talking thing. Mutt asks Jeff if he’s read Waiting for Godot or Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Jeff has not.
    • Amelia is dancing with Mutt and Jeff. They are all terrible dancers. ‘Some are born bad, some achieve badness…Mutt, the situation having been thrust upon him, moves in tiny abrupt jerks.’
  • In How to Be a Tudor by Ruth Goodman we are told
    • that tennis was very popular and refers to the tennis balls sent derisively to Henry V in that play.
    • that the costumes used in Titus Andronicus were a lavish mix of Roman and Elizabethan.
    • that Shakespeare really is very funny’ (we knew that! But many still don’t) and that 1,700 of the words and expressions Shakespeare invented are still with us. Her examples: moonbeam, mountaineer, bedroom, submerge, lacklustre, hobnob, friended, as dead as a doornail, up in arms, all of a sudden, it’s a foregone conclusion. 
    • in the chapter about supper that women were often the ale brewers and offered their products in a simple tavern consisting of a bench outside their home. It was such a bench the night watchmen will ‘sit upon… til’ two’ in Much Ado About Nothing. Furthermore the singing of Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and Feste in Twelfth Night is typical alehouse behaviour.
  • In the TV series Grimm one of the villains, having placed the comatose hero Nick in a coffin, says, ‘Good night, sweet grimm, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!’
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer (yes, I am addicted to this kind of thing…) in Season 2, Giles says in planning with the others Buffy’s surprise birthday party, ‘Discretion is the best part of valour.’
  • In the TV quiz show Vem vet mest? Junior (Who knows the most – juniors) the question was, ’What was the surname of the author who wrote The Tempest and Hamlet?’ The boy didn’t know the answer and had never heard of Shakespeare! Another contestant was active in a theatre group but they hadn’t done any Shakespeare yet.
  • In Ian McEwan’s The Children Act the main character Fiona refers to ‘her infinite variety’ and other quotes from Antony and Cleopatra. She had played Enobarbus in an all-woman production when she was a law student.
  • Nicci French opens their (it’s a duo) latest Frieda Klein novel Sunday Morning Coming Down with a quote from Henry IV Part One:
    • Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep. Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man,/ But will they come when you do call for them? 

Further since last time:

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