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Posts Tagged: Shakespeare

Shakespeare As It Was Meant to Be Heard

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Via 22 Words, here’s a video demonstrating how Shakespeare plays sound when performed in their original pronunciation.

That’s right: the sonorous received pronunciation we associate with Shakespeare didn’t evolve until long after the bard’s death.

This new, old accent sounds strangely Irish (to American ears, anyway) and reveals all kinds of rhymes, jokes, and double-meanings that stay hidden in most modern performances.

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The Ancient Art of the Book Blurb

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Book blurbs—and the controversies surrounding them—go back as far as Thomas More, who gathered a bouquet of them for Utopia.

Ben Jonson blurbed Shakespeare. Ralph Waldo Emerson blurbed Walt Whitman. But do they really mean anything anymore?

Click through to find out—and read historical blurbs and blurb satires like this one:

Say!

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Better Books, Better Brains

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If you’ve ever felt like reading good literature gives you more comfort and insight than any self-help book ever could, you’re probably onto something.

Scientists at the University of Liverpool recently conducted a study indicating that the brain “lights up” bigger and brighter when grappling with Shakespeare and Wordsworth than when taking in ordinary prose.

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Poetic Lives Online: Links by Brian Spears

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Here’s some interesting reading from the world of poetry this week.

Michael Schaub at HTMLGIANT picks up where the Poetry Foundation left off a little while ago about martinis and poets. You’ll like their entries.

This is a little dated by internet standards, but it’s still worth looking at: Calvin Trillin versifies about the Roman Polanski apologists.

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The Book of William, Reviewed

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The Book of William — the new book chronicling the fortunes of Shakespeare’s First Folio, by regular Rumpus contributor Paul Collins — gets a nice brief writeup in the “Nonfiction Chronicle” feature of the NYT Sunday Book Review:

“Part antiquarian-book primer, part chronicle of literary curiosities, The Book of William is divided into five acts, each evoking a significant place and time in the First Folio’s colorful history…

“Weaved throughout are accounts of Collins’s amusing efforts to examine a handful of the 230 First Folios known to exist; he writes of the mixture of horror and delight he felt on discovering that ‘some Jacobean brat’ had doodled in a Folio’s margins.

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