Posts Tagged: Shakespeare

The First Bohemian

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The Public Domain Review examines the work of Elizabethan writer Robert Greene, the original Bohemian, and the first known reviewer of William Shakespeare:

Greene’s chief target was “an upstart Crow,” who “supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you”…He has a “tiger’s heart, wrapped in a player’s hyde”, unable to fully escape the stigma of first playing on the stage before he would write for it. 

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Shakespeare’s First Folio, Coming to a City Near You!

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The Folger has 82 First Folios—the largest collection in the world. It’s located several stairways down, in a rare manuscript vault. To reach them, you first have to get through a fire door … (if a fire did threaten these priceless objects, it would be extinguished not with water—never water near priceless paper—but with a system that removes oxygen from the room).

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Celebrating Shakespeare

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Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have found a unique way of honoring the Bard on the upcoming 400th anniversary of his death: a digital re-creation of a popular British museum dedicated to Shakespeare. According to the New York Times:

The digital re-creation—the first detailed visualization of the gallery, scholars say—gives a glimpse of a high-water moment of Bardolatry, not long after the 1769 Shakespeare Jubilee in Stratford-upon-Avon that had helped cement the playwright as a defining national figure”

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David Biespiel’s Poetry Wire: Old Friends Or Lovers

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I was becoming awed by the wide horizon of the speech that arose out of an individual life lived in a single era and generation. I was becoming attracted to the writer’s creativity. ...more

You Don’t Mess with Shakespeare

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Shakespeare is about the intoxicating richness of the language… It’s like the beer I drink. I drink 8.2 per cent I.P.A., and by changing the language in this modernizing way, it’s basically shifting to Bud Light. Bud Light’s acceptable, but it just doesn’t pack the punch and the excitement and the intoxicating quality of that language.

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The Rumpus Interview with Christopher Moore

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Christopher Moore discusses his latest book, Secondhand Souls, the permanence of place in San Francisco, Michael Bay’s take on marine biology, and why everyone from Shakespeare nerds to goth teens trusts him to deliver laughs. ...more

Mad Max

Rewrite, Reboot, Remix

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Rewriting the classics has become a stale and risk-averse strategy. But that shouldn’t spoil the fun of our larger culture of remixing. ...more

On Unequal Publishing

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Over at the Ploughshares blog, Cathe Shubert discusses the historic nature of sexism in the publishing industry, and urges her readers to keep searching for an early canon of women writers:

Despite the many gains we have made in including women in our understanding of the history of literature, many students graduate with the false understanding that women did not really write until the nineteenth century–that they just couldn’t.

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The Creative Writing Class That Changed My Life

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One could sense this passion in all of us. It seemed to fill the classroom as if it were part of the oxygen. ...more

Lear’s Metrical Madness

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As part as the Shakespeare on Tor series, Brian Stavely brings us on a quick tour of King Lear’s descent into madness, as evidenced by a careful metrical reading of five speeches. Following the aging monarch through his perfectly-pentametered Latinate invocations of stately power, all the way down to the chaotic exclamations of a man in shambles, Stavely makes quick work of Lear.

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More Lovely and More Temperate

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There’s a lot to get excited about and offended by when reading Shakespeare with a feminist eye. NPR interviewed Tina Packer about her new book Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare’s Plays, which chronicles how the playwright’s portrayal of women improved over time:

From there after, whether the women are disguised as men or whether they’re in their women’s dresses…he never steps back from their full humanity as human beings.

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Shakespeare on the Verrazano

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In 2013 Ross Williams began an ambitious project: film all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets in 154 different New York City locations, and reach “beyond the restrictions of a live performance in a small theater.” Now the project has taken a large step forward, as the group completed their 100th film, which features the Emmy-award winning actress Carrie Preston reciting Sonnet 27 on the Verrazano Bridge.

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Ourselves and Our World

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Sensational headlines declaiming the death of the humanities often misunderstand what the humanities actually are. Paul A. Kottman explains that the practice of analyzing texts doesn’t just teach us how to think; it creates new ways of thinking:

Whatever we learn by reflecting on literary texts in our teaching is the direct outcome of those very same activities.

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Changing Shakespeare

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A French public library has discovered that the institution possesses a rare ‘first folio’ of the works of William Shakespeare. There are many first folios, but these earliest anthologies all contain variations in the texts. (The writing we have come to know as the definitive works have actually been pieced together by scholars who’ve researched and compared the various versions of first folios.) For example, the newly discovered folio has changes in Henry IV:

In one scene in “Henry IV,” the word “hostess” is changed to “host” and “wench” to “fellow” — possibly reflecting an early performance where a female character was turned into a male.

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