Friday, January 20, 2006

The Birds of Shakespeare

The Birds of Shakespeare: Woodcock:

Ok, anybody who says there's nothing left about Shakespeare to write about needs to check out this blog. The Birds of Shakespeare? I love it.

I particularly like this page, the woodcock, because I regularly use Polonius' "springes to catch woodcocks!" as an example of Shakespearean script that sounds particularly alien but is really pretty straightforward once you learn a little vocabulary.

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Kids Today. Kill me.

Overheard today in line at the supermarket:

"Know what movie I saw? Tristan and Isolde. It was sooo good! I cried!"

   "You cry at everything."

"No, seriously! It was like Romeo and Juliet...only good."

No, seriously, I had to restrain myself from smacking the child.

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Sir Ian and the Rose Theatre

The Rose Theatre remains were discovered in 1989. This is where Shakespeare was thought to have learned his craft. Sir Ian McKellen (pick your movie -- he was Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, but also Magneto in X-Men) is one of the major supporters saying that he does not want it restored. "The point," he says, "is that these remains are the genuine thing. We don't want to start covering them up."

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Thursday, January 12, 2006



Wow, here's a newsflash -- Sir Anthony Hopkins says that he wants to do one more King Lear, and then "call it quits." He's done Lear before, and didn't like it, so he wants to have another go in a movie - preferably done "the old traditional thing of setting it in Denmark or a craggy area of Britain, shooting it near the coasts in winter, set it in the dark ages."

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Monday, January 09, 2006

The play wot Shakespeare wrote / Arts & Weekend - The play wot Shakespeare wrote: How often do you hear "Sir Thomas More" mentioned, let alone staged? Yes, I'm not talking about the man, but about the play about the man. A play that Shakespeare afficionados may already know what co-written by our favorite man in Stratford. Although this play may never have been staged in Shakespeare's time, it is the only surviving play to feature Shakespeare's own authenticated handwriting.

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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Book Reviews: Make room on the Shakespeare shelf

Book Reviews: Make room on the Shakespeare shelf:

I am so tired of seeing reviews for "1599" that I almost did not follow this link through, but I'm glad I did because it brings up several Shakespeare books I had not yet heard of. "The Oxford Shakespeare" includes two "newly recognized" works as well as two versions of King Lear. "The Shakespeare Miscellany" seems to be trivial stuff like all the different ways to spell Shakespeare's name - as well as the names of everybody he collaborated with, stuff like that. "The Sourcebooks" series looks at one play at a time, and comes with an audio CD of scene performances.

I need to pick my Shakespeare books more carefully. Last Christmas I got "Will in the World" which was good, Bloom's "Invention of the Human" which I only barely dented, and Garber's "Shakespeare After All" which I actually found pretty painful. I need something a little lighter next time. I hear "Shakespeare's Bawdy" is fun.

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Purchase of the day

So today Kerry and I went to "Building 19", which is the local "fire sale" place where they sell everything cheap cheap cheap, and maybe only a little damaged. We were on the hunt for a rug for our new room, and were told that this place has got the good rugs. Sure enough, we found one we liked. And then felt like browsing. I see this rack of tiny books labelled "Classics" and I see stuff like "The Man in the Iron Mask", "Robinson Crusoe", "Taming of the Shrew"...

Wait a second, back up. Taming of the Shrew? Cooool. I open it up - and it's basically an el cheapo 'graphic novel' approach to the play. Each page has about 4-6 graphic panels with characters speaking in lines close to Shakespaere, but not the original, as if somebody wanted to write it from scratch but didn't want to stray too far from the original.

I look at the price tag. 10 cents! Nice. Mind you this is a teeny thing that you could read in 5 minutes, this is not like a text book. But still, what the heck, right? I go digging through the big. Before leaving I came up with Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear (!), and The Tempest. I'm particularly pleased by those last two, because I am not nearly as familiar with the plot points of King Lear as I would like (who is?), and I have in the past attempted to tell The Tempest to my daughter as a bedtime story, and having a mini freeform script of the play in a pocket reference like this will possibly help me succeed in that attempt.

Not bad for the cost of change in my pocket.

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The soul of wit

The soul of wit:

Nothing really new or exciting in this intro article to "What Shakespeare means to us today", but I like it. All the usual bases are covered - popular quotes, words he invented, and so on. Neat if you didn't already know most of it.

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Shakespeare & Cervantes Become Friends (January 4th, 2006)

Shakespeare & Cervantes Become Friends (January 4th, 2006):

See, now, here's an intriguing premise for a movie that hopefully won't come off like a sequel to "Shakespeare in Love." Many fans and scholars know that there is an odd connection between the man who wrote Don Quixote and the man who wrote Hamlet. The lost Shakespeare play "Cardenio" is believed to have been based on a story by Cervantes. Both men even died on the same day (April 23, 1616).

This fictional story looks at what might have happened during the four years when Shakespeare disappeared from historical records.
I'll keep an eye out for more news and gossip about this movie.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Shakespeare Resolutions?

Ok, anybody got any Shakespeare related resolutions? Plays you should have read but haven't? Plays/movies you want to see? Merchandise you want to buy?

I'd like to (note my wording - chicken!) get an application up and running on the web that allows people to tag and comment on various aspects of the plays, ideally in a way that hasn't been done yet :). I like the idea that somebody (who I think prefers to live anonymously) just passed along about using a voice recorder to brain dump thoughts on various scenes and then put them together into a podcast.

I also want to try my hand at some Shakespeare merchandise, but I need more help with that (like, graphic design). Once I convince myself that it can make more money then it costs I might make it happen.

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