uh-oh

Aug. 2nd, 2017 06:43 pm
tempestsarekind: (very few dates in this history)
Working for the notorious Earl of Oxford in the 1580’s, [John Lyly's] plays were first performed publicly at the indoor theatres of Blackfriars and St Paul’s, then at the great Court festivities of Elizabeth I.
http://blog.shakespearesglobe.com/post/163633720708/who-was-john-lyly-this-august-sees-two-plays-by


Well, we know what that means… Guess Oxford wrote those plays too. I mean, "Lyly" is clearly a pseudonym; it is practically the same word as "lie." It's basically lie squared. Totally fake. Unlike de VERE, which is TRUE. Come on, it's an obvious play on the name of the Earl of Oxford! Why will no one see the truth???

(Seriously, though, I wish the Globe would film their Read Not Dead events and put them up on YouTube, or the Globe Player…I would love to see one someday, but don't think I'll ever have the chance.)

(I also wish academia valued editing more highly as a tenure-track activity, so that there might be more editions out there, and the Read Not Dead plays themselves would be more easily accessible to people without an academic library - or, ahem, to people who like taking notes when they read early modern plays - but hey-ho.)
tempestsarekind: (Default)
Another day, another wish that someone would cast Daveed Diggs as Christopher Marlowe…

*Yes, this is a Massacre at Paris joke. of sorts.

(This is one of the things I don't understand about the continued attempts at making Shakespeare a sexy rebel instead of the guy who kept his head down: Marlowe is RIGHT THERE, being completely extra - as the children say - writing scandalous stuff, actually being the innovator people want Shakespeare to have been.) (I'm thinking of that monstrously stupid moment in Anonymous - which one? you say - where all the other Elizabethan dramatists are gobsmacked that "Shakespeare" wrote AN ENTIRE PLAY in BLANK VERSE, like they hadn't all been doing that. But that's just the most egregious example that sprang to mind - although that moment in the Will trailer where someone gripes at Will, "You can't just make up words!" and he's all, "Well, someone must!" comes pretty close: making up words is what Elizabethan dramatists did; it's not some province exclusive to Shakespeare's genius!)

(yes, yes, I know, Shakespeare has "pre-awareness" or whatever they're calling audience recognition these days. But I find it hard to believe that anyone who's actually thinking about watching something like Will wouldn't watch a similar show about Marlowe instead, if you could just get someone to make it.)
tempestsarekind: (oh noes)
I guess the Oxfordians are taking another crack at disseminating their crackpot theories through film?

Nothing is Truer Than Truth (2017)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4459424/

I only heard about this because the library downtown is doing a screening this month, apparently - in conjunction with a Shakespeare exhibition, which just seems rude, but whatever.

This sentence, though:

The film features renowned Shakespeare scholars, actors, and directors, including Sir Derek Jacobi, Mark Rylance, Tina Packer, and Diane Paulus, and argues that De Vere's bisexuality is the reason for the pseudonym Shake-speare.

…whaaaaaat

???

Jul. 19th, 2016 06:44 pm
tempestsarekind: (cheveril glove)
…How did I not know that Robert Greene was born in Norwich??? I was looking for information about Norwich's churches, and someone mentioned in passing that he was baptized in St. George's, Tombland. That was one of the churches I visited in 2014! The people there were very nice to the weird American who wanted to know if the angels on the roof beams were original or replacements!

Also, from Wikipedia:

Greene is thought to have attended the Norwich Grammar School, although this cannot be confirmed as enrolment documents for the relevant years are lost.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Greene_(dramatist)

Well, we all know what THAT means! Time for some anti-Norwichians to start doubting that he actually wrote Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay! I mean, apparently we don't even know who his father is, but the candidates are a saddler and a cordwainer, and everyone knows that boys whose fathers work with leather cannot possibly grow up to be playwrights. And "Bacon" is right there in the title, so...
tempestsarekind: (wtf?)
So NPR published this ridiculous interview with Mark Rylance and Derek Jacobi about "the authorship question" on (I think) April 25, in which they said the usual ridiculous things, and the interviewer actually closed with "who cares what they say as long as they say it with those accents?" so it was clearly not a rigorous sort of interview.
http://www.npr.org/2016/04/25/475551898/2-shakespearean-actors-revive-debate-over-the-bard-s-identity

(Edit: it wasn't the interviewer who said this, although it did end the piece. Still, this is the kind of question the interviewer asked Rylance and Jacobi: "I wonder about the question of why the authorship question would have drawn fine legal minds? I mean, I'm wondering if they're more open to following where the evidence takes them?" WHAT THE WHAT. That is not a question; that is a leading statement. Here is another "question": "And may I ask, too, there's evidence of a widely traveled person. The plays - Many of the plays are set in Italy." And here is the ONLY question that she asks about the other side of the story - you know, the one where all the facts are: "Although, as you know well, Shakespeare scholars especially have been pretty rough. They have called you - What? - Flat-Earthers?" Not once does she even ask them why scholars might disagree with them on any of their points and ask them to explain why they believe what they believe in the face of scholarly evidence.)

People complained in the comments because there was no counterargument, and several people compared this to interviewing climate change skeptics without also interviewing scientists.

In response, NPR published this defensive piece, which I find more offensive than the original interview:

http://www.npr.org/sections/ombudsman/2016/04/29/475913710/to-be-or-not-to-be-falsely-equivalent-the-shakespeare-authorship-debate

Rylance and Jacobi are hardly complete amateurs on the subject. Rylance, who was interviewed for but not the subject of the earlier NPR piece, was the founding creative director of London's Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. As he told Montagne in Monday's interview, "Both Derek and I have committed our lives, since we were teenagers, to this author."


Oh, well then. No need to present the overwhelmingly dominant point of view of pretty much every scholar who actually works in this field; Rylance told the interviewer that he and Jacobi have devoted their lives to Shakespeare, so that's clearly the same.

And the second, defensive piece quotes the interviewer, again without doing anything to contextualize her statements or point out that the reason people have problems with this argument is that her entire premise is wrong:

"As I said in the interview, the dearth of evidence connecting the man William Shakespeare to the work, long ago gave rise to doubts as to whether he was the true author. Of course, Shakespearean scholars and most lovers of the Shakespeare plays and sonnets, quite reasonably, start from the premise — and stick to the premise — that he is the author. It is so universally accepted that Shakespeare is Shakespeare that it's quite a stretch to suggest any other line of thinking would be 'equivalent.' And that's especially true after a weekend overflowing with celebrations of William Shakespeare, on the 400th anniversary of his death.

But the mystery is intriguing, and far from a simple conspiracy theory, its champions have compiled some compelling evidence for ruling out Shakespeare and considering, at least, other possible authors.

All in all, it seemed as good a time as any to sit down with two of the world's most acclaimed Shakespearean actors to chat about who wrote the plays they have lived, breathed and, by the way, studied, for decades." (my emphasis)


I mean, "his name is on them, and his friends all said he wrote them, and he was actually a part of the London theater world, and we have way more evidence that Shakespeare wrote his plays than that, say, Christopher Marlowe - I mean Marley, I mean Marlin - wrote his" is not just a premise. Nor is "one of the sonnets says 'every word doth almost tell my name,' and if you take the 'y' off of 'every' and scramble the letters around, you get 'Vere,'" or "de Vere went to Italy and once stabbed a guy, so he must have written Romeo and Juliet and based Hamlet on his own life" actually compelling evidence. But whatever, I guess; who needs standards when one has plummy accents on one's side?
tempestsarekind: (facepalm)
...Well, at least the ridiculous Derek Jacobi anti-Stratfordian stuff in the Richard II episode of Shakespeare Uncovered was pretty short. And at least they followed up with Jonathan Bate basically going, "...Sir Derek, what is your deal?"

I do wonder how much of the play came across to people who didn't already know the play, though. I feel like most of the other plays in this series are reasonably familiar; even if you haven't read it, you probably have a basic idea of what happens in Hamlet or Macbeth, and have probably heard references to Henry V's famous speeches (although I did once have a student who asked in the middle of a discussion, "I mean, is this speech actually that famous? Like, do people just randomly make references to a 'band of brothers' or something?"). Richard II does have the big famous speech by John of Gaunt, but I suspect that a lot of people don't know that it comes from this play.

...?

Nov. 23rd, 2011 07:54 pm
tempestsarekind: (Default)
I read a lot of reviews of Anonymous before I saw it. So how did I miss the fact that Mark Rylance was in the movie (playing Henry Condell, of all things - though this is only clear if you sit through the credits)?


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

...?

Nov. 23rd, 2011 07:54 pm
tempestsarekind: (Default)
I read a lot of reviews of Anonymous before I saw it. So how did I miss the fact that Mark Rylance was in the movie (playing Henry Condell, of all things - though this is only clear if you sit through the credits)?


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

tempestsarekind: (facepalm)
Stop calling me to ask if I've heard about Anonymous. Seriously. It's like Becoming Jane all over again. Yes, I've heard about it. No, I'm not happy about it. No, you don't actually want my opinion, trust me.
tempestsarekind: (facepalm)
Stop calling me to ask if I've heard about Anonymous. Seriously. It's like Becoming Jane all over again. Yes, I've heard about it. No, I'm not happy about it. No, you don't actually want my opinion, trust me.
tempestsarekind: (martha at the globe)
I was rereading an article by Jonathan Bate about the authorship controversy, and near the end of it he wrote that there was no conspiracy, "just a very clever boy named Will," and I stupidly got tears in my eyes. Why am I so soppy? The same thing happens when I read about the Folio.

Post from mobile portal m.livejournal.com
tempestsarekind: (martha at the globe)
I was rereading an article by Jonathan Bate about the authorship controversy, and near the end of it he wrote that there was no conspiracy, "just a very clever boy named Will," and I stupidly got tears in my eyes. Why am I so soppy? The same thing happens when I read about the Folio.

Post from mobile portal m.livejournal.com
tempestsarekind: (peddlers of bombast)
Just thinking about that whole Jacobi-Rylance thing making the rounds...

Even setting aside my irritation with how anti-Stratfordians generally go about "proving" that their candidate wrote the plays, here's the thing that always stops me at the door.

Everybody picks their candidates based on some supposedly arcane knowledge that only people of the candidate's group could possibly have known: lawyers, doctors, noblemen, sailors, Italians, whatever. This is supposed to be knowledge that can't have been picked up casually, through, say, reading a book or talking to a doctor; the person who wrote the plays had to have *lived* that life to gain this inside information, so it couldn't have been some grammar-school-educated guy from the sticks. But the fact that there are Baconians and Oxfordians and Marlovians, etc., and they all rely on the whole "the author had to have written what s/he knew" thing, seems like a major argument *against* that line of reasoning--unless the person who wrote the plays was, like, an earl who ran away to sea to practice law and perform surgery while making frequent stops in Italy.

Not that I wouldn't read the novel about the Elizabethan nobleman pirate-doctor with a law degree, mind. But still.
tempestsarekind: (peddlers of bombast)
Just thinking about that whole Jacobi-Rylance thing making the rounds...

Even setting aside my irritation with how anti-Stratfordians generally go about "proving" that their candidate wrote the plays, here's the thing that always stops me at the door.

Everybody picks their candidates based on some supposedly arcane knowledge that only people of the candidate's group could possibly have known: lawyers, doctors, noblemen, sailors, Italians, whatever. This is supposed to be knowledge that can't have been picked up casually, through, say, reading a book or talking to a doctor; the person who wrote the plays had to have *lived* that life to gain this inside information, so it couldn't have been some grammar-school-educated guy from the sticks. But the fact that there are Baconians and Oxfordians and Marlovians, etc., and they all rely on the whole "the author had to have written what s/he knew" thing, seems like a major argument *against* that line of reasoning--unless the person who wrote the plays was, like, an earl who ran away to sea to practice law and perform surgery while making frequent stops in Italy.

Not that I wouldn't read the novel about the Elizabethan nobleman pirate-doctor with a law degree, mind. But still.
tempestsarekind: (viola reading)
Reading along in Stanley Wells' new book Shakespeare and Co., I found the following passage about Richard Baines:

"Baines had studied at Cambridge some years before Marlowe, had taken his MA in 1576, and then travelled to the seminary at Rheims as a candidate for the Catholic priesthood. In fact, however, he was - whether for profit or through genuine conviction - a secret heretic. Throughout his stay at the college he did all he could to undermine his fellow seminarians' morale and to stir up disaffection by propagating views resembling those of which he was later to accuse Marlowe, and with which indeed he may have indoctrinated him. More trivially, he was alleged to have tempted his colleagues to eat meat pies on fast days." (97)

(Was there a lot of profit in the heresy game? Was it like one of those work-from-home telemarketing jobs?)

I don't know why I find this so funny. Especially in light of all the other plans people seem to have suspected Baines of, like plotting to kill the college president and inject poison into the wells. But...meat pies? It's such a layaway sort of plan for corrupting men's souls, a little at a time. It's the Elizabethan version of "You know you want to...everybody else is doing it..."

A passage on the previous page is amusing too, though for different reasons: "Notably, the Earl of Oxford, who converted to Roman Catholicism on a visit to Italy but nevertheless betrayed a number of fellow Catholic noblemen to the Protestant authorities on his return, and who was accused of sodomizing his pageboys and of trying to kill Sir Philip Sidney, confessed to at least one charge of atheism." It's just so blatantly trying to discredit Oxford. (Not that this is difficult, I suppose, with all the servant-slaying and wife-abandoning that Oxford was prone to.) I can just see Stanley Wells rolling up his sleeves, all, "You want to talk trash about William Shakespeare of Stratford? Bring it ON." (Charges of buggery beat "small Latin and less Greek" any day.)

(Does anyone ever argue that Marlowe faked his death *without* also claiming that he wrote Shakespeare's plays, I wonder? Like maybe he got tired of the spying game and escaped to be a shepherd?)
tempestsarekind: (viola reading)
Reading along in Stanley Wells' new book Shakespeare and Co., I found the following passage about Richard Baines:

"Baines had studied at Cambridge some years before Marlowe, had taken his MA in 1576, and then travelled to the seminary at Rheims as a candidate for the Catholic priesthood. In fact, however, he was - whether for profit or through genuine conviction - a secret heretic. Throughout his stay at the college he did all he could to undermine his fellow seminarians' morale and to stir up disaffection by propagating views resembling those of which he was later to accuse Marlowe, and with which indeed he may have indoctrinated him. More trivially, he was alleged to have tempted his colleagues to eat meat pies on fast days." (97)

(Was there a lot of profit in the heresy game? Was it like one of those work-from-home telemarketing jobs?)

I don't know why I find this so funny. Especially in light of all the other plans people seem to have suspected Baines of, like plotting to kill the college president and inject poison into the wells. But...meat pies? It's such a layaway sort of plan for corrupting men's souls, a little at a time. It's the Elizabethan version of "You know you want to...everybody else is doing it..."

A passage on the previous page is amusing too, though for different reasons: "Notably, the Earl of Oxford, who converted to Roman Catholicism on a visit to Italy but nevertheless betrayed a number of fellow Catholic noblemen to the Protestant authorities on his return, and who was accused of sodomizing his pageboys and of trying to kill Sir Philip Sidney, confessed to at least one charge of atheism." It's just so blatantly trying to discredit Oxford. (Not that this is difficult, I suppose, with all the servant-slaying and wife-abandoning that Oxford was prone to.) I can just see Stanley Wells rolling up his sleeves, all, "You want to talk trash about William Shakespeare of Stratford? Bring it ON." (Charges of buggery beat "small Latin and less Greek" any day.)

(Does anyone ever argue that Marlowe faked his death *without* also claiming that he wrote Shakespeare's plays, I wonder? Like maybe he got tired of the spying game and escaped to be a shepherd?)

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