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19 June 2017 @ 09:44 am
An enjoyable piece on recipes by Bee Wilson:

Social media and the great recipe explosion: does more mean better?
13 June 2017 @ 12:08 am
This Trailer for the Present-Day Midsummer Night's Dream Movie Includes a Man With a Literal Buttface:

That's it, culture, you win. I give up. Your Shakespeare is clearly not my Shakespeare, and you're bigger than I am, so - you just win. Okay.
Has anyone else ever heard of this poet and/or read this poem? I only just came across it via one of those internet-search rabbit holes that leads you indescribably far from the place you started, but now I'm haunted by it.


And here's a piece on Mew from the Guardian:

Apparently Mew was admired by writers like Thomas Hardy and Virginia Woolf, and some of her work was published by Ezra Pound - and yet she's never crossed my path before. Hmph.

text of the poem, from the Poetry Foundation websiteCollapse )
28 May 2017 @ 09:13 pm
Does anyone know if they've continued filming plays at the Globe for Globe On Screen since Emma Rice has been the Artistic Director? I haven't been paying much attention, since I haven't been that interested, frankly (the weird Dia de los Muertos production of Romeo and Juliet this season made me want to flip some tables, for example), but ironically - given my username and the related fact that Twelfth Night is my heart's most important text - the photos from the current production are piquing my interest:


I know production photos only tell a partial story, but wouldn't it be funny if Emma Rice managed to win me over with Twelfth Night, of all things?

ETA: Well, I read some reviews, so…I'm doubtful that the "winning over" process will happen here. I mean, who knows - I still haven't seen any of her productions, so I feel slightly bad about judging them unseen - but everything I read about them is basically everything I hate in Shakespeare productions (mainly? Not caring about the text. You can have all the bells and whistles you want, if you care about the text; and if you don't, then the bells and whistles won't save you*), so I am not super inclined to poke myself in the eye and then wonder why it hurts…

*Here's the thing. I get the sense, with Emma Rice, that she thinks Shakespeare needs the bells and whistles - not that they might be interesting, or cast new light on the text, but that no one could possibly be interested in Shakespeare without them. Every production sounds like, "Quick! Get some pop music playing, before the punters get restless! Give 'em spectacle; god knows they don't want words." And, well, I've kind of staked my intellectual life on the exact opposite principle - that we can give people access to Shakespeare by respecting their intelligence, their capacity to imagine themselves into unfamiliar worlds, their ability to respond to poetry - so.
Just finished watching King Charles III on PBS. Tim Pigott-Smith was quite moving, and there were lots of Shakespearean echoes (Kate is clearly being cast as Lady Macbeth, and even says "Cry havoc" at one point). Charlotte Riley as Kate is maybe not quite soft enough - which is to say that she plays the Lady Macbeth side of things aptly, but it's hard to imagine her as public Kate. (One of the puzzling things about the play/adaptation: how much are we meant to rely on what we "know" of these figures currently?)

Not totally sure how I felt about the blank verse; I'd need to give it another listen, probably. I like the idea of it, though.

Of course, there are many old friends - and some new! - among the cast: Charlotte Riley from the Wuthering Heights adaptation from a few years back, and Jonathan Strange; Adam James who played Don Pedro opposite David Tennant in Much Ado (and other things; he pops up a lot). Peculiarly, there were three cast members who'd just acted opposite each other in Twelfth Night at the National Theatre: Tamara Lawrance (Viola), Oliver Chris (Orsino), and Tim McMullan (Sir Toby). This is particularly peculiar since, of the three, apparently only Oliver Chris was in the theatrical run.
14 May 2017 @ 09:20 am
An article (via Twitter) about the influence of the Globe, twenty years on - not just how it has changed, but how it has affected modern theater conventions, too:

Sphere of influence: Shakespeare’s Globe turns 20
24 April 2017 @ 05:17 pm
A post from the OUP blog on Austen's teenaged works, by Kathryn Sutherland and Freya Johnston (who edited the volume of Austen's teenaged writing for OUP).

I had no idea that the WSC had put up recordings of some of the talks and panels!

In particular, I can't wait to listen to Adrian Lester's conversation with Ayanna Thompson about playing Othello; I remember several people mentioning it on my Twitter feed as a really great discussion. (And of course, Adrian Lester's Othello was phenomenal…)
I'm being slightly snarky about the unnecessarily breathless, Wikileaks-style headline of this piece:

Spy report that criticised Marlowe for 'gay Christ' claim is revealed online

But the actual fact that you can now view the Baines note online, along with many other resources on the British Library's Discovering Literature website, is rather lovely, actually.

(Also, one of the other things mentioned in the article is Derek Jarman's notebooks for his film of Edward II.)
24 March 2017 @ 02:58 pm
"The second Mrs Hardy might have known what was coming from the manner of Hardy's proposal. He had taken her to the churchyard to show her the grave of wife No. 1, and, pointing to another vacant plot, he said, 'That's for you.' By this, she took it that he was proposing. Before they're anything else, if they're any good at all, most writers are absurd."

--Alan Bennett, Six Poets: Hardy to Larkin

Heh. This gives a new meaning to "Ah, are you digging on my grave?"