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25 February 2017 @ 06:59 pm
via the Guardian's "what we're reading" links:

The Red of Painters by Michel Pastoureau
25 February 2017 @ 05:55 pm
Does anyone - people who have been to conferences more recently than I have, and stopped by the Arden table, for example - know anything more about the Arden Performance Editions series?


The first editions aren't due out until November in the UK - which is too late for me to order Romeo and Juliet for English 9 in any case (assuming I teach it again next year) - but I'm wondering about their layout (more space for notes!) and their "reduced punctuation." The New Cambridge edition (the one I use) is better than some about not cluttering the text up with prescriptive exclamation points, but it's still pushier about this sort of thing than I'd like; it would be nice to have an edition with notes that doesn't require me to constantly tell my students not to make arguments about tone based on the presence of exclamation points.

I also wonder - will their Hamlet be a conflated one, or will it follow the current Arden edition in being based on Q2? I'm finding that my ninth-graders are managing the density of the footnotes in R&J decently well, but the New Cambridge Hamlet's footnotes are unsettling some number of my juniors this year. But I like the ease of teaching the play from a conflated edition instead of having things like "How all occasions do inform against me" in an appendix, even though I like the availability of versions based on Q2 or F for more scholarly purposes (I also own the Arden 3 and the Oxford, the latter of which is based on F).
16 February 2017 @ 08:47 pm
A little look at the history of Yorick's skull in Hamlet, on the eve of Andrew Scott's first performance of the title role at the Almeida:

Alas, poor Yorick! The shocking life of theatre's greatest skull

And here's a tidbit about David Tennant and Andre Tchaikowsky (the skull who played Yorick for a while, until he was supposedly replaced by a prop):

it wasn’t until David Tennant played Hamlet in 2009 that the skull was finally used in a live performance, which provoked a minor media frenzy. Even though the company claimed that the prop had been replaced by a replica, so as not to “distract” audiences, artistic director Gregory Doran admitted months later that Tchaikowsky had in fact starred alongside Tennant throughout.

I don't know how I missed that last part of the story!
12 February 2017 @ 07:34 pm
Inexplicably crabby (okay, so knowing me, it's not actually that inexplicable) that there is an Oxford Handbook of Shakespearean Tragedy, but there isn't one for comedy - and yet there are handbooks for "Shakespeare and Embodiment" and "Shakespeare and Dance" either in existence or in the works. But why would you need one for the comedies? Obviously, they don't matter.
11 February 2017 @ 06:46 pm
I saw a trailer for the film The Circle today. John Boyega showed up early, and I thought, "oh, is this that movie where he was going to play a computer genius? Cool." Emma Watson showed up, and I thought, "oh, I didn't know she was in this." And then I heard a familiar Scottish voice and saw a familiar face -

- and literally shrieked, "KAREN! HI KAREN!" Because I have problems. I guess the wires to that particular knee-jerk response are still hooked up?
09 February 2017 @ 03:35 pm
(Yes, I am now just scrolling through the Arden website to see what's in the pipeline. Shut up.)

Oliver Ford Davies wrote a book on fathers and daughters in Shakespeare, and it comes out in June!

I am of course interested in this topic anyway (I gave a conference paper on it a couple of years ago), but it makes me especially happy that my favorite Polonius wrote about it.
09 February 2017 @ 03:16 pm
This looks like a book to check out once the publication date arrives (March 9, 2017):

How to Read a Dress: A Guide to Changing Fashion from the 16th to the 20th Century
by Lydia Edwards
16 January 2017 @ 07:30 pm
Transcript: President Obama on what books mean to him

I've linked to the transcript rather than the resulting article by Michiko Kakutani (who also did the interview) because I think it gives even more of a sense of how deeply reflective President Obama is about the books he discusses: the questions aren't particularly leading, so it's clear that his take on the books is coming from the way that he's turned them over in his head or categorized them, rather than being asked to think about such things for the first time by an unexpected question.
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11 December 2016 @ 09:30 pm
So The Hollow Crown season 2 started tonight at 9 PM?

Why did I have to randomly turn my TV on to find this out??? Was I just supposed to remember this information from that one press release that came out months ago???

Why does PBS never ADVERTISE its Shakespeare programs???

I can't even watch it, because I have work to do! If I'd known, I would have planned ahead!

Jerk move, PBS. Jerk move.

(also, Great Performances never premieres on Sunday; it's always Friday! What is this new nonsense?)