Boar’s Head Bookshelf update: ‘travelling light’ …

Books in the vault, Deck C, Folger Shakespeare Library, 9/11/09
image courtesy Folger Library

Spending practically all of the summer holidays away from home, you’d think I travelled loaded with books?

Not a bit of it – I simply brought down my Ponytail Shakespeare texts, so I could try to catch up on writing about the read-through.  Plus, experience told me that I’d be buying books wherever I went.  Shakespeare’s an exacting master, and wherever I go I usually end up returning to Cumbria laden like a donkey.

Half way through the hols, my score so far is:

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Quote of the week: 14 August 2017

BH okerlund coverArlene Okerlund, Elizabeth Wydville: The Slandered Queen (Tempus Publishing: Stroud, 2005)

Proof that even a stopped clock can occasionally be correct …

A book review of Professor Okerlund‘s book may well be in the offing – on the basis that, as I often tell students) it’s easier to write about something you don’t like, rather than something you do.  This book really annoyed me as few others have, but I managed to get to the end of it.

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PTS 05/029: Would I Lie To You?

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Ponytail Shakespeare: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act III.

Like so many of Shakespeare’s villains (and here perhaps I have Iago uppermost in mind) Proteus is a decent dissimulator, and Act III begins with his breathless betrayal of his best friend.

How does Shakespeare make Proteus credible?

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Crimes Against Shakespeare: 005

 

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My gut reaction deserted me a little for this one, perhaps because of the subject matter, so I found myself consulting both my girlfriend and my best friend, the latter also an English teacher. Second and third opinions corroborating my initial intake of breath, and therefore I am pleased to present you my latest Crimes Against Shakespeare Award …

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PTS 05/028: Et tu, Proteus?

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Ponytail Shakespeare:  The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act II.

If The Taming of the Shrew was about disguises, William C Carroll is right in considering The Two Gentlemen as a text about metamorphosis in the tradition of Ovid.

Before we look at these transformations, though, a word on Silvia. It drives me mad every time I hear or read someone preface some ill-informed remark with ‘Shakespeare was …’ More on this at regular intervals, I suspect. But for the moment, let’s take a small nibble at ‘Shakespeare was misogynist.

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Post 100: Shakespeare is my Playstation

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In the day I do my job … but at night I live a life of exhilaration

 

“What do you do, then, if you don’t watch TV?”

One of my opening gambits with new classes every year is the simple statement that I don’t do TV.  ‘We might as well get it out of the way, folks.’  I loathe, truly loathe, the way it commands all my senses, to the exclusion of anything else.  I usually read with mood music, I can type listening to something too (it’s Pink Floyd‘s Brick In The Wall at the moment), but I simply dislike TV as a way to spend my precious spare time.  Reading, no, reading is NOT the same.

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PTS 05/027: The Arch of Experience

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I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.                                                                                                                     (Alfred Lord Tennyson, Ulysses)

The Two Gentlemen of Verona:  Act 1

Recently, I wrote about bringing your personal baggage to your interpretation and enjoyment of texts. It’s why I re-read: every few years I genuinely believe I approach a text as a different person, changed in infinite, indescribable ways by my experiences.

This is my first time with the Two Gentlemen, though, and I approached this text with some trepidation. It has a reputation – despite being the first play performed at the newly-built Globe – and Dennis Carey‘s reaction on being asked to direct the play was not reassuring:

“I had only just read the play, and was badly shaken. Could the author really be grateful to anyone for preserving this youthful, unfinished, minor exercise?”

A read-through is a read-through, though …

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