logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Shakespeare
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-18 08:05
William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return: Star Wars Part the Sixth
William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return - Ian Doescher

—O knavery

Most vile, O trick of Empire’s basest wit.

A snare, a ruse, a ploy; and we the fools.

What great deception hath been plied today—

O rebels, do you hear? Fie, ‘tis a trap!

~Admiral Ackbar, Act IV, Scene 3

 

Yes, good Admiral, ‘tis a trap! I was lulled into a false sense of security by the general awesomeness of Star Wars meets Shakespeare and everything was going swimmingly—until I was forced to picture Harrison Ford as Han Solo singing a jubilant love song. A trap indeed! Minus half a star for that!*

 

*Not really for that. I just enjoyed this slightly less than The Empire Striketh Back and slightly more than Verily, A New Hope, so I rated accordingly.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-16 20:16
Academic Side-Shows: "Owning Shakespeare” by James J. Marino
Owning William Shakespeare: The King's Men and Their Intellectual Property - James J. Marino

“Those who have taken Heminges and Concell at their word, hoping for some unmediated record of the authorial intent, have made a serious miscalculation. The writer, William Shakespeare, is not to be found in the Folio pages. The figure critics have embraced is an actor.”

 

In “Owning Shakespeare” by James J. Marino

 

Mediocrity has always ruled. And it still rules today, but in a different form. Someone once said that great poetry can no longer be written because we are now all democrats, aren't we? Mediocrity is good these days because it is 'democratic', not because it is aristocratic or Oxbridge elitist. But what we mean by "democracy" here is really bureaucracy. The plethora of creative-writing scholarships and courses promoting the most mediocre work is just one expression of this. For me, I think some of the great Shakespeare debates are side-shows (in Marino’s case the so-called “Sincklo/Soto Problem” in the play “The Taming of the Shrew”, or, should I say “The Taming of a Shrew”?) distracting us from the fact that mediocre values continue to be triumphant in our present poetic culture. I’m sure books and “problems” like these contribute to a true appreciation of Shakespeare unlike the ones dealing with the ill-reputed Authorship Question...Everyone is dancing round their handbags at this party... Once you get into the core truth of what Shakespeare is about - the philosophy, the language, the breathtaking understanding of human nature, the poignancy, you have to concede to a greater power somewhere within. Yes a genius, there's no other word, but surrounded by a core group to feed ideas, information, tales from Italy, the classics, translations (and works not yet translated). But there are so many questions and interrogations regarding Shakespeare: The Authorship Question I mentioned above, Who Edited the 1623 FolioWho Shortened King Lear, etc.

 

If you're into Shakespeare, read on.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-11-14 17:25
Reading progress update: I've read 331 out of 474 pages.
Heresy (Giordano Bruno #1) - S.J. Parris

 

Well, that went to hell in a handbasket (or close to it) pretty fast -- and it had such a promising beginning!

 

But either there is a major flaw in the plotting, or it's clear ever since page 95 who was responsible for the death occurring on pages 91-94.

 

Shades of Arthur Conan Doyle's Silver Blaze.

(spoiler show)

 

And yet, this fictional version of Giordano Bruno, an eminent scholar and scientist who in real life would, himself, eventually come to be burned at the stake for heresy, has spent the majority of the last 235 pages traipsing around Oxford like a headless chicken, ignoring even the most blatant clues -- and all the while I can't shut up the voice of Sherlock Holmes in my head:

 

 

And it certainly also doesn't help that in the very first scene following the first death the guilty party is getting rid of a witness (of sorts) in the same way that the murderer does

in Ellis Peters's fourth Chronicle of Brother Cadfael, St. Peter's Fair.

(spoiler show)

  Nor that this person is conspicuously absent during one of the novel's key events, where they should have been present along with all of their peers -- and during which time, in fact, a second murder is committed.  Nor that for this second murder, the murderer is providing himself with an alibi

in the same way that it's done in Agatha Christie's The Murder at the Vicarage.

(spoiler show)

  Nor that the whole "forbidden book" subplot has distinct overtones of Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose.  (I know forbidden books were a dime a dozen in the Middle Ages and the Tudor Era, but dear God, can we please have something more inventive than

allegedly nonexisting / destroyed books being secreted away by a librarian of a closed community (a monastery in Eco's book, an Oxford college here)?

(spoiler show)

  C.J. Sansom showed in Lamentation that it can be done ...

 

So no, Mr. Iggulden, contrary to your laudatory blurb, not only can Brother Cadfael easily hold a whole chandelier to this -- he'd also have solved this case in a fraction of the time it's taking this book's fictional version of Giordano Bruno.  So would Miss Marple.  So would William of Baskerville.  So would Matthew Shardlake -- don't anybody tell me that this is anywhere near legitimate competition for that particular series, either. (Looking at you, cover blurb writer Sam Bourne.)

 

And did I mention Sherlock Holmes?

 

Merken

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-14 01:31
William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back: Star Wars Part the Fifth
William Shakespeare's the Empire Striketh Back - Ian Doescher

Nay, nay! Try thou not.

But do thou or do thou not,

For there is no “try.”

~Yoda, Act III, Scene 7

 

Apparently I was not the only one put off by the excessive use of the Chorus in Verily, A New Hope. Enough people complained that Doescher mentioned it in the acknowledgments of this book and talked about how the criticism shaped his narrative approach moving forward. The improvement is vast. Many thanks to my fellow complainers who came before me. The squeaky wheels really do get the grease sometimes!

 

I went into this with a little trepidation. Empire is my favorite film of the original trilogy and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to stop my inner pedant from being hypercritical. Fortunately, Doescher hit his stride after tossing aside his chorus crutches and there wasn’t much fault to find in this one. What little faults there may be are insignificant next to the power of Yoda speaking some of my all-time favorite Star Wars quotes in haiku. That was about a million times more delightful than I thought it would be (and I thought it would be pretty damn delightful).

 

I’ll leave you with perhaps my favorite line of this play, which is not a line at all, but stage direction:

[Exit, pursued by a wampa

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-11-11 12:11
Reading progress update: I've read 1253 out of 1344 pages.
The Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare,John Jowett,Gary Taylor

Tudor politics: treacherous and dangerous.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?