Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Oberon August report

In past years, Oberon has not often met in August, substituting an outing for a meeting. This year we are doing both. Some of us will be attending The Merchant of Venice in Stratford, Ontario this Saturday, the 25th. In the meantime, a gratifyingly good turnout appeared for the regular meeting on Thursday, August 16. Thank you to Sue, Linda, Mara, Robin, Rey, Richard, Tom, Joy, Barb, and Rosey for making it another enjoyable evening.

There were three highlights in addition to our reliable Treasurer’s Report.

The first was Linda’s presentation on the possibilities of the blog in which she created a entry for our Oberon blog on the computer in front of our very eyes. (See Aug. 16 photo and entry below.) Will the marvels of this electronic age never cease? In addition to being impressive, Linda’s demonstration showed us that blogging offers many possibilities and opportunities to Oberon, including facilitating communication among members; creating a record of members’ thoughts, activities, and research results, among others; and connecting us to the internet, since blog content should show up in search results. Linda has taken the online ball and run with it for us. We owe her many thanks. I have a feeling the best is yet to come.

The second highlight was the report by Rey Perez about the personal e-mail he received from Irwin Matus as a result of Rey’s foray into the Folger during which he met Mr. Matus and struck up a warm acquaintance. Suffice it to say that Mr. Matus has his doubts about any Oxfordian other than Rey, but Rey is to be congratulated for getting through to at least one orthodox Shakespearean. Yes, Mr. Matus, Rey Perez is abundantly human. He’s a good guy. He’s knowledgeable. You have already discovered that. And we like to think that there are more Oxfordians like him than have yet been dreamt of in your philosophy. We may have our differences but, as Patrick Stewart said, we are all Shakespeareans.

The third highlight was a complete surprise for the group. We knew that Barbara Burris has been working on a novel. We know of Barbara Burris’ excellent research into the authorship issue, especially her work reported in the New York Times about the Ashbourne portrait which hangs in the Folger and whose subject was originally referred to as Shakespeare. We knew that she asked to read a chapter or two of her novel at a meeting. Well, she did that on Thursday, and what we didn’t know—but should have—is how excellent it appears to be. Barbara apparently can add fiction to her list of accomplishments. Every word was a delight. Barb said she has a long way to go, but if the rest of it is as good as the part we heard, she should have a success on her hands. It is a mystery with a working title Portrait of Deceit: the Shakespeare Murders. It evolves from her work on the Ashbourne, and it skillfully touches on authorship issues in interesting ways. We are hoping that Barbara will keep us in the loop as the book takes shape, and we thank her for bringing it to us.

Finally, Tom reported briefly on the Utah Shakespeare Festival and some highjinks that occurred when he found Will Shakespeare sitting on a park bench inside the festival theatre.

Next meeting is Thursday, Sept. 20. Linda invited Oberon members to her home on Sept 23 for a special potluck get together. Please check with Linda for details.

Tom Hunter
Oberon Chair

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