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Showing posts from November, 2007

Michael Moore and the true Shakespeare

Now who would you expect to run into leaving the book and crafts sale at the Community Center of tiny Alden, Michigan, on the southeast, currently snowy shores of Torch Lake? This morning it was Michael Moore, holding a can of Vernor’s in his hand and telling us it was the best pop art in the place. Rosey and I have extended an invitation, again, to Michael, who lives up the lake from us, for dinner when he is down south of Clam River with an extra hour or two on his hands. No telling, once he has solved the health care problems of the country, that he might want to turn his attention to the true author of the works which carry the name William Shakespeare on their cover. Michael, we have a tale of intrigue, genius, power, murder, corruption, and cover up for you all encased in a tale of the fall into oblivion of perhaps western civilization’s most brilliant literary talent, whose works have taken on a name of their own which we continue to call Shakespeare. I can also promise you,

No turkey for Oberon

Oberon’s November meeting last week definitely was no turkey. As promised, Tom Townsend delivered a feast of evidence about Hamlet’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that knocks the stuffing out of Stratfordian pretensions that their boy Will Shaksper ever could have put pen to paper and produced anything like Hamlet. Of course, de Vere received his just desserts as Tom doled out one course after another of evidence including the following: De Vere’s brother in law Lord Willoughby led a diplomatic mission to Denmark in 1582 and returned with information about the Danish court that shows up in Hamlet. A state reception was held for Willoughby which only Danish nobility attended. A Rosencrantz and two Guildensterns were on the list of attendees. The dating of Hamlet, traditionally put at 1595-1600, could be the early to mid-1580s. A Guildenstern from Sweden visited Hedingham when de Vere was 12-years-old. By the way, de Vere was 12 when his father, the 16th Earl, died. Is there a connecti

Did Shakespeare Anticipate Mad Cow Disease?

I just read an amusing article published in Clinical Infectious Diseases , a medical journal published by University of Chicago, in 2006. The article is titled "'Strange things I have in head': Evidence of Prion Disease in Shakespeare's Macbeth" . You can access it (I hope) at http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/CID/journal/issues/v42n2/37985/37985.text.html The article purports to show that Macbeth may have acted the way he did because he was suffering from a disease. Prion diseases (formerly known as slow-virus diseases) are a collection of neurologic diseases affecting humans and animals. The three human forms are Familial fatal insomnia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. This last one is considered the human form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, more commonly known as Mad Cow Disease. The article in question uses multiple quotations from Macbeth to show that Macbeth may have been suffering from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob dis

Shakespeare NOW!

When I was browsing in Shaman Drum last month, I came upon a set of slim volumes with the series title, Shakespeare NOW! The series is published by Continuum Books, London and New York and is edited by Simon Palfrey and Ewan Fernie with the intention of offering “ . . . a series of intellectual adventure stories: animate with fresh and often exposed thinking, with ideas still heating in the mind.” The book that caught my eye is Shakespeare Thinking by Philip Davis of the University of Liverpool School of English. This is a dense book in terms of ideas and thrilling to read – I believe Davis has met the challenge of talking about the work of Shakespeare in new and challenging ways. From what I understand, Davis argues that Shakespeare’s language accesses the actual creation of thought – that Shakespeare shows us reality coming into language, unfiltered by consciousness. In this language, nothing is taken for granted and nothing is already known. With Shakespeare, whatever it is, it is