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Showing posts from October, 2010

Traditional researcher vilified for going rogue

“Yes, there’s a lot of crankology out there,” (Judith)Curry says. “But not all of it is. If only 1 percent of it or 10 percent of what the skeptics say is right, that is time well spent because we have just been too encumbered by groupthink.” Scientific American Magazine , November 2010 Scientific American reported on the phenomenon of how an academic is treated when she considers the criticism of skeptics in the Michael Lemonick article,  "Climate Heretic Judith Curry Turns on Her Colleagues"   Published November 2010. I don't consider Shakespeare authorship inquiry either a conspiracy theory or a fringe concept, but the issue is often lumped with debunked theories like no-moon-landing and such, so I thought it was interesting that someone in the academy could bring herself to say that skeptics just might be worth listening to. The resulting Sturm und Drang is also enlightening.

Stille's schizo Hamlet doubles at Eastern

Liz from the Oberon Meetup Group reported that Eastern Michigan University Theatre is performing Hamlet this week at 7 p.m.October 28, 29, 30 at the Quark Theater on the EMU Main Campus in Ypsilanti, MI. The production features a schizophrenic Hamlet as reported by Ann reviewer Roger LeLievre in his October 23 review, "EMU Theatre's 'Hamlet' a fresh and compelling take on Shakespeare's tragedy" : EMU professor Lee Stille’s new adaptation splits the title role in half, each played by a pair of scarily well-matched actors (Matt Andersen and Evan Mann). They shadow each other on stage, they trade lines back and forth (it’s like they are finishing each other’s sentences) and are often at odds. Unusual as it was to hear the “to be, or not to be” soliloquy broken down into two parts, it worked beautifully. It’s a powerful way to explore the conflicts that rage within Hamlet; there’s the face he shows to the world and then there’s the one raging inside th

October Oberon Meetup!

Treasurer Tom Townsend gives his monthly report at the October 20, 2010 Oberon meeting. At our October meeting, the Oberon Shakespeare Study Group decided to join the Meetup! community after hearing from Prashant A. about the success he is enjoying after signing his Plymouth Shakespeare and Epic Poetry Read Aloud group on Meetup!. Please join our group at Shakespeare-Study-Group/  to enjoy a quick and easy way to keep up to date on Oberon activities. We're hoping that Meetup! will provide another method for reaching Shakespeare lovers who are interested in learning more about the work and the author.

Was Shakespeare gay?

Like the late Joseph Sobran , award-winning poet and editor Don Paterson comes down firmly in the gay  camp on the topic of Shakespeare's sexual orientation in his upcoming book, Reading Shakespeare's Sonnets: a New Commentary , to be released in England on November 4, 2010 by Faber and Faber. In an essay titled "Shakespeare's Sonnets by Don Paterson" published October 15, 2010 in The Guardian, Paterson said: However, the question: "was Shakespeare gay?" strikes me as so daft as to be barely worth answering. Of course he was. Arguably he was bisexual, of sorts, but his heart was never on his straight side. Now is not the time to rehearse them all, but the arguments against his homosexuality are complex and sophistical, and often take convenient and homophobic advantage of the sonnets' built-in interpretative slippage – which Shakespeare himself would have needed for what we would now call "plausible deniability", should anyone have felt

Joseph Sobran legacy

In  the death of Joseph Sobran on September 30, 2010 the literary community lost a superb writer and William Shakespeare lost a brilliant advocate. Sobran’s polemic on the topic of the Shakespeare authorship,  Alias Shakespeare: Solving the Greatest Literary Mystery of All Time , was published in 1997 by Simon & Schuster. In December 1999 Sobran defined his viewpoint in  "How Old Was Oxford's Daughter and When Did William Lose his Hair?" , a reply to academic criticism of his work: . . . in my view the balance of nature requires that some of us nonscholars be able to detect fraudulent scholarship. That is what  Alias Shakespeare  is meant to do. Bogus scholarship is especially rife in academic Shakespeare studies, which are based on the dubious dogma that William of Stratford was, beyond doubt, the poet-dramatist we call “Shakespeare.” The scholars, their reputations at stake, can’t afford to admit that there is any question whatsoever about this.  Alias Shakespeare

BAR compares authorship controversies

In the current issue (Nov./Dec. 2010) of Biblical Archeology Review , BAR editor Hershel Shanks compares the Shakespeare authorship controversy to a New Testament authorship controversy raging in the field of biblical scholarship. In his First Person column titled "Shakespeare, the Earl of Oxford and Morton Smith".  Shanks refers to James Shapiro's Stratfordian take on the topic, Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? published last year, but does not mention Shapiro's thesis that nineteenth century biblical study opened the intellectual doors to doubting the traditional Stratfordian attribution of Shakespeare's work. Richard Whalen's review of Contested Will   posted 01/19/10 SOS News Online Linda Theil's review of Contested Will   posted 12/05/09 SOS News Online

Mantel said a mouthful

. . . And it's very difficult to get back beyond reputation, back to the real man, back to the sources, because a lot of the history we are taught is just packages of prejudice handed on from one generation to the next. And the package is never opened and examined. We just carry it unquestioningly and hand it on ourselves. 2009 Man Booker Prize for Fiction winner, novelist Hilary Mantel, made this comment in an NPR interview with Liane Hanson on October 25, last year.  Wolf Hall --  Mantel's prize-winning novel featuring Thomas Cromwell as protagonist --   is out now in paperback.  A transcript of the entire NPR interview, as well as an audio link, is available at "Booker Prize winner Mantel tells the story of Henry VIII"  (scroll down web page). 

Freed's "Beard" set for spring in Escondido

San Diego's North County Times included notice of auditions for a Patio Playhouse spring 2011 production of Amy Freed's 2001 play about the Shakespeare authorship controversy, Beard of Avon,  in the paper's Community News section today: Auditions for 'The Beard of Avon' ESCONDIDO ---- Patio Playhouse will hold auditions for "The Beard of Avon" from 10 am. to 1 p.m. Oct. 30 and from 7 to 10 p.m. Nov. 1 at the theater, 201 E. Grand Ave, Suite 1D. The story is about a bumpkin known as Will Shakspere who longs to be an artist and flee from his filthy barn, his homebound wife and incessant chores. Parts include: Will Shakspere, in his 30s ---- simple, honest, an appealing fellow who possesses hidden gifts; Edward De Vere, 40s-60s ---- 17th Earl of Oxford, wicked, charming, sexy and gay; Queen Elizabeth, 50s-60s ---- a sacred monster who wants a boyfriend; Anne Hathaway, 30s ---- Will's lively, illiterate and promiscuous wife; Henry Wriothesley, 20s ----

Tepid Taymore Tempest

Julie Taymore's Hawaii-located Tempest with Helen Mirren as "Prospera" debuted at the New York Film Festival October 2, 2010 to a generally lukewarm reception. The film opens nationally on December 10, 2010. Hollywood News review by Sean O'Connell: Still photos and other info on Yahoo! Movies: