Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Are You Shakespearienced? Roundup

"How should Shakespeare really sound?" Telegraph, March 12, 2012

Inspired by working with Kevin Spacey, Sir Trevor Nunn has claimed that American accents are "closer" than
contemporary English to the accents of those used in the Bard's day.

The eminent Shakespearean scholar John Barton has suggested that Shakespeare's accent would have sounded to modern ears like a cross between a contemporary Irish, Yorkshire and West Country accent.>>>

"Was Macbeth Irish? Juliet from Cornwall?"
Guardian, March 18, 2012

If you listen to a new CD that tries to capture the original pronunciation of Shakespeare, you might think so.

I'm not a great fan of "authenticity" in Shakespeare: partly because tastes change, and partly because we can never be absolutely sure how the plays once looked and sounded. But a new 75-minute British Library CD, seeking to recapture the original pronunciation of Shakespeare through a selection of scenes and speeches, has a certain historical curiosity.>>>

Nick Clark, "Is this a dagger which I see before me? Historian to explore Shakespearean violence," Independent, March 21, 2012

Rising knife crime in London, youth gangs out of control, and helpless lawmakers attempting to curb the fighting by banning certain types of blade. It may sound familiar, but this was the London of William Shakespeare's day, and gives an insight into one of his most enduring love stories.>>>

Sarah Fay, "How to Talk to Shakespeare, H.G. Wells, and Emily Dickinson," The Atlantic, March 14, 2012

Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris envisions the ultimate creative writing program. In the film, Gil Pender, an American screenwriter and struggling novelist, travels back in time and gleans writing advice from literary luminaries living in Paris during the 1920s and the fin de siècle. Pender is a 21st-century, wannabe writer, a Hollywood hack who is awkward and uncertain in the presence of iconic figures like Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway. When Pender asks how he can become a "real" writer, Stein tells him to strengthen the plot of his novel. Hemingway—speaking in "clean," "honest" prose—recommends he overcome his fear of death. We never find out if Pender makes it, but many of us would prefer his experience to that of enrolling in one of America's 300 graduate writing programs: no silly workshops, no other aspiring writers, and direct instruction from "true"—i.e., deceased—masters of the craft.>>>

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