Monday, July 4, 2016

July 2016

April was a Shakespeare month. June was for my alter ego, Rhuddem Gwelin, a Merlin month with a lecture on Merlin at Fantastika, the Stockholm sci-fi/fantasy congress. Connection to Shakespeare? Shakespeare was of course mentioned in the lecture. Earlier, I ran into a Shakespeare friend who is also a neighbour and he asked, ‘Is it possible to love both Shakespeare and sci-fi/fantasy?’ Well – yeah! He shouldn’t have had to ask, since he does. He was amazed to find another. I’m sure we number in the millions!
But now to the report on June.  As always, though, I will start with a reminder that Shakespeare Calling – the book is available for purchase and I appreciate all your support.

Please help promote the book by liking and sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Bokus…. And please encourage your local book shops and libraries to buy it.  Thank you.

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From Davis and Frankforter’s The Shakespeare Name Dictionary:
  • York was the site of a Roman camp and there was a bishop there in the 4th century. It was one of England’s biggest cities in the Middle Ages. In the War of the Roses its symbol was the white rose. 

Shakespeare sightings:
  • In the old series from the 70’s Rock Follies, Q, one of the members of the rock group, says, ‘This is not the civilised utopia of Shakespeare recordings, this is the world of rock music.’ Later their new manager Kitty says to Anna who wants to sing her own songs, ‘Shakespeare wrote Lady Macbeth but he didn’t play her.’
  • Dagens Nyheter
    • Has a translation of an article by Nicholas Kristof about reading girls conquering the world in which Virginia Wolff’s observation about Shakespeare’s sister is mentioned.
    • Has a review of Measure for Measure, now being performed at the Roma Theatre on Gotland, and calls it light, saucy and crisp, a sharp comedy about double morality.
    • Mentioned, on Midsummer’s Eve, the second biggest holiday in Sweden after Christmas Eve (possibly in competition with New Year’s Eve) Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in several contexts.
    • Made a point about Shakespeare’s take on Brexit by finding several quotes from the plays. Especially good was on Nigel Farage’s speech – ‘It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’
  • In the film Cake the girl from Boise asks shrewish Claire: ‘Are you always such a fucking shrew?’ Claire snorts and says, ‘Someone took a Shakespeare class.’
  • At the sci-fi/fantasy convention Fantastika in Stockholm a couple of weeks ago Hal and I listened to a panel of authors talking about how they create characters and one said he recycles them: he is writing about Ophelia. At the closing ceremony the Tolkien Society Forodrim’s choir Gl√©owine sang ‘Double, double, toil and trouble’ from the Harry Potter film.
  • In the book This New Noise by Charlotte Higgins, about the history of the BBC which I just started reading this morning, the first general manager John Reith had the goal of developing the BBC to ‘show that mankind is a unity…for the good of all…[wireless] ignores the puny and often artificial barriers which have estranged men from their fellows. It will soon take continents in its stride…It will cast a girdle round the earth with bands that are all the stronger because invisible.’ Higgins points out that ‘Reith was drawing on Shakespeare: it was Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream who boasted that he could “put a girdle round the earth”. Reith cast himself as magician – more Prospero than Puck…’ 


Further since last time: 

Posted this month
  • This report