¶ Dear readers:
¶ The blogroll this month is a simple one: three interesting reads that a number of friends, popular and scholarly, emailed over the summer and fall—some multiple times. I am this kind of person; I like to email CFPs and articles of interest to friends. It both activates my brain in terms of questions about a subject I don’t know, but also reminds me of all the generous and brilliant people out there I’ve had the chance to meet.
¶ So, here I extend that generosity of other friends to you, anonymous readers, in the hopes you will find things interesting, and find other writing of interest to send this way, too. Rather than a summative statement, I include here a quotation that represents the kernel of what is inviting about each piece.
¶ The Man with the Golden Pen
Derek Dunne | Before Shakespeare blog | 14 July 2017 | click here
“Do you know who the best writer of Elizabethan London was? Not the most prolific, or the most poetic, or the most popular, but simply the best writer. This is a contentious question among scholars, but if contemporary accounts are to be believed, then the prize goes to Peter Bales. Bales’ superior penmanship brought him to the attention of Queen Elizabeth herself, earned him a place in Holinshed’s Chronicles, and would eventually lead him into the employ of ‘spy-master’ Francis Walsingham for a mission concerning Mary Queen of Scots.”
¶ Shakespeare’s Cure for Xenophobia
Stephen Greenblatt | The New Yorker magazine | 10 July 2017 | click here
“Ideologies of various kinds contrive to limit our ability to enter into the experience of another, and there are works of art that are complicit in these ideologies. More generous works of art serve to arouse, organize, and enhance that ability. Shakespeare’s works are a living model not because they offer practical solutions to the dilemmas they so brilliantly explore but because they awaken our awareness of the human lives that are at stake.”
¶ How Shakespeare ensures [Canadian] summer stages still skew male
J. Kelly Nestruck | The Globe and Mail | 14 July 2017 | click here
“A look at other repertory theatre companies that focus on Shakespeare shows that Stratford is hardly alone in having a company tilted in favour of male performers…Other Canadian repertory theatres that focus on different repertoire seem to have a greater representation of women on stage…These skewed numbers don’t necessarily attest to limitations of Shakespeare’s plays, but instead to the limitation of institutional imaginations when it comes to staging his work.”
¶ Happy reading!