This should be a great event at the National Maritime Museum in London in November.
Thanks for this photo , taken outside the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, to Regina Corallo. The show closed on Sept 4, 2010.
For other images, see www.folger.edu/lostatsea
Here’s a link to a now-opening production of Macbeth in lower Manhattan. Anyone want to join me & my u/g class sometime before they close at the end of September?
That’s not my title (though I like it) — it’s a new series of lunch-time talks at St. John’s for experiments in technology and teaching. I’ll be first off the mark next Tuesday, Sept 14, to talk about my Blue Humanities Blog (which I’m starting to think should be renamed the Bookfish). All St. Johnnies welcome, though you’ll need to bring your own lunch. Hosted by Jennifer Travis of the English Dept and Elizabeth Alexander of Online Learning & Services.
September 14, 2010 – Bent Hall, Room 277 (12-1pm)
Here’s an invitation to a day of talks about Macbeth at Farleigh Dickinson U in Madison, NJ, on Oct 16. What better way to spend a nice fall weekend? I’m talking about blue and green ecologies at 1 pm. All are welcome, and it’s free.
Here’s a link from the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute at George Washington U in DC. They’re putting one two events about The Tempest this fall semester, on Oct 1 and Dec 3. I’ll be on the Dec panel.
About four years ago, when I was in the rare books library at Mystic Seaport making some notes that eventually turned into At the Bottom of Shakespeare’s Ocean, I wanted to write the entire book on The Tempest. And, really, to be even more extreme, I wanted to write the whole thing about the first scene.
I’ve never seen the storm scene done well on stage (it was the low point of the great Bridge Project Tempest last year at BAM, and also of the engaging RSC production with Patrick Stewart I saw in London a few years ago). As I read it, the scene exposes the chaos and disruption at the play’s core. “We split,” say the wet mariners, and at this moment — before the magus & his emotive daughter & the air spirit & etc arrive to explain & clarify & order everything — disorder rules the stage. In production that have Prospero on the stage in 1.1 — as he was in the Sam Mendes/Bridge version, as in many others — it short-circuits the scene. We shouldn’t have anyone visible to trust.
So many choices — I wrote about the Boatswain’s technical maritime language (“yar!”) in Shakespeare’s Ocean, and I’ve read good explanations of the scene’s anti-monarchism (“What cares these roarers for the name of king?”). Alonso’s plea for theatrical authority (“Where’s the master?”), Antonio’s rough individualism (“Hang, cur, hang”), and Gonzalo’s weepy plea for “long heath, brown furze” all amount to different efforts to wring chaos into order.
But there’s a brief moment here, before Miranda & Prospero come on stage, when it’s not clear that any order is forthcoming. That’s the wrack really does wreck everything. That that play really investigates the meaning of being “lost at sea” (to borrow a phrase). That’s what I don’t think anyone has managed to capture on stage.
I wonder what it would be like to try to stage it underwater.
A nice half-hour today in what Mary Oliver calls the “dreamhouse / Of salt and exercise.” The weekend of high winds has churned up the sand in the water, so that swimming is like running through a sandstorm out of Prince of Persia. About 2′ swells today, once I got past the protected part of the beach. Post-Labor Day open water swims are precious.
All my E. 110 students should visit www.nypl.org before our class trip on 10/5. Spend a little time on the site to see what it has to offer your project, and also go ahead and register online for a library card. You’ll be able to pick it up at the circulation desk when we are there in early October.
Here’s a cover image of The Tempest from a 1707 ed of Shakespeare’s Works that I used in the opening case of the Folger show last summer. If you look at the terror on the faces of the mariners, the demonic glee of Ariel in the clouds, & the bemused unconcern of Prospero on shore (hard to see on the left hand side), it’s a pretty good image of grad school in English.
Please comment below & read this image back for me: do you see a different allegory, of teaching or learning or something else?
(This’ll give me a chance to test the comments, & to approve each of you as a commentor for the blog going forward.)