Sunday, June 29, 2008

Who Wrote Shakspere's Plays

There is much interesting discussion on William Shakespeare in The Red Room

In answer to Thomas Huynh's post, the REAL Shakespeare:

Well, Thomas, what is a genius? I think the man was a working writer. Very good one. But like his friend Ben Johnson, who loved him, "this side of idolatory," I think he gains from editing. "Would he had crossed out a thousand." Lines, Ben meant.

I think Titus Andronicus is the work of a man whose friend at the studio says, "It's Vin Deisel, Willie. They want gratuitous violence. They want blood." They play is abysmal, and I'm glad I didn't write it. I think Merchant of Venice is the work of a man whose co-producers asked for an anti-semitic play. So he whacked a Jewish character into one of his silly romance plots. But, being the writer he is, he got under Shylock's skin (I mean, what a name?) and made him human, and ended up with a great tragedy stuck in a romantic adventure.

I think Will could have got the Venice stuff from talking to one person who'd been to Venice. There were quite a few around. Always a cosmopolitan town, London.

The other thing is, I don't think Will thought his texts were that important. Point was to get the thing into production, and rake in the ticket sales. He was a mainstream populist. If he lived now, he'd be writing television. So the texts do have bits written by other people. It was theatre. People collaborated.

The best book I've read about Will is A LIFE OF SHAKESPEARE, by Hesketh Pearson. Perhaps the best argument for Shakespeare as author is to read the plays and intuit the nature of the man behind them.

On the other hand, we know he was in an acting troupe. We know he had shares in a theatre. We know he went to the city and made money. If it wasn't from theatre, what was it from? We know he was successful enough as a playwright for at least one other writer to accuse him of upstart pretensions.

And Ben Johnson, a friend, and playwright, worshiped him this side of idolatry.

As a writer.

Let's apply Occam's Razor here, chaps.

Friday, June 20, 2008

John McCain Called his Wife a What?

This seems to be attested.

And some folks are having fun with it.

Here in South Africa, we have a politician who suggested that if the leader of the ruling party was tried for corruption (his partner in this corruption is already in jail by the way, which seems to suggest that said leader might just be guilty) people should kill to defend him.

Maybe John McCain should join the ANCYL. Right age, right temperament...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The ANC Self Discreditization League.

"We have noticed a distortion, misinterpretation, vulgar insults and defamatory comments which have been hurled against ANC Youth League".

Malema said it was all part of a political agenda to discredit the Youth League. - The Times.

This seems unnecessary, and I would urge all those involved to stop. Mr. Malema is quite capable of doing the work by himself.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Julius Malema - Enemy of the Revolution

“The SA Human Rights Commission has given ANC Youth League president Julius Malema 14 days to retract his controversial "kill for Zuma" remark.” - The Times.

This is a good thing. Mr. Malema’s remarks reminded me very much of Nat politicians in the old days. Then it was communists and terrorists. Now it’s “enemies of the revolution”. When questioned on ETV, Mr Malema said these enemies of the revolution cropped up all over the place. I know exactly what he means. He means enemies of his own agenda, which is to empower himself. That’s why he’s so confident of his ability to identify these enemies.

In so far as such as thing as any enemy of the revolution can be said to exist, Mr Malema himself is a prime example. He is clearly a big enemy of democracy. Like Robert Mugabe, who cannot understand why a ballot should be more powerful than a bullet, Mr Malema is one who aims to rule by fear and murder.

We have to watch out for people like this. People like Mao Zedong. They invent new sins and then attach the death penalty to them. They are enemies of humanity.

Two Clams in the Soup

Two Beavers on the Left Bank,

One Dick in the Red Room, and...

A Couple of Ellipses in Paris.

Something is happening here, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

Or them.

It's a Moveable Feast.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Two Ellipses In Paris

Here's a link to a little discussion on censorship in the Red Room. It arose when an earlier Red Room post of mine was tweaked.

Red Room is an EXCELLENT SITE, and this post in no way denotes criticism thereof. I think South African authors interested in broadening their market should join Red Room with all haste.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

BookShed - Peer Review and Networking Site For Writers

Have you got a book at that stage where first or second draft is down, but you can’t see the wood for the trees? You need an outside eye? An unbiased, educated response from someone who is not emotionally involved with you and the work?

The BookShed awaits.

The BookShed is a peer review and networking site for writers of fiction or narrative non-fiction. It welcomes genuine talent at whatever stage of development. Most members are aspirant, but some have recently signed with agents, and two are in the process of signing deals with major publishers.

If the BookShed doesn’t work for you there are other excellent sites, like Litopia and YouWriteOn.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Troops 'must back Mugabe or quit'

Zimbabwe's army chief has told soldiers they must leave the military if they do not vote for incumbent President Robert Mugabe in next month's run-off poll. - BBC News

So much for democrasy.

I think we must just pray for Zimbabwe.