lotesse: (sillycat)
good bit of gossip turned up in this morning's writing:

"So self-aggrandizing is the sequence [in Branagh's Henry V when he makes his first entrance] that when Judi Dench (who played Mistress Quickly) saw the rushes, she is reported to have said, Wwho do you think you are?', to which Branagh is said to have replied sardonically, 'The film is not called Mistress Quickly the Fourth.'"
lotesse: (shakespeare_claudio)
Abigail Nussbaum has a cool article up on three stagings of Much Ado About Nothing: the Branagh film, the Whedon film, and the Tennant/Tate production.

Although I liked the Whedon adaptation more than she apparently did, and saw it as definitely expressing an interpretation, albeit a nihilistic and chaotic one. I was struck by the way Whedon's characters stumbled from scene to scene, how drunk and out of control they all were, how random their choices are - in contrast to the Branagh film, where you see Beatrice and Benedick warming to the thought of one another and genuinely deciding to match themselves, I saw Whedon's characters as very much the victims of their friends' tricks, tricked into sex and love and marriage and betrayal and penance and forgiveness, tricked into doing wrong and tricked into doing right.

I suppose it also doesn't help, in my case, that looking at Sean Maher's little faaaaaaace makes me go all melty and trusting, whereas I don't trust Reed Diamond as far as I can pitch him.
lotesse: (merlin_Queen!Gwen)
1. I'm in a snowpocalypse, and it's great! Three days of heavy snow and gale-strength winds and I'm happy as a pig in clover. Spent all morning shoveling out the steps, yelling Tennyson to keep rhythm.

2. I'm taking antidepressants. Mama got me started on a low dose of prozac two days ago, and so far so good. I feel a lot safer taking first steps on this when I'm home; I don't know why medication scares me so much - maybe residual ex issues? - but I think it'll be a good thing. I had accupuncture earlier in the week, which started everything - when the needles went in I started crying and couldn't stop, and that finally got me to be honest with mama about how hard things have been of late. I'm still pretty scared of it all, but I'm also really really ready to put the depression away for a while.

3. Mama and daddy and I are watching Slings and Arrows, and between the Paul Gross and my status as a former Stratford Festival brat (I did their summer Shakespeare school several years running as a teenager, back when I thought I wanted to act professionally, and attended the season religiously until college took me further south) it's bundles of fun. Also interesting, that I'm reading/watching in C6D fandoms (is Slings and Arrows considered properly C6D?) that all center on mental health and creativity and isolation, when those subjects are so much at the forefront of my own day to day life.
lotesse: (httyd_dubious)
nicked from [personal profile] celandineb

William Shakespeare

Away, you scullion! You rampallion! You fustilarian!
I'll tickle your lotesse!

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

lotesse: (Default)
I am loving all the Shakespeare refs threaded through the Vorkosigan Saga - the obsessive return to Richard III is, in particular, a very deft touch.

And - knowing Bujold's background, I'm willing to lay money that Cordelia's thought, right at the end of Cordelia's Honor, that "let me help" rhymes with "I love you" is a ref to "City on the Edge of Forever." Which had me grinning like a mad thing.
lotesse: (Claudio)
Shall quips and sentences and these paper bullets of the brain awe a man from the career of his humour?
(Much Ado about Nothing. Act ii. Sc. 3.)
lotesse: (Claudio)
Having a Shakespeare nerd night, as a consequence of having to read about a hundred and fifty pages on King Lear for class. I finished the essay a while back, and then plunged straight into Susan Cooper's novel King of Shadows, which I found the day before yesterday at Goodwill and which made me gasp and cry and carry on.

God I love that book. It was published the year we did Midsummer Night's Dream at school; I read it two weeks after the show went off. So I had a head full of fairies and blank verse and the Mendelssohn incidental music, and then to get to read a book involving all those things, written by an author I was already at the time passionately in love with - it was fantastic. It's such a purely emotional little book. It skirts very, very close to the id without ever feeling melodramatic or forced. I don't think it's possible to read it and not fall a little bit in love with William Shakespeare.

And now I'm watching Shakespeare in Love - beautiful production, great set design, great score, the kind of writing you can really only expect from Tom Stoppard, and a really pretty appalling cast. Why people keep casting Hollywood people in films about stage actors I will never understand. They're inevitably just kind of wrong: too pretty, too polished, too quiet and elegant and reserved. But Judi Dench makes it all worthwhile.


14 Jan 2010 08:05 pm
lotesse: (Tempest)
Attention: the most awesome fanvid ever made is this one (Beatrice, Much Ado About Nothing, No Doubt), which was just posted in festivids. homg you guys. freaking amazing.
lotesse: (stargate - a singer must die)
Because this one is always fun. Works-in-progress meme: post a few lines from the fic you're working on.


“You remind me of someone,” he said at last, which was partially true – if Darla had ever been a sweet young thing, which Angelus privately doubted, she may have been not unlike this gilded knife of a girl. “What's your name?”

“Rebecca Sharp. Becky. And I shan't ask yours,” she answered pertly. “By your voice you're an Irishman, and by your face you're not low born, but by your voice I should call you quite a wicked personage, for no virtuous man would ever speak so sweetly of buying and selling.”


Jack knew that Daniel needed an anchor. He just didn't know where to find the chain. Sha're possessed links by the score: her lips, her voice, her finger in the sand, the smell of her body. The breathing artifact of her skin, her language straight out of Daniel's work, Daniel's dreams. Egypt had been his home as a child, surrounded by love and care and the dusty remnants of history. Sha're – Abydos – was that home come again.


It was just as well, Angel thought. He didn't really want to see them cover her over with cold earth. He didn't really want to have to remember what it felt like to claw a way through clinging soil, pull yourself up onto the wet grass and feel the demon pawing over your dead heart. He didn't want to have those memories get so close to her, as if their gore might splash her pretty bright clothes, stain her mouth bitten red.


Prospero opened the chest, and it was full of bright and beautiful cloth, and pearls, and small dainty things that shone like jewels. Miranda gave a little gasp and fell to her knees before it, her hands going out to touch and caress the luxurious silks and velvets, the like of which she’d never seen. They were softer than the fur of any creature, cooler than the sea at night. The gowns that she pulled out to their length were heavier than she expected, and longer than she was tall. “Try them on,” her father said. “They belong to you.”

lotesse: (literature - Victorian)
Caliban Upon Setebos
or Natural Theology in the Island

"Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself."

['Will sprawl, now that the heat of day is best,
Flat on his belly in the pit's much mire,
With elbows wide, fists clenched to prop his chin,
And, while he kicks both feet in the cool slush,
And feels about his spine small eft-things course,
Run in and out each arm, and make him laugh:
And while above his head a pompion-plant,
Coating the cave-top as a brow its eye,
Creeps down to touch and tickle hair and beard,
And now a flower drops with a bee inside,
And now a fruit to snap at, catch and crunch,--
He looks out o'er yon sea which sunbeams cross
And recross till they weave a spider-web,
(Meshes of fire, some great fish breaks at times)
And talks, to his own self, howe'er he please,
Touching that other, whom his dam called God.
Because to talk about Him, vexes--ha,
Could He but know! and time to vex is now,
When talk is safer than in winter-time.
Moreover Prosper and Miranda sleep
In confidence, he drudges at their task,
And it is good to cheat the pair, and gibe,
Letting the rank tongue blossom into speech.]

Setebos, Setebos, and Setebos!
'Thinketh, He dwelleth i' the cold o' the moon.

Read more... )
lotesse: (feminism - Buffy)
I've been thinking about women's anger in narrative. My Boy just read Jane Eyre for the first time, and while he loved Jane's passionate rage as a child, he was disappointed by the way that she cools down and reigns herself in as an adult. Also, Hoyden About Town posted a feminist exploration of The Taming of the Shrew yesterday - the one Shakespeare play that I can't get my head around, that I can't figure it out.

(I also saw Australia last night, and while I loved the film I rather wish that the heroine had been more Mary Lennox or Jo March than Indiana Jones Sidekick No. 2)

I love angry girls in books. Anger is a useful resource; if you are oppressed, anger is a necessary reaction. Out of anger is born activism. I love the angry girls because they see gender oppression as the crock it actually is, and they aren't willing to play along. As a girl, the angry girls made me feel validated, like I wasn't making it all up - like I had a right to my anger. I felt with their fire.

My heart had leapt. My cheeks had burnt. I had flushed with anger. )
lotesse: (shakespeare)
In honor of Will Shakespeare, I present to you the best single exchange of dialogue ever. From Titus Andronicus, Act IV, Scene ii:

Villain, what hast thou done?

That which thou canst not undo.

Thou hast undone our mother.

Villain, I have done thy mother.


In other news, my comments are still wonky, or were last night. I do not know what is up with this, and it is giving me anger. Though not as much anger as Shakespeare gives me happies.
lotesse: (shakespeare)
...I just dreamed I was teaching my sister to speak Shakespeare. She had to recite "full many a glorious morning," and I was beating out the scansion for her. She was complaining that it sounded weird when I read it like that.


...Coleridge called the pun "Shakespeare's fatal Cleopatra."
lotesse: (words)
Well, eljay has spoken, and I like where their words are going. Their feet may not be going there, but the words are good.

I had a moment of wonderful yesterday: The Boy and I were re-watching Serenity, and realized that we'd never listened to the commentary track. We'd combed Buffy for commentaries, but actually managed to forget the Big Damn Movie.

Before we watched it, we were curled up in bed talking, and I went off a little bit about the planet name "Miranda" in connection to my crazy reading of "The Tempest." The connections to control, to utopias that oppress the savage for his own good, to Prosper putting her to sleep, to "O brave new world, that has such people in it." I was on a role, but of course it was only meta, and they probably eren't thinking of that explicitly. That's how it always goes - our stuff all come from the subtext. The creators are never actually thinking in terms of subversive Shakespeare readings. And then we watched the comm, and we got to Miranda, and Joss said something along the lines of, "And I was thinking about that line from 'The Tempest,' 'O brave new world that has such people in it.'"

And that, gentle reader, is why I'm crazy about Joss. How many guys actually repeat your brilliant and incisive meta back to you, and were thinking of it all along?
lotesse: (Briar-Rose)
A meme, from [livejournal.com profile] emei
Drop me a comment and I will give you 3 interests on your list, and 3 of your icons, for you to explain. Here are mine.


litslash - I feel like something of a fannish oddity at times, because my dearest-loved fandoms are textual, closed, and old. If I could find a fan community for Prydain or the Secret Garden or LeGuin that was as active as media fandoms, I'd be there in a flash. (The slash part of this interest has moved omnisexual in recent months. Don't care if they're boys or girls, just want the fic and the meta and the community)

acafan - I got into fandom young, and started hanging around the big girls' journals, the ones who were in grad school and who talked about Derrida. Which meant that I learned literary theory as a kid, from fen, in reference to hobbit sex. It's a great way to go.

donkeyskin - a fairy tale about a Princess whose father wants to marry her. She asks for three gowns as radiant as the moon, as shining as the stars, and as golden as the sun, and then puts on an animal skin to make her escape. She flees to a neighboring kingdom where she lives as an animal-girl, working in the palace scullery. The prince gives three balls: he's looking for a wife. She goes each night, but then flees back to her animal skin. He finds her out by a ring she gave him, and marries her. I'm doing my senior honors work on it next year - it's unique. A girl takes on an animal disguise in order to find positive sexuality and freedom. I don't know what's going on, but I love it.

And icons:

Tia Dalma was my favorite thing in Dead Man's Chest. She's a wonderful combination of things that I find fascinting, love and ships and fortune and foresight and the sea. She's so beautiful that I can't breathe whenever she's on the screen. So there was no way I wasn't going to have Tia Dalma icons. The text is Emily Dickinson, Nor noticed that the Ebbing Day Flowed silver to the West -- Nor noticed Night did soft descend -- Nor Constellation burn -- Intent upon the vision Of latitudes unknown.

Helena Bonham Carter as Olivia in Twelfth Night. I frelling love Twelfth Night, for many reasons. They never really leave the greenworld, just step off even further into Illyria. Olivia is a unique character in the corpus - she's not the soubrette or the Best Friend or any of the other usual second fiddle parts. She's a sorrowful, loving, determined, sexual woman. I caught this cap by chance, and in looking through my set later I found that it somehow seemed to encapsulate all of those things. The text is Anne Carson, who is dreamy and literary and harsh and weird, and somehow fits up nicely against Shakespeare's girls. I read her for class this past fall, and jotted down lines in my notebook.

River is the best textual/deconstructionist toy that could ever be dropped into a show. She's a walking, dancing knot of literary theory. I wanted a River icon, and also something that I could use for theory posts or school-related stuff. Text from Anne Carson again. This was such an easy icon to make - it all just fell into place. Didn't take me more than ten minutes. I love it when that happens.
lotesse: (Miranda)
For my own dearest Will, on his birthday - all the love in the world, and more, which your own love-letters are best able to reflect.

come, thou day in night;
For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night
Whiter than new snow on a raven's back.
Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-brow'd night,
Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
O, I have bought the mansion of a love,
But not possess'd it, and, though I am sold,
Not yet enjoy'd: so tedious is this day
As is the night before some festival
To an impatient child that hath new robes
And may not wear them.
lotesse: (erised)
The thing that I really love about Shakespeare is that I can just sort of move around through it, swim through the text with ease. Not that it's simple, but that it somehow seems to open up to me, show all of its complexities and doublings and shiny bits. And I can juggle it around, find the right spaces to sink down in, breathe it and understand things and make it go. The girls and the fools and the scansion and the unsexing and the Sedgewick triangles of both genders, the Greenworld theory and the racial issues.

Chaucer, on the other hand, baffles me. Sure, I can talk about the individual Canterbury Tales, but I can't do a damn thing with stringing them together. I love Chaucer, but I have nothing to say. It feels like the text actively resists me, pushing back when I push in. Both of my Chaucer papers last term were cop-outs, Loti taking the easy way out. Not that they were bad papers or anything, bit I have some bigger issues that I have thus far failed to wrestle with. What I really want is to write a paper about the specific ways in which Chaucer resists interpretive readings.

Maybe I have an easier time with Shakespeare because my brain starts in the space of the performative tradition. I give myself permission, with Shakespeare, to go there. The author is dead, man. I can put any reading I want up on stage, an nobody's going to bitch if it's not period. Chaucer I worry about--can I really put deconstructionist theory in the mouth of a mediaeval writer? But I'm downright blithe about the Bard, more than happy to mix it up and turn it around.

I must have really nailed my three big end-of-term papers last month, because I got A's in two classes that I definitely had B's in pre-paper. Which is gratifying, because I totally worked my ass off, and I think maybe what I'm getting a handle on is where to work, and how, seeing the flaws in my own writing and learning how to target them. The sort of essay my daddy taught me how to write, straight litcrit, I'm doing well with that.

The thing that I don't know how to do, and that I really want to work on, is the literary-personal essay. "A Room of One's Own". The sort of essay that's both about the reading and the reader, that works with the idea that a reading of a text is a collaboration between the writer-at-the-time-of-writing and the reader-at-the-time-of-reading. A narrative of me reading a book, of me running in to quandaries and coming to moments of clarity. It's what I like best to read myself, and I'd really like to figure out how to do it. I'm trying right now to get into a Creative Nonfiction workshop with a visiting prof who The Boy really likes, and I'm hoping maybe I can talk to him about it, because I know what I want to make but I haven't the slightest idea as to how to go about starting.
lotesse: (Miranda)
I'm getting back on to several things, starting a new term--and no more Mercury retrograde, this time!

*organizing for a major icon-making session as soon as the school labs open up and I have access to Photoshop again. Spent ages this afternoon getting images sorted, texty bits selected, ect. Spring is sprung, and I need to retire my winter set.

*working on three stories right now. One is the Voyage of the Dawn Treader AU, which I will hopefully post bits of this week. The other two are Shakespeare fic. It's great--I can submit such things for publication, talk to my profs about them, and still play in the ways that fandom has taught me. The most developed one is a Tempest retelling, wherein Miranda and the dark-skinned Caliban are in love, and Prospero can't decide if he's more freaked out by Miranda's sexuality or Caliban's race. But my Plato issues and my daddy issues have both demanded to be included, and education and storytelling and also witchcraft and motherlessness and the sea. And then I want to do a dreamy disconnected coda to Twelfth Night full of polymorphous perversity, because if any play cries out for such treatment, it's Night. They never leave Illyria, people. There's still in Greenworld, and anything can happen there.

*reading Paradise Lost. One of my teachers has been bitching the student body out for years now for not having read it before we tackle the Romantics, so she's sitting us down and reading it with us. I'm looking forward to it; I want to read the poem, and it will really help to have someone to make me when I start to feel like slacking off.

*I want to be better about my tarot, to read it at least one a week. I do better when I work tarot. It gives me both time to meditate and a forced awareness of what's going on both within and without me. I let myself off this last term, and I think it's maybe part of the reason why my brain got so scrambled.

On another note, watching first season Buffy this afternoon and "Pack"? So totally has Ash, Dr. Badass himself, as the computer geek who can't kill Buffy when the demon gets in the internet. Little baby Ash! No mullet yet, but oh my god the characters are so totally the same person hello.

Sam Winchester is the prettiest man in the world in "Roadkill". It's the hair; it was perfect. Yummy.
lotesse: (fairytale queen)
So I'm doing this workshop at school for a week, to train half-a-dozen baby college professors. It's sort of a ghost town around here, with everyone away on break, and I was terribly depressed and lonely last night when I got in. But now I think that this can be okay. Maybe it will even be sort of cool.

Right now more than anything I want a chance to get to work. I think that because of my background I've had to think a lot more about the natrue of teaching and learning than most of my age group. From fifth grade on, I was always looking for something better, something real. And in that process I tried an awful lot of things.

So now I find myself with a lot of strongly-held convictions that are hugely untried. Last term I tried some of them out--TAing Shakespeare was a blast, and as a final project my prof handed the last week of class over to me, and told me to use it to teach "The Tempest." And I had a blast.

I want to do this. I want to teach. But it can be hard for me to articulate why, because education comes so naturally to me. It's difficult for me to explain why learning is important, because I've always seen it as self-evident.

And navel gazing, clearly.

daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin


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