Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Recently Read

Richard Nash on Ted Striphas' The Late Age of Print

"Sharp was the Blade" by Jacob Russell

Peter Stothard on the decline of the book review

Sunday, October 04, 2009

"All the World's a Grave"

From my interview with John Reed at Rain Taxi:

FH: All the Worlds a Grave is dubbed a "new" play by William Shakespeare, but it's really an innovative pastiche of the extant Shakespeare playsKing Lear, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, etc. Tell us a little about what prompted you to produce this work.

John Reed: When people ask me why I did this, I feel like saying, "because it was there." It didn't hurt that my editor liked the idea, of course, but I'd had the notion for a long time. Four catalysts, I think, got me going: I had kids, so could contend with Lady Macbeth, Gertrude, Lear, and other Shakespeare characters who were parents; my editorial skills, as the result of editorial work and teaching, were up to snuff; my understanding of narrative structure had been enhanced by the work Id done in entertainment; last, and most spurringI saw a terrible, terrible production of a play widely considered Shakespeares worst. Sitting in the balcony, moaning in agony, I semi-consciously decided that I could do better.

As for the content side: war, parody, the question of authorship, sex and exploitation, the current Shakespeare fracas, the long history of Shakespeare adaptations, Shakespeare and Hollywood, the Public Domain, the literary canon, the state of contemporary letters in relation to great works, the creative future we bequeath our children all of these were things were prompts.

Read the rest here.