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Leaning on mine elbow

“Thus leaning on mine elbow I begin.” So the chatty Bastard in King John celebrates his loss of land, and elevation in status as Sir Richard, incidental son of Richard Lionheart. So. leaning on my keyboard I begin the Shakespace Blog, informal voice of the Internet Shakespeare Editions.

My plan, at least to begin with, is to talk about the various activities, triumphs, problems, and humdrums of the ISE and its many contributors. There will be moments of cheerful announcements, like our recent upgrading of our interface for viewing facsimiles (see the home page for the facsimiles, or the page where my quotation comes from). At other times, news about the increasing presence of Shakespeare and related materials on the Web. Or about productions of the plays.

Even in the quiet lotus land of Victoria we have Shakespeare on stage – a fine student production of Twelfth Night just ended, directed by Linda Hardy. Set in the psychedelic seventies, Hardy updated the play elegantly, picking up on the http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/Annex/Texts/TN/M/default/ opening line of the play, “If music be the food of love, play on . . .” If the production downplayed the hint of over-ripeness that follows ("Give me excess of it, that surfeiting, / The appetite may sicken, and so die.") and if there was less of the melancholy that permeates Feste’s songs, so much the better for a cast of the gorgeously young and vibrant. Shakespeare’s music, for the most part, was replaced by wittily appropriate Beatles songs (all you need is love, after all).

A student of mine, writing for an electronic bulletin board, when such things were new and strange, commented that it was like speaking in a darkened theater with a megaphone and no sense of audience. So I feel on this first post. Welcome to the musings of a Shakespeare enthusiast, a computer junkie, cheerful coordinator of the many activities of the Internet Shakespeare Editions.

– Michael Best, Coordinating Editor

Permanent link to full entry 08:03:01 am. Categories: Postings  


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