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Thread: what are you reading now?

  1. #2701

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    aye its good that someone hasnt smeared the language with poor re-presentations, deffo in my all time top 3 too

    saw the James Franco attempt - thank fk that didnt get expanded

  2. #2702
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    Having struggled manfully through The Tempest (although enjoying parts of it a great deal, the famous speeches, the climactic scene where everyone gathers on the beach together 'Oh brave new world!' etc. etc.), I thought I'd give Shakey another crack and started re-reading 'Henry IV pt 1'. Perhaps it's because I'm quite familiar with the play now, or perhaps its because its more obviously entertaining and satisfying, but I'm enjoying it sooo much more.

    some reasons why

    1. i've stopped trying to squeeze an understanding out of the verse of the 'music' of shakespeare, which sometimes i seem to hear but mostly i remain deaf to, perhaps misapprehending what others mean by 'music' - the only time i can really 'hear' this is when he does some comparatively vulgar trick like alliteration or rhyme...

    paradoxically(?) by doing this i think i'm closer to understanding the rhythm of it because the rhythm is in part a rollicking rhythm, not some sort of laboured, pompous 'speechifying'

    2. instead i've tried to focus more on the plot, who is speaking, what sort of voice shakespeare has given them, trying to visualise the players and so on. aside from the difficult language i think this is what makes shakespeare particularly difficult to read (and infinitely interpreted by actors) - you have to do a fair amount of work to imagine what's going on, what tone of voice is being used, etc.

    3. i've simply relished what shakespeare himself obviously relishes, particularly in this play perhaps - words. The variety of oaths, similes, metaphors, puns etc. the mixing of 'high' and 'low' language (which is hard to apprehend sometimes as a 21st century person - when a character is using a word sarcastically to mock pretension, e.g., it's hard to catch it because almost ALL the language looks pretentious in the modern context). when you start to relish this, the 'key' section becomes less an annoyance than a treasure chest of olde wordes.
    Last edited by Corpsey; 13-12-2017 at 04:22 PM.

  3. #2703
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    The latest update in my nobody-cares saga of wrestling with Shakespeare - last night I picked up 'The Tempest' again, interested to see if i'd enjoy it more having had the 'breakthrough' with hivpt1 (that looks dodgy) - and I did! but even better than that, and quite unexpectedly, i felt like i FINALLY understood the 'music' of shakespeare that I've been straining - like a man passing a particularly awkward poo - to 'hear'.

    e.g. the way in miranda and prospero's initial conversation that they begin their dialogue by completing (almost resolving) the metre of the other's last sentence, the power of pacing which using, say, several monosyllables in a row...

    What made the difference? I think in realising that reading shakespeare involves a lot of work on the reader's part - because he doesn't describe the characters appearance (except through other characters descriptions), because he doesn't describe the scenery (much), or the action, or the emotion, or if X is talking to Y and Z or just to Y... I'm pretty sure luka advised this on this thread or the poetry one, to pay attention to the emotion and how the poetry reflects the emotion, the rhythms of speech.

    One of the first bits that I noticed the music of was

    ARIEL '...the fire and cracks / Of sulphurous roaring the most mighty Neptune / Seem to besiege'

    The steady intonation of 'fire and cracks' and then the acceleration of 'sulphurous' and 'most mighty'. And then of course the onomatowhatta of 'cracks' and (perhaps its not onomattawotta) 'roaring', the assonance of seem-besiege... All these things become more apparent, more apparently effective, when you read the speech in an excited or boastful voice.

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  6. #2705
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    Like a proud father!

    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    One way to tap into it is find the impassioned speeches, the raging or the yearning or the despairing or see how closely the rhythms match, the breath of it outlines the feeling
    This is luka's quote.

    The most magical luka quote of all was in the depression thread where he said he used to have a negative voice but he killed it. That's actually the approach I've found most useful in combating depression since.

    Basically you two are Socrates/Plato to my Aristotle. Or maybe I'm that one that lived in a barrel?

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  8. #2706
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    Why dost thou converse with that trunk of humours, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swoln parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-bag of guts, that roasted Manningtree ox with the pudding in his belly, that reverend vice, that grey iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in years?

  9. #2707
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    This sanguine coward, this bed-presser, this horseback-breaker, this huge hill of flesh

  10. #2708
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    All these things become more apparent, more apparently effective, when you read the speech in an excited or boastful voice.
    this really is the key. Lear's rage, or Juliet's breathless desire or etc

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