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Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Wed Oct 18, 2017 at 01:01:27 AM EST) Reading, MLP, Me (all tags)
Reading: "Becoming Shakespeare", "Empire of Time", "Matchbox Theatre". Me. Links.


What I'm Reading
Becoming Shakespeare by Jack Lynch. Book about how Shakespeare became an all-encompassing cultural icon, going from his death to the present day.

This definely makes a change from attempts to get more out of the over-mined territory of Shakespeare's life and times. I learned quite a lot of new things. For a couple of centuries most productions of Shakespeare heavily altered his text: most people over this period saw King Lear with a happy ending. Lynch emphasises that both audiences and critics were generally happy with this: the idea that the text is sacred but the staging should be original is something that started relatively recently. Critics often praised the improvements made.

Lynch doesn't say so but this might be one reason for Shakespeare's enduring popularity: like the Ship of Theseus or Trigger's Broom he's been built anew in every age.

Another reason for his popularity is the closing of the theatres in the Civil War and Protectorate. When the theatres were reopened there was no body of current plays, so they naturally sought back and found a convenient body of work from a previous generations great playwright. (I suspect the Restoration also wanted something a bit lighter than the over-the-top grimness of late Jacobean tragedy). Shakespeare was also championed by critics and intellectuals like Dr Johnson.

In the conclusion, Lynch also makes a case that it was actually the popularity of Shakepeare that changed literary standards to fit. Earlier critics complained about Shakespeare's irregular prose and lack of the "Aristotelian Unities", though they praised the depth of his characters. It could be partly because of that that modern critics have decided that deep characterisation is the fundamental literary skill, and unities and regularity are less important.

Overall, a fascinating book if you're interested in Shakespeare.

What I'm Reading 2
Empire of Time by Daniel Godfrey. Sequel to "New Pompeii" where a corporation develops technology to grab people and objects from the past, and takes the inhabitants of Pompeii to a modern replica since they can take doomed people without affecting the timeline.

This volume is weaker than the first. The tight concept gets changed a bit, which is probably necessary to get more than a book out of it, but it weakens the appeal a bit. The plot is both frenetic and slow, with a lot of stuff happening but not much actual consequence.

Even so it does develop the story and ideas further, and some of the characters like the female gladiator are appealing. I think I'll keep going and see if he can pull it back, but New Pompeii might have worked better in an era of standalone novels instead of series.

What I'm Reading 3
Matchbox Theatre by Michael Frayn. Small volume of 30 short dialogues by the well known playwright. They're a bit uneven. Some like the call centre and the tomb are a bit obvious. I liked the ones playing on the theatre better, like a deliciously terrible example of corporate sponsorship and a David Attenborough voiceover on the lives of the scene shifters.

Overall, pretty entertaining and easy to dip into.

Me
Still doing the running, but I seem to have hit a bit of a plateau in terms of times, I'm not getting much faster. Got a running watch which I hope will help me keep the pace and heartrate up. Some people at work do lunchtime runs: I did one but they're much faster than me. One guy reckons because it's hilly round there it would help. Food might help but I usually have to run first thing in the morning so there isn't much time.

Turns out work offers 4 days compassionate leave for a parent's death, which I'm taking next week. My mother's one of those people who has to be busy, I think she might crash after the funeral when there's nothing more to arrange and the visitors have drifted off, so I'm staying on with the toddler for a few days afterwards. It still hasn't really hit me yet but I can feel it looming overhead waiting to fall.

Links
Politics. Report into Russian troll factory.

Articles. Disastrous failure behind the sinking of HMS Sheffield in Falklands War. Spitting on the troops. Hunting Squirrels with Snogg and Squail .

Sci/Tech. Big Data as a buzzword is over. Is twice-boiled water bad for tea.

News. Maltese anti-corruption blogger Daphne Caruana Galuzia murdered. Collapse of defence team in Guantanamo trial.

< Takis | A quick plug >
Something illicit and temporary | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Empire of Time by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Oct 18, 2017 at 07:40:53 AM EST
“they can take doomed people without affecting the timeline.”
Millenium used that trope well.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

squirrels by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Oct 18, 2017 at 10:06:30 AM EST
are the right, proper and correct protein for Brunswick stew. 

Around here, you could easily get your bag limit (6), but you'll need more than that for a pie or stew.

Irregular prose by ucblockhead (4.00 / 2) #3 Wed Oct 18, 2017 at 01:58:31 PM EST
I suspect that the changes in language and accent means that moderns just can't see this like Shakespeare's contemporaries would.  While Elizabethan English isn't a huge stretch, it still takes effort and practice to learn its rhythms.  We don't understand it like native speakers would.  And of course the accent it is read in now is not at all like the accent is was originally staged with.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
Possibly by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Oct 18, 2017 at 08:06:14 PM EST
Shakespeare's near contemporaries complained about him adding extra syllables that don't fit the meter. IIRC there was something similar with Basho in Japan, he also broke the regularity of the meter which contemporaries complained about but moderns accept.

If you're use modern pronunciation it gets even more irregular of course, but some actors maintain old pronunciation when it helps. E.g. Richard III sometimes says "I am de-ter-min-ed to prove a villain" which still adds an extra syllable but doesn't break the pattern of stresses.

--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
Running faster by lm (4.00 / 1) #5 Thu Oct 19, 2017 at 06:59:38 AM EST
Do you do speed work at all (sprint intervals, hill repeats, etc.)?

If not, that's how you get faster. Do speed work once per week.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Likewise by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #6 Thu Oct 19, 2017 at 07:48:01 AM EST
I found running plateaus at a certain point, until you do more running or other exercise in a week.

I've been finding Jay Johnson's core work and mobile stretching a useful complement that doesn't take too much time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJo7_MiRLkU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-2gUAOnrco

Iambic Web Certified

[ Parent ]
Mobility work is always great by lm (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Oct 19, 2017 at 09:45:45 PM EST
Not enough programs take it seriously.

But when it comes to speed, I've found three things invaluable in increasing my pace.

  1. Dedicated speed work, the aforementioned hill repeats, etc.
  2. Swimming. Doing laps does wonders for cardio capcity.
  3. Walk/run methodology such as the Galloway method.
The last of these only applies to long distance running.

But the older I get the more that mobility work helps me in daily life when I'm not running. It's almost unbelievable how much less sore I am when I do mobility work regularly.

Likewaise, proper core work. It helps prevent injury more so than it helps getting faster.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Good ideas by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Oct 20, 2017 at 02:12:24 AM EST
I'll definitely try some interval stuff.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
I should try more swimming by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #9 Fri Oct 20, 2017 at 10:18:30 AM EST
I should have said I've never had much seriousness or success in training for speed.

Iambic Web Certified

[ Parent ]
I'm lucky by lm (4.00 / 2) #10 Sat Oct 21, 2017 at 06:56:50 AM EST
There's a USAT (USA Triathlon) certified coach that does weekly group lessons for triathletes at a local pool. Every 7 week session he changes the focus up a bit. Sometimes we work heavily on form and technique. Other times on endurance. Other times on speed. It's helped my cardio out tremendously. And it's a municipal pool so the price is insanely cheap compared to the quality of the coaching.

But even before I started that this past year, I noticed almost right away that when I started swimming laps regularly, it got a whole lot easier to maintain a quicker pace over distance when I run.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
other notes by gzt (4.00 / 1) #11 Sat Oct 21, 2017 at 01:15:00 PM EST
  • most of one's running (80+%) should be done at a slow pace so for the most part speeding up in an everyday run is neither desirable nor helpful
  • another thing that helps with aerobic development is to have one long run per week, perhaps about twice as long as your typical daily run, done at a nice slow pace


[ Parent ]
+1 long run by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #12 Sun Oct 22, 2017 at 02:40:08 AM EST
I also find this useful from a mental health / don't be an arsehole perspective.

Iambic Web Certified

[ Parent ]
Something illicit and temporary | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback