Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shakespeare, Shakespeare, Shakespeare

Please join us as five Writers in Residence in the Research Study
Rooms at the NYPL present a week-long series of free public lunch-time lectures on
the one and only Mr. William Shakespeare.

Monday, April 11, 1:15 pm - Matthew Zarnowiecki - The End of Shakespeare’s
Most readers recognize that Shakespeare’s sonnets begin with a set of
poems persuading a young man to cheat death by reproducing. But how do
they end? Do they end once, with sonnet 154? Or twice, once for the young
man and once for the dark lady? What about the end of A Lover’s Complaint,
which was printed in the first edition of the sonnets? By the early 17th
century, Shakespeare’s poetry was far more miscellaneous in nature than
Venus and Adonis or The Rape of Lucrece, and this miscellaneity means we
should read the sonnets very differently. Most importantly, we should not
look for beginnings, middles and ends at all. This, it turns out, is an
important principle in the sonnets themselves.
After the lecture, Dana Ivey, star of stage and screen, will read a
selection of the Sonnets. Twenty members of the audience (drawn by lot)
are then invited to view the Shakespearean holdings, including the First
Folio, in the Library's Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
Matthew Zarnowiecki is Assistant Professor at Auburn University, and
received his PhD from Columbia University. He has published articles on
early modern English poetry in manuscript and print, and his book
manuscript is titled Fair Copies: Reproducing the English Lyric from Tottel
to Shakespeare.

Tuesday, April 12, 1:15 pm - Bernice W. Kliman - for
Everyone! gathers and analyzes data, whole works, and more every
week! It offers deep levels of information on Hamlet and related works for
scholars, students, theater practitioners, and fans. The site is a
continuing work in process and brings together an important body of
information about Shakespeare’s play that will interest casual students as
well as serious scholars, and it will grow increasingly valuable as it
continues to develop.
After the lecture, please join us in a Masterclass of four finalists
from the English Speaking Union’s Annual Shakespeare Recitation Contest,
coached by Ian Hersey and Bill Williams.
The original editor of the New Variorum Hamlet, and currently the
Coordinating Editor of, Bernice W. Kliman is Professor
Emeritus of English at Nassau Community College. Active in Shakespeare
scholarship, she has edited The E folded "Hamlets": Parallel Texts of
and {Q2} each with Unique Elements Bracketed, and written Hamlet: Film,
Television, and Audio Performance, among many others.

Wednesday, April 13, 1:15 pm - Gavin Hollis - Shakespeare's Mappery
Since the 1990s, critics have argued that Shakespeare was alert to the
cartographic developments and innovations of the 16th and early 17th
centuries. In a number of plays his characters employ maps for military,
monarchic, and mercantile purposes, practices which were increasingly
common in his period, and practices that align cartography with power and
possession. Less critical attention has been paid to the ways in which
Shakespeare’s maps act frequently as indexes of loss and death:
Shakespeare’s cartographers frequently end up dead, with what they lay
claim to slipping through their grasp; when used figuratively,
“map” (meaning emblem or epitome) frequently stands for something
ephemeral, out of reach, or already passed. Shakespeare’s “mappery” engages
not only with the vast possibilities of a rapidly expanding
world—possibilities to which the contemporary map-reader was readily
attuned—but also the limits of such longings and desires.
Directly after the lecture, the Library’s Lionel Pincus and Princess
Firyal Map Division invites you to peruse in the auditorium foyer a
selection of maps and atlases printed in the late 16th and early 17th
Gavin Hollis is an Assistant Professor in English Department at Hunter
College, CUNY. He has published on cartographic literacy in King Lear,
Native American and European mapping in 1670s Virginia, and has articles
forthcoming on White Europeans dressing up as Native Americans in early
modern drama.

Thursday, April 14, 1:15 pm - Naomi Conn Liebler - Reading (Between) the
Lines: Shakespeare’s Old Ladies
The typology of women characters in Shakespeare‘s plays is most
commonly described in four parts: Maid, Wife, Mother, Crone. The last of
these terms is persistently understood as pejorative, assigning to women
beyond child-bearing age not only ugliness and uselessness but also,
regularly, demonism. The First Tetralogy’s Queen Margaret leads this group;
so do Macbeth’s Weird Sisters. At best (e.g., Juliet’s Nurse), they are
seen as ludicrous. Somewhere between mother and crone we have King John’s
Queen Elinor, Richard II’s Duchess of York, The Comedy of Error’s Abbess,
All’s Well’s Countess of Rossillion, and of course Cleopatra, “wrinkled
deep in time”. Professor Liebler proposes that Shakespeare offers his old
ladies the same degrees of dignity and indignity as he offers (Lear, Gaunt,
Prospero) and denies (Polonius, Gloucester, Falstaff) his old men. He
attended carefully to female narratives of age and aging, inviting us to
read the lines on their faces equally as documents of respect and of
During the lecture, Estelle Parsons, star of stage and screen, will
“personate” selected old ladies, including Richard III’s Queen Margaret.
Naomi Conn Liebler is Professor of English and University
Distinguished Scholar at Montclair State University. She is the author of
Shakespeare’s Festive Tragedy: the Ritual Foundations of Genre; co-editor
of Tragedy, a Theory Reader, editor of The Female Tragic Hero in English
Renaissance Drama, and has published widely on Shakespeare and other
Renaissance and modern dramatists. Her current research focuses on
“Shakespeare’s Geezers,” his negotiations of old age throughout his
dramatic and poetic genres.

Friday, April 15, 1:15 pm - Scott Trudell - Hamlet: Poetry That Doesn’t
In Shakespeare’s most self-conscious play, obsessed with writing,
acting, directing, singing and public speaking, what types of poetry and
performance “matter”? Shakespeareans have been concentrating in recent
years on the materiality of the text, the concrete physical substances and
practices of writing that circulated in Renaissance culture. But what
exactly is material – not to mention lasting and meaningful – about the
Ghost’s Impalpable presence, Hamlet’s erasable journals, the Players’
ephemeral performances, and Ophelia’s mad, musical song-speech?
After the lecture, Music Divine will perform a
selection of sacred and secular music of the Elizabethan Age by Byrd,
Tallis, Morley, and Tomkins.
Scott Trudell is a PhD candidate in English literature at Rutgers
University, New Brunswick. He is writing a dissertation about the
relationship between literature and music in early modern England.

Elevator access is at 42nd Street.
All programs are subject to last minute change or cancellation.


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