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Re: [mythsoc] reading aloud (was A Tale of Two Professors), and Tolkien

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  • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
    ... a ... may ... That s OK. There aren t too many folks on this list that I let offend me. I m not going to turn green and sulk because you think I don t
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 2, 2004
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      > [Original Message]
      > From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>
      > To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
      > Date: 12/2/2004 11:14:34 AM
      > Subject: Re: [mythsoc] reading aloud (was A Tale of Two Professors)
      >
      >
      > >I objected a lot to the idea of LOTR dramatized, but I think Jackson did
      a
      > >great job.
      >
      > I am sorry to have to say this, but anyone who thinks that Jackson's films
      > are a good _dramatization of LOTR_ (apart from any other qualities they
      may
      > have) doesn't know LOTR very well at all.
      >

      That's OK. There aren't too many folks on this list that I let offend me.
      I'm not going to turn green and sulk because you think I don't know LOTR.
      I probably don't know anything about dramatization. I'm probably one of
      those people who prefers to live in their own head (and I think that in our
      heads is a fine and expansive place, so long as we get out now and then).
      I maintain that it is Impossible to commit LOTR (or many another bit of
      lit) to film, and that Jackson did so much better than I would have
      imagined that I am happy. I certainly don't feel he needs to bang his knee
      on his desk. And if he did, I'd probably offer to kiss it better.

      >
      > >I am also enough of a capitalist to appreciate, if with irony,
      > >the level of art created for the movie and then marketed with apparent
      > >success.
      >
      > That's a different matter. I am in awe, I take off my hat to Jackson's
      > ability to organize and pull off this enormous logistical accomplishment.
      > More experienced directors than he have fallen flat on their faces on big
      > projects far smaller than this one. I have _Lost in La Mancha_ rented
      from
      > the video store right now: the story of Terry Gilliam's disastrous attempt
      > to film Don Quixote. And then Jackson made a 10-hour epic that was,
      judged
      > entirely on its own, fairly entertaining! Not entirely boring! That too
      > is unprecedented.
      >

      Terry Gilliam? Is he one of the Monty Python guys? There's a Terry there
      somewhere. So, tell us about it.

      I don't think we had to sit through all ten hours at once in the theatre.
      Could you imagine?


      > But none of it has anything whatever to do with Tolkien.
      >

      So?

      > >What is the essence of Shakespeare? Shakespeare is just some guy who
      > >rewrote a lot of things in a way that works really well for the public,
      or
      > >some such thing. How much of his work is truly original? Maybe some of
      > >the sonnets?
      >
      > As you say, Shakespeare's plots are rarely original. Therefore his
      > originality, and his greatness, lie in the way he told those stories. And
      > the form he chose to tell them in was drama. That is the essence, or at
      > least part of the essence, of Shakespeare.
      >
      Fair enough. I was thinking earlier, if the play on paper is not The
      Thing, then the playwright needs the actors. But the actors need the
      playwright too. Does that make drama a living thing?

      >
      > >> Ontologically, a score
      > >> is not music at all: it's instructions for performing music. The music
      > >> does not exist until it is performed. Something similar could be said
      of
      > >> a playscript.
      > >>
      > >Or DNA, I suppose?
      >
      > Yes, precisely.
      >
      Ooh, I got something right.
      >
      > >If we are made up of lots of things that are made up of things, at how
      many
      > >levels do you think there is sentience? And we are part of things that
      > >make up things.
      >
      > The secret lies in the complexity. Literature is made of 26 letters in
      two
      > cases with a few punctuation marks, nothing more. Where lies greatness?
      > In the complexity with which those letters are arranged. Same with life.
      > This was demonstrated by the guys who wrote simple computer programs that
      > generated fascinatingly complex screen designs.
      >
      And gals.

      It is great to arrange the letters in an especially skilled way. It is
      wonderful how each person takes it in and digests it, redigests it, and
      interacts with the system.

      I think. Or at least sometimes it is.

      Lizzie

      Elizabeth Apgar Triano
      lizziewriter@...
      amor vincit omnia
      www.lizziewriter.com
      www.danburymineralogicalsociety.org


      > David Bratman
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Margaret Dean
      ... When it s being performed, absolutely it is. It s also a collaboration, every single time; the actors and director s and set designer s and costume
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 2, 2004
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        Elizabeth Apgar Triano wrote:


        > > As you say, Shakespeare's plots are rarely original. Therefore his
        > > originality, and his greatness, lie in the way he told those stories.
        > > And the form he chose to tell them in was drama. That is the essence,
        > > or at least part of the essence, of Shakespeare.
        > >
        > Fair enough. I was thinking earlier, if the play on paper is not The
        > Thing, then the playwright needs the actors. But the actors need the
        > playwright too. Does that make drama a living thing?

        When it's being performed, absolutely it is. It's also a
        collaboration, every single time; the actors' and director's and
        set designer's and costume designer's and whoever else's creative
        vision and energy working with (one hopes it's "with"!) the
        playwright's to communicate the work to the audience. Who bring
        whatever they bring to the performance as well, to add to the
        mix.

        From what we know of his history, Shakespeare knew that. For at
        least part of his career he was a "working" playwright, part of a
        company and probably involved in the production of his own
        plays. I remember a Shakespeare prof of mine pointing out that
        there must have been a period where they had two young "female"
        leads (actually young men or boys): the tall blond one and the
        short dark one. It's right there in the lines...


        --Margaret Dean
        <margdean@...>
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