Dramatis Personae

Many-Headed Multitude
[+/-] academic blogs
[+/-] other blogs we like

Our Ongoing Series

In Sad Conference
... live reports from the field
[+/-] RSA 2008
[+/-] SAA 2008
[+/-] MLA 2007
[+/-] SAA 2007
[+/-] RSA 2007
[+/-] MLA 2006
[+/-] SAA 2006
[+/-] RSA 2006

Read On This Book
... our occasional reading group
About the reading group
[+/-] Inkhorn reads the Anatomy [+/-] FS Boas, University Drama [+/-] D. Shuger, Political Theologies

The Motto Thus
... our silly woodcut caption contest
[+/-] Past Contests

More Foolery Yet
... which we write periodically
[+/-] Holzknecht Redivivus
[+/-] EEBOnics
[+/-] Notes and Queries

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Reading Group #2

Based on everyone's comments in my last post about our reading group, here's what I propose:

1) We read Boas's book on university drama; this will be an easy read, based on my scanning of it. But it will give us a nice overview of Oxbridge productions through 1603;

2) Based on Boas (since he gives a lot of summaries of plays along the way), we can then choose a university play to read afterwards.

Sound good? Those of you who want to just wait for the drama itself, of course, can feel free to do so. Those of you who want to pretend you read Boas, make comments in the discussion of Boas as though you had read it, but really just wait for the drama itself, can feel free to do that as well.

UPDATE: Just to pick a date, I'll propose that we plan to finish Boas by May 20. Read along, and when we post on the book, join in in the comments section.

Monday, April 23, 2007

BtR Reading Group: university drama, anyone?

I've been thinking that this would be a good time for the second in our long-running series of book club selections, with the academic year finally winding down. And, apropos of nothing (part of the idea of the reading group, to my mind at least, is that it gives us an opportunity--or forces us, depending on how you look at it--to read things not exactly in our areas of study), I've been wanting to learn more about university drama. It strikes me that this is an entire area of dramatic writing and performance that lies largely outside my ken; while I've read a few university plays, the whole process of their production, their integration into the educational regime and the culture of the universities, well, let's just say that all of that eagerly looks forward to being understood by me.

I wonder: does this interest anyone other than me?

As for Truewit's desire for the death of the (reading group) author, you can't get more dead than F.S. Boas, whose University Drama in the Tudor Age (1914) seems still to be a basic reference in the field. But surely there are more up-to-date books we might read on university drama, even if their authors are living. One possibility is Alan Nelson's Early Cambridge Theatres: College, University, and Town Stages, 1464-1720 (oddly published by Cambridge, 1994).

Any thoughts? Suggestions?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Old Law, or A New Way to Please You

BtR reader "Wat" has very generously taken up our invitation to contribute to our Holzknecht Redivivus series. For those of you who aren't familiar with this series, you can read Simplicius's originating post.

Wat's written up a wonderful summary of The Old Law, written (according to its title page) by Philip Massinger, Thomas Middleton, and William Rowley, probably around 1618 but not published until 1656. Some of you may be familiar with The Old Law not for the play itself but because the publisher of the 1656 edition, Edward Archer, appended "an exact and perfect Catalogue of all the Playes, with the Authors Names, and what are Comedies, Tragedies, Histories, Pastoralls, Masks, Interludes, more exactly Printed then ever before." So I suspect more scholars of early modern drama are familiar with this catalogue than with The Old Law itself, which is why we're grateful to Wat for his Holzknechtian summary, which is available on his purpose-built blog and which he's also given us permission to reprint below, for which many thanks. If others would like to contribute, just let us know: we can reprint them here or provide links to them elsewhere; if we manage to put together enough of them, I think this could be an incredibly useful resource, since if you're anything like me, you're often wondering whether certain plays might fit into a research project, but of course no one has time to read them all and find out.

The Old Law, or A New Way to Please You

Dramatis Personae

Evander, Duke of Epire
Cratilus, The Executioner
Creon, Father to Simonides
Simonides, A Young Courtier
Cleanthes, A Young Courtier (the hero)
Lysander, Husband to Eugenia, and Uncle to Cleanthes
Leonides, Father of Cleanthes
Gnotho, The Clown
Lawyers (2)
Courtiers (2)
Butler, Bailiff, Tailor, Coachman, Footman, Cook, Servants of Creon

Antigona, Wife of Creon
Hippolita, Wife of Cleanthes
Eugenia, Wife of Lysander, Mother of Parthenia
Agatha, Wife of Gnotho
Old Women who marry Creon's servants

Fiddlers, Servants, Guard, etc.
Scene: Epire

In ancient Epire, the new Duke has passed a law that all men who reach their eightieth birthday (and all women who turn sixty), having outlived their usefulness to the state, will be euthanized. Simonides enters discussing the strength of this new law with two lawyers. He can hardly wait to get his hands on his inheritance, as two courtier friends of his have already done. Cleanthes laments the imminent demise of his father, but can find no way around the law. Creon and his wife arrive and Simonides puts on a show of grieving that today Creon turns eighty; old Creon can see through his son's feigned care. Leonides, accompanied by his virtuous daughter-in-law Hippolita, arrives and hears Cleanthes' sincere despair but accepts his fate because he has had a good life. Cleanthes and Hippolita hatch a plan to fake Leonides' death and hide him out in the countryside.

Creon and his wailing wife appear before Evander to receive the death sentence. Simonides's courtier-friends congratulate him on his inheritance. Meanwhile a gaudy funeral procession crosses the stage, with Cleanthes and Hippolita rejoicing that Leonides has passed away of natural causes rather than under the executioner's blade. Simonides dismisses his father's former servants who must shift for themselves now. Young Eugenia comes on stage; she can hardly wait to be released from marriage to her much older husband, Lysander, and accepts the flirtations of the courtiers, especially Simonides, who hope to marry her and gain her wealthy husband's fortune. Her husband scolds her and departs. Her cousin, Hippolita, arrives and mistakes Eugenia's tears for genuine sadness over Lysander's approaching death and, to comfort her, reveals the secret that Leonides is not dead but is hiding in a hunting lodge. Maybe Eugenia would want to do the same for Lysander?

Gnotho, who is married to an older wife, Agatha, tries to persuade the Clerk to amend the baptismal registry to make the date of her baptism in 1539, sixty years before the play's "present" [the play was written in 1618 however]. He meets the newly unemployed servants of Creon, explains how much profit is to be made from marrying 59-year-old widows, and wagers that he can make his fortune by marrying two in quick succession while getting rid of Agatha, who arrives and scolds Gnotho while being depressed by his determination to be rid of her. Eugenia receives the stylish Simonides and his friends, but Lysander arrives and attempts to prove his youthfulness by challenging the suitors to three feats of strength: he duels with one, out-dances a second, and drinks Simonides under the table. Cleanthes arrives, rebukes Eugenia as an undutiful wife, and scolds Lysander for not soberly acting his age. When Eugenia confronts Cleanthes, he accuses her of being a whore. To get her revenge, she heads off stage to inform Evander that Leonides is still alive.

Reveling in a tavern with a courtesan, Gnotho domineers the unemployed servants. Disguised Agatha arrives with several old women, who dance for and entertain these poor men. Cleanthes, at the hunting lodge with Hippolita, cares for Leonides. The sound of a hunting horn dismays him. Evander arrives and Leonides is discovered. Cleanthes rails against Hippolita, the only other person to know the secret. Eugenia arrives to gloat and Cleanthes argues back, but ultimately blames himself for provoking wicked Eugenia to use the information his wife had disclosed.

Empowered as magistrates, Simonides and the Courtiers dally with Eugenia, pass judgment on Lysander who has reached eighty, and then as Evander arrives, prepare to pass sentence on Cleanthes and Hippolita for helping Leonides escape his due punishment. An extended scene ensues between Cleanthes, defending conscience and filial piety, and Simonides and his crew. As Cleanthes demands that judgment be passed, Evander intervenes (this is a tragicomedy after all) to reveal that none of the old men have been executed. Further, he has passed a new law that only sons who exhibit proper respect for their fathers can inherit their property. As Simonides watches his plans go up in smoke, Gnotho arrives, dragging Agatha along to execution, with his beautiful courtesan on his arm. The fact that the old law has been repealed, a kind of test, means that Gnotho will remain married to Agatha and Creon's old servants will remain married to the old widows they'd been pursuing, though Creon will now take his servants and their new wives back into his household.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Notes and Queries = Our New Series?

Unless you're Spenserian enough to go to Kalamazoo (which I'm not), the conference season has come and gone. Feels like it's time to come up with some new tricks to teach this old d/bl/og. We should definitely do another reading group (any suggestions? how about someone who's dead, and therefore can't ruin our tenure cases when we insult them?). And I'd love to see more plays in that Holzknecht supplement. But who wants to go down familiar paths when you could do something completely new? Like something that started in 1849?

We all know the hoariest of the literary studies journals, Notes and Queries. Sample made up entry, c. 1912:

Owing to the overwhelming presence of isolating verbal markers such as 'em', 'hem' 'them' and 'anthem' in addition to four incidences of 'een' alongside 'er' and 'erm' in "The World Tost at Tennis," we must hesitate to accept Mr. Cope-Hervington II's conjecture that Thomas Middleton was eating almonds at the time of the play's composition. Like the revered Countess of Pembroke, however, Middleton was quite possibly a pecan-enthusiast, as evidenced by his collaboration with Thomas Heywood on the now-lost pageant "Pecania Triumphans," which was likely commissioned by the honorable company of Barbary Nut Merchants, of whom there remains no extant record beyond the lost pageant itself. In short, the Cope-Hervingtonian hypothesis cannot stand, and we are left, at best, with guidance merely from Malone, who on this question and all others, favored hazelnuts. Further inquiry is needed &c.

Now, if this isn't the stuff that blogs are made of, I don't know what is. In fact, Notes and Queries was basically the original Blogging the Renaissance, but with paper, and standards. So, with this in mind, I suggest that we begin to offer our own version of NQ. I happen to know for a fact that my fellow bloggers stumble across useless esoterica in their endless search for True Knowledge (I also happen to know for a fact that several people consider my entire first book project to be an exercise in framing useless esoterica as True Knowledge), and I'd like to ask them to begin to share it here.

How will this be different from the EEBOnics series? Good question. Whereas the EEBOnics posts tend to follow the "Hey, look at this strange text I've found" line of discussion, a line that perhaps encourages us (i.e., me) to offer general, informal observations about one thing or another that could be, and in fact have been, refuted by people who actually know something about the texts in question, N and Q posts will be brief paragraphs about small discoveries that are noteworthy, obscure, probably new to the internet's version of public knowledge, but that don't necessarily fit into any kind of over-arching argument about early modern culture. Here's one:

Three or four years ago, I came across the following exchange between characters named Moll and Eare-lacke at a scene-break in A Match at Midnight (p. 1633):

Doesn't this look like a friendly jab at Beaumont and Fletcher? William Rowley is a leading candidate for the play's authorship ("W. R." is on the 1633 title page), and he certainly was one of Fletcher's 10,000 collaborators. But whoever wrote it, this is seems to be a prime example of on-stage playwright nudging. Intriguing!

That's it. A Note. Further inquiry is necessary, &c. Or not. Just thought it was kind of cool, and I know there's no way I will ever be able to use that information for anything other than sharing it with like-minded people, people who have made the mistake of devoting their time and energy to a field of study that leads them to the point where they can read the above lines and think, "Hm. That is not the most boring thing I have ever seen." Of course, maybe you are writing a book on playwright nudging in early modern drama. In which case... you're welcome.

I wonder... will more Notes and Queries follow this post? Inkhorn? Simplicius? Hieronimo?

What ho?

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I'm looking for a little advice from our readers. Or from my co-bloggers. There's one chapter of my dissertation -- actually, the chapter that was the basis of my job talk at State U, in another lifetime -- which, in the massive revisions I ended up doing, I decided to drop from the book. It just no longer fit with the revised (and, I hope, now finally coherent) argument. I've held onto this piece for a while now, because although it isn't in the book, it's still obviously pretty close to the book, and I didn't want to give the appearance of publishing too much stuff from the book when I was shopping it around to various publishers. Now I've picked up that old chapter again, to see whether I can make an article out of it. I already did a quick polish on it. (It's amazing how your writing changes, with a few years: man, it read like crap when I looked at it again. I couldn't believe it: and I spent so much time on it, back in the day).

The thing is, I sort of feel that its moment has passed. I think it's fine, as a reading of a certain play; I think it says something about that play that no one else has quite said before, and at that level, I still believe it. But I don't really care about the larger trajectory of the argument anymore, and I find it hard to believe that other people will care about it much, either: I just don't think it has any real intervention to make, now. Too much time has passed.

So: do I try to publish it or just put it aside?

(Maybe I'm kidding myself about making an "intervention" -- I'm not even sure what that word means, actually. I think I picked it up from one of my advisers in grad school).

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

This Post Contains No Complaints, Dissatisfaction, Anxiety, or Snark

My new favorite song is a ridiculous thing, "Itchycoo Park," by The Small Faces. Well, it's not my favorite, but I've been a little obsessed with it over the last few days. I found it on an old "History of British Rock" double-lp set I picked up somewhere for about $1.99. I guess the song is pretty famous -- it's got to be on the soundtrack to one of the Austin Powers movies, somewhere -- but if you haven't heard it, it's a simple little story about skipping class and going to the park to, uh, hang out. (And, for the benefit of any students on our site trolling for interpretations of Drayton sonnets, let me say that I would never, ever condone doing anything like that). But what makes it worth while is this great refrain, which is just a single line, repeated over and over:

"It's all too beautiful"

Which I love. Yes, it is all too beautiful. Despite the end of SAA; despite post-SAA anxiety; despite having had to get back to teaching today; despite a cold snap that seems to be freezing the buds on the trees; despite the stack of papers I should be reading; despite the fact that I'm totally unprepared for my next class and haven't even managed to catch up on sleep from my appalling trip home; despite even the uncomfortable itchyness of the park for which the song is named. (According to Wikipedia, "The 'itchycoo' nickname is attributed to the huge quantity of stinging nettles which grew there and of which both the local children and courting couples fell foul.") Somehow, walking down my street today, I could completely appreciate the perfect, ecstatic, irresponsible little moment the song describes, and that sense that the world is somehow too much. But too much in a good way.

(Oh, ... And in the Renaissance, people liked going to parks too. And stuff).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Back to Reality.

You know you're back from your conference fun when you get 10 minutes into a discussion on "To Penshurst" in an upper-level undergraduate seminar before realizing that at least half the class believes the poem to be a literal description of some really bountiful place where eels actually jump into your hand when you want them to and partridges are totally excited to be killed and servants looooove being servants, because of how delicious the meat downstairs is. Of course, no one in the class has ever been a liveried servant or gone eeling. Nor have I, come to think of it. Maybe eels do that? And how do we know what partridges think? Perhaps their painted outsides are masking sad, sad partridge hearts, and they are excited to be killed. I suppose that would explain the depressive/obsessive pear-tree dwelling I've observed in other partridges. Anyway, I am forever surprised by all the things I shouldn't take for granted in the classroom. Like, that suicidal eels are a signpost of fantasy.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Post-Traumatic SAA Syndrome

Like my co-bloggers, I really enjoyed this SAA. I did no blogging (didn't bring my laptop), but I did see old friends, make (I think) some new ones, drink, eat delicious food of all kinds, hear some good talks, hear some crappy talks (but: see above), sit in on some seminars (always a somewhat discombobulated experience), have some more drinks, see some fabulous and strange (non-academic) animals, have a few more drinks, ... And you see how it goes. Despite their ridiculousness, I enjoyed the weirdly nautical bar and the weirdly Yacht-club-like Special Breakfast Place. Since coming back, though, I've had the chance to reflect on the whole experience in a way that has plunged me into social anxiety. During the conference, I was on the receiving end of a few instances of Academic Social Disorder. I won't go into details, but these were the kinds of small awkwardnesses that I've come to expect from conferences, situations in which what would seem to be pretty straightforward guidelines for social interaction somehow go out the window, or fail to rescue us all from standing there embarrassed with our feelings a little too nakedly exposed. Nothing really dramatic, and nothing I thought too much about at the time. But now I'm reviewing the whole weekend with that kind of close reading that only anxiety can really inspire, racking up various instances in which, without knowing how or at all intending to, I may have irritated or offended various people.

So, first of all, I want to issue a blanket apology to the entire SAA. True, it's an anonymous, or pseudonymous, apology. Or I hope it is. But it's a sincere one. In other words: if you had a bad interaction with someone at SAA, and you suspect that that someone might be the kind of person to live a secret online life (sometimes) as Inkhorn, then, ... I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. My foot just somehow slipped off the floor and into my mouth.

I think every post-conference blog points this out, but ... academic conferences are really strange social events. Take a group of people who are prone to social anxiety and/or dysfunction at the best of times; take into consideration that many of these people come to events like this looking for a kind of recognition or affirmation that probably just isn't available, to anyone at any time, in the world; add a huge amount of professional anxiety, or performance anxiety; swirl it all in pretty significant quantities of alcohol and sleep deprivation; and -- well, it's a strong cocktail.

Then, maybe most significantly of all -- and this is the real thing that's been troubling me, I think, as I head into year X of my professional life -- there's what seems to me the fact that most of our professional activities slowly, but thoroughly unfit us for human contact. Sitting alone in a room writing expository prose, and teaching: two terrible, terrible models for how to relate to others. Terrible models. Maybe we should remold our professional and social selves around blogging instead...

SAA: Rumors

I too enjoyed SAA this year. It was much better than last year, or, more accurately, I was much less miserable this year than last. Rather than being crammed into a too small venue, this year's reception was in a beautiful spot with plenty of room for moving around and with plenty of mojitos. (I should add that this was the only small hiccup in the Philadelphia conference; everything else about it was impeccably organized, i.e., Philadelphia was no Miami.) Rather than fretting about my Buster Bluth-like persona, I forced myself to spend more time socializing and actually met several new people whom I like a lot. And I learned more in my seminar this year (though I did enjoy last year's too). I didn't have James's enviable experience of three new paper ideas, but I did come away with some new ideas and new understandings of various issues that interest me. So, all in all, a good experience.

Even the rumors were different this year. It seemed like last year I kept hearing gossip about someone's book being published, being accepted, being ready to send off to publishers, etc.--all information, if not designed to depress, then with the effect of depressing the hell out of me (as someone who does not have a book published, accepted, or ready to send off). This year, on the other hand, there were:
  • rumors of the "As You Like It" screening being cancelled (it wasn't, and I kind of wish I had gone to see it);
  • rumors about the sexualities of sundry early modernists (I have no idea if these were true, and don't really care either way);
  • rumors about finger pointing and raised voices (again, I wasn't there, so can't vouch for the accuracy of this information);
  • and rumors about the real-life personae of various online academic bloggers (some true, some unverified). I guess it's worth adding that I like pseudonymous blogging. Not only do I prefer to keep my own online persona (marginal as it is) free from my real-life one, but I have no strong desire to suss out the real-life academic identities of most of the people I read. That being said, I did meet another pseudonym and was completely smitten (not in a romantic sense).
Me being me, or I being I, I'm still of course finding myself worrying inordinately about real and perceived slights I may have inadvertently given others. There are three or four that keep racing through my mind: why didn't I thank that person for that thing he did? why didn't I know that person's essay? why didn't I invite that person to dinner? why didn't I talk to that person more? But this is all part of the conference experience: three to four days of intense academic socializing mixed with academic drinking is enough to leave me quite exhausted, a little bit nervous, but also somewhat pleased.

SAA: Really quite a nice conference

I was unable to bring my computer to SAA, so my conference blogging will lack that special you-are-there immediacy. After all the bitterness of our RSA posts, I'm pleased to be able to report that SAA was great. Even though our hotel was a bit isolated, as it was in Miami, at least here we were isolated in a nice hotel with working elevators, nice conference rooms, and a great waterfront view. Oh, and there were significantly fewer hormone-addled youths running around making us feel old. In fact, there were a significant number of just plain addled elders shuffling around (with canes) making us feel young.

I sat in on two seminars, as well as attending the one I was in (because I'm professional like that), and all three had some interesting papers, and some good conversation. One of the sessions I audited only had 8 or 9 members, and it seemed like it worked really well at that size, which bodes well for next year's experimental plan to add more seminars and keep them smaller. What worked in the seminars I saw was moving the discussion forward from the papers, with pointed questions (from groups or from leaders) beginning with the papers but then pushing elsewhere. What didn't work was having each person give a brief (ie, none-too-brief) precis of his or her paper, which usually just stalled the discussion and turned it into a series of one-on-one exchanges between a seminar leader and a seminar member. But I got a lot out of all three seminars, which is a personal record for me at SAA. There are only 3 slots for seminar attendance--which is one of the things I love about SAA--but each of the previous years I've gone, one of the three has been a complete waste of time for me, or else I've skipped one slot entirely.

I agree with Truewit about the presidential address. It did save itself with email humor, but it also wallowed far too long in romanticized visions of Others, be they learning to read, teaching their teachers about the true meaning of Shakespeare, or getting blown up by an IED--all of which somehow might be averted if we heed the lessons of Shakespeare more successfully, or teach Shakespeare more sensitively, or stock Iraqi bookstores with more copies of Shakespeare, or something .... In all seriousness, I know what our president was trying to say, and there were things I might actually agree with there, but man, did it come out all wrong or what?

Other highlights:
  • we seem to have been sharing a hotel with a convention of plastic surgeons, and on one of the conference room placards I saw the sign "Implant Removal." I wonder if there are plastic surgeon bloggers posting right now about the weird sign for "Locating Performance." Why are all these college professors unable to find the theater they're supposed to be attending?
  • the nautical-themed bar, which featured two carved figureheads apparently from ships--both of them were of the "lawn jockey" (sea jockey?) variety and made one wonder why this bar would mount them on the wall. Despite the slightly racist decor, the bar was open late, had pool tables, and served surprisingly good food;
  • I had a good meeting with an editor at a press, which might result in something;
  • Met someone on the plane ride out who I had wanted to meet for a while, and whose book I own and like, and who turned out to be nice;
  • Met someone else who I've been wanting to meet since we almost met at MLA but failed to really meet, and who is very cool and fun;
  • Saw plenty of old friends, and met some new ones, in the bar--contrast this with Miami, where I was banished to the Loser hotel at the end of every evening, the bar of which closed at 10:30;
  • Richard Dutton strolling around in a t-shirt and shorts, and wearing a new t-shirt/shorts combo each day of the conference;
  • Eggs, sausage, and home fries delivered to my room;
  • Incredible sushi.
Some lowlights:
  • $25 for eggs, sausage, and home fries delivered to my room;
  • Forgetting that the book exhibit ends at 12:30 on the last day, and thus failing to do some book-buying I had planned to do;
  • Missing the apparently explosive seminar on "Performance Criticism: The State of the Art," which, rumor has it, featured Reg Foakes wagging his finger (Lewinsky-style) at Ayanna Thompson for daring--gasp!--to use the term "blackface" to discuss performances of Othello--because that word was not used in the Renaissance. Then again, probably half the words in most of the papers were not used in the Renaissance, but somehow "blackface" is the one that bothered him. Anyone who was there, please let us know about it in comments: did you storm out in a huff? did you marvel at the sparks that can still fly at academic conferences? can you guess Reg Foakes's age?

Friday, April 06, 2007

SAA: Caring Makes Me Tired

Despite the fact that we've promised to blog, blog, blog our way through SAA this year, we've been doing a horrible job. Perhaps it's because we're tired. And perhaps that's because... we care? I'm not sure exactly why, but the more times I come to this conference, the more I feel like part of a community. A stressed out, completely crazy, monomaniacal community; a community with very strange taste in beards and silken scarves; but a community nonetheless. And since our conference blogging tends towards the sardonic rant (well, my conference blogging tends towards the sardonic rant), I feel somewhat reluctant to let it rip this time around.

That said...

I decided at lunch today that every incoming president of the SAA should have to take the following oath of office at his or her coronation. The speech today actually rescued itself with some good honest email humor, but we need some guidelines for the future:
I hereby pledge to give a purely conference-specific talk at the annual luncheon. I will not talk about the history of Shakespearean performance in the city we are in. I will not rhapsodize about the power of Shakespeare to heal world-historical rifts between nations, races, religions, and age groups. I will not even tell jokes about thinking up jokes to tell. I will deliver a state of the SAA address, letting the members know what the SAA and/or the Folger Library and/or SQ has been up to. I will say one interesting thing about Shakespeare that I have discovered over the course of my career that most people in the room probably don't already know. And, as part of our yearly tradition, I will unveil the mystery of how Lena Orlin manages to be both a fantastic scholar and the incredibly competent organizer of a conference each year.

I also pledge to wear a ruff and a doublet whenever possible.
The necessity for such an oath will be proven next year if Peter Holland (un-ruffed, no doubt) gives a lecture about how the Cuban Missile Crisis was actually defused by a well-timed performance of Pericles. Anyone care to take bets now on what he says Shakespeare heals, enables, or protects?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Woodcut Caption Contest #7 Winner!

Wow, our readers apparently get inspired by images that, according to them (but not to me, I don't know where you get such ideas), resembles a man having, as the Big Lebowski Dude says, coitus with a fish. There were numerous excellent captions, but our winner is Pasquil, who submitted a host of great ones, including "What may hap in Amsterdam abideth in Amsterdam," ""Nice cod-piece!" and "'Wow,' the cod thought, 'now this is awkward!'" His winning entry, however, was selected because, as Pedantius noted in comments, it successfully involves all of the characters in the image. Well, except for those two reapers way in the background... hey, what are those reapers doing there? Can't a guy get some privacy around here?

Congratulations to Pasquil!