Berfrois

Psycho, Staged by Eric D. Lehman

Psycho, Staged by Eric D. Lehman

Like it or not, the novel is no longer considered “sensationlistic trash,” and has been firmly established as part of literary history and culture now.

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‘When my daughter thinks of Shakespeare, she’ll be able to imagine Asian American players’

‘When my daughter thinks of Shakespeare, she’ll be able to imagine Asian American players’

The actor playing Olivia happened to be Asian—the first Asian actor I had ever seen onstage, and one of precious few I’d noticed anywhere.

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On the Knocking at the Gate, in Macbeth

On the Knocking at the Gate, in Macbeth

From my boyish days I had always felt a great perplexity on one point in Macbeth. It was this: the knocking at the gate, which succeeds to the murder of Duncan.

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Ed Simon on The Tragedy of Dracule

Ed Simon on The Tragedy of Dracule

Mathias Blum writes in Akiva’s Garden that “No play in the Renaissance canon, no play in the English canon, no play in literature is as terrifying as The Tragedy of Dracule

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Maybe these pills can do the trick?

Maybe these pills can do the trick?

by Steve Mentz Motion disorients bodies. When they are moved, bodies seek stable refuge—whether the bodies in question comprise shipwrecked sailors, strife-torn nations, dislocated asylum-seekers, or even confused students. Poetry offers a partial, not always effective, response to motion sickness. In disorienting times and places, we imagine refuge—while not averting...

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“J.M. Coetzee”

“J.M. Coetzee”

On 21 December, 2012, I had the privilege of introducing J.M. Coetzee to an expectant audience at the University of Cape Town; he was about to read from his new, as yet unpublished work, The Childhood of Jesus.

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Discovered Country

Discovered Country

Until very recently, I have avoided writing about Hamlet. With the occasional exception, I have also avoided teaching Shakespeare’s most famous play. I might have casually referred to this avoidance as “The Hamlet Effect.”

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Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

Samuel Beckett’s classic play Waiting for Godot, written in the author’s own account as some sort of diversion from his serious work on the trilogy of novels, takes place in an unnamed land and at an unnamed time.

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Enchanting All

Enchanting All

The Weird Sisters, Henry Fuseli, 1783 From The Threepenny Review: The haggard sisters’ brew in Macbeth would have remained a ghastly soup had they not chanted over it, and made “the charm firm and good” with their tripping rhyming curses. Spells can be cast by various means, foul and...

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Emma Goldman on drama

Emma Goldman on drama

So long as discontent and unrest make themselves but dumbly felt within a limited social class, the powers of reaction may often succeed in suppressing such manifestations.

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Press the Pedal Again

Press the Pedal Again

Piper, Eduard Bersudsky, 2013 From Aeon: You press the pedal at the base of Eduard Bersudsky’s sculpture Piper (2013). The shadow on the wall moves, the cogs begin to hum, the little bell rings, and the pair of gendered fauns flex their legs to activate the dog typist at...

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Nimble, Fiery, Delectable

Nimble, Fiery, Delectable

Falstaff with Great Wine Jug and Mug, Eduard von Grützner, 1896 From Lapham’s Quarterly: On a June day in 1598, at about three o’clock in the afternoon, nearly three thousand patrons file into The Curtain, a London playhouse on the outskirts of the city, along the Shoreditch road. They...

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Peggy Nelson: The Tragic Speed of Modern Life

Peggy Nelson: The Tragic Speed of Modern Life

Early vaudeville photo from the collection of Bob Bragman, as featured in the San Francisco Chronicle by Peggy Nelson Short attention span theater is hardly the new kid on the block. In the vaudeville era, an act was viable if it could manage to keep the audience’s attention for...

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Human Finitude as Plot Device

Human Finitude as Plot Device

The Revenger’s Tragedy, Royal Shakespeare Company, Pitlochry Festival Theatre 1965 production. by Attila Kiss “What brother, am I far enough from myself?” (The Revenger’s Tragedy, Vindice, 1.3.1) The persistent employment of excessive violence on the early modern English stage was studied by Renaissance scholarship for centuries in diverse...

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