Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Costs Of Peddling Fiction As Fact

This is as the great Shakespearean actor, the artistic director of the Globe Theater,  Mark Rylance, said, "a work in progress" a dramatization of the Henry James story "The Birthplace" based on one of the covered up scandals of the Stratfordian industry's highest holy place.   In the 1890s the authorities who were in charge of "the Shakespeare Birthplace" chose the commoner poet Joseph Skipsey out of more than a hundred candidates to be the custodian of the place, which, by the way, no one can say Wm. Shaksper ever lived in, nevermind him having been born there.  He did the job for a while but he had to resign because he couldn't stand telling lies to the tourists about the things they were shown as "relics" of the "Bard of Avon".

Mark Rylance, Annabel Leventon, Peter Hamilton, and Robert Dorfman read from Henry James's novel 'The Birthplace', a satire of what is now the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Here's the text of Henry James' story.  It doesn't mention "Shakespeare" once and it doesn't specifically refer to what has become The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the epicenter of the world wide Shakespeare industry. 

He, having acted brilliantly in many productions of the plays and having read the poetry quite beautifully, clearly having done what so few do, thinking about it deeply, I would think Mark Rylance as well as others liked Derek Jacobi are quite credible in their skepticism.  

I was tempted to post some of the longer lecture-demonstrations in the conference last year, especially the one on "biografiction" and the one which links the fictionalization of the Stratfordians with the fictions that Brexit and the election of Trump depended on.  But you can watch those as you like it.  I think the most interesting thing about this is what it tells us about the construction of fictions and the successful presentations of them as truth.  It's what our news media and, if you can make an honest separation of them, the entertainment division do every day.  The cost of it is equality, democracy and freedom.   I wish I'd noted one place in one of them where someone used an academic's phrase to gloss over peddling lies as biography, as history, because it was essentially the same in substance as Kellyanne Conway's "alternative facts".  

Update:  If you want to see Mark Rylance in one of the plays, here's the scene from Twelfth Night in which he played Olivia with Sam Barnett playing Viola. 

Hate Update:   I'm not making this up, you know.  From The London Times 8th September, 1903

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