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Why Shakespeare’s First Folio coming to Mumbai is momentous

By Danish Sheikh

“Et tu, Brute!”

“Out, damned spot!”

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on/ And our little life is rounded with a sleep.”

These are iconic lines from iconic plays: Caesar’s dying gasp has seeped into our consciousness as a roar against betrayal; Lady Macbeth’s anguished plea is a lasting reminder of the insidious hold of guilt; and Prospero’s farewell to magic stands as a poignant ode to mortality.

William Shakespeare crafted these words of course, but were it not for the efforts of one John Heminges and Henry Condell more than four centuries ago, they would have never made their way to us.

Seven years after his death, these two colleagues of the Bard produced Mr William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories and Tragedies, often referred to simply as the “First Folio”.

The book put into print for the first time 18 of Shakespeare’s plays, including Julius Caesar, Macbeth and The Tempest.

One of the 234 surviving copies has now made its way to India, housed at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj museum in Mumbai till March 8. Read more

Source: DailyO


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Shakespeare’s Hamlet was dated wrongly: Study

William Shakespeare’s popular play Hamlet was dated wrongly, causing scholars to overlook a message that has hidden in plain sight for centuries, new research has claimed. Until recently, academics believed that Shakespeare wrote Hamlet in early 1601, when Elizabeth I was still on the throne after more than 42 years.

Researchers have found that this is the wrong date and that the Bard did not produce the finished version for another two years.

According to them, Shakespeare may have used the play to win the favour of the newly crowned James I in 1603. In 1603, Shakespeare would have been working on his play immediately after the coronation of James I and after the death of his own father, John, in late 1601. Read more

Source: The Indian Express

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Tata Lit Fest: Writers, thinkers and the spirit of debate in Mumbai

Come November, over 130 celebrated writers and thinkers from some 30 countries will converge at Mumbai’s biggest international literary festival, Tata Literature Live!

The illustrious first line-up for the seventh edition of the festival includes names like Amitav Ghosh, the Indian novelist who has examined the perils of ignoring climate change in his new book, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable; Nicholas Shakespeare, literary critic and descendant of William Shakespeare; John Gray, political philosopher and author of False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism; Ramachandra Guha, Indian historian and Padma Bhushan recipient; and Simon Armitage, the sardonically witty British poet, famous for the dramatisation of the Greek epic, The Odyssey.

“A literary festival in what is probably the world’s most vibrant city is sure to be hugely exciting. I very much look forward to it. I’ve had some memorable conversations in Mumbai. I’m looking forward to more,” said Amitav Ghosh about the festival which is set to sweep the city of Mumbai from 17-20 November. Read more

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Shakespeare wrote Henry VI plays with rival Marlowe, say scholars


A collection of plays by William Shakespeare to be issued later this month will have an unusual credit line after years of research: Christopher Marlowe, a contemporary of the Bard, will be mentioned as co-writer of three of his Henry VI plays.

A group of Shakespeare scholars have come to the conclusion that the famed playwright collaborated with others, and they believe Marlowe’s contribution to the three plays was more than just rumour.

The New Oxford Shakespeare is to be published by Oxford University Press later this month with the new credit line for Parts One, Two and Three of Henry VI. As many as 17 Shakespeare plays contain writings by others, the scholars told The Guardian. Read more

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Tata Literature Live festival: Talks, performances to feast on from November 17

Over 130 writers and thinkers like John Gray, Amitav Ghosh, Simon Armitage and former finance minister, P Chidambaram will be a part of the seventh edition of the Tata Literature Live! festival from November 17-20.

The festival will be held at two venues — the NCPA and Prithvi Theatre. Those listed for this edition include Nicholas Shakespeare, literary critic and descendant of William Shakespeare; John Gray, political philosopher and author of False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism; Ramachandra Guha, Indian historian and Padma Bhushan recipient; Simon Armitage, the sardonically witty British poet, famous for the dramatisation of the Greek epic poem The Odyssey; former minister and writer, Jairam Ramesh, Girish Karnad, Keki Daruwalla, Kiran Nagarkar and Jayant Narlikar, besides Gulzar and Karan Johar. Read more

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Shakespeare’s First Folio comes to Sotheby’s Hong Kong to mark 400th anniversary

Eton College, the world-renowned independent British school, and Heywood Hill, the legendary London bookshop, recently announced a free public exhibition of Shakespeare’s First Folio at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong on October 26-29, 2016.

Eton College and Heywood Hill, quintessentially British institutions, have joined forces, with the support of the British Consulate and Sotheby’s, to provide the residents of Hong Kong a unique opportunity to see one of the greatest literary artifacts in the English-speaking world this year, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Read more

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Haider: Desperately seeking Hamlet in the Valley of Kashmir

Vishal Bhardwaj’s Kashmir drama is a beautifully acted but sloppily assembled adaptation of the Shakespeare classic.

haiderHaider is Vishal Bhardwaj’s third attempt to map William Shakespeare’s texts, characters and plotting patterns for India’s social and political realities. The English playwright’s brooding tragedies have vastly helped the ambitious filmmaker chart new directions for well-travelled themes. Macbeth reoriented the mafia movie (Maqbool), while Othello seemed perfect to explore caste and power relations in Uttar Pradesh (Omkara). Continue reading

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Must have classic literature immersive apps

shakespeare-sonnets-100353874-largeThe iPad offers such powerful features – and excellent resolution – that truly enhanced books are possible. Here are six apps for the iPad that have popped up in recent years that look at great literature, paying homage to fantastic works while adding new layers.

Literature from Shakespeare

Let’s start with the Bard of Avon, Will Shakespeare. Both poet and playwright are represented with excellent apps. Touch Press’s $17.99 The Sonnets by William Shakespeare is a perfect example of what’s possible in an enhanced book. Not only do you get the text itself and notes from the Arden Shakespeare edition, but you also get videos of actors and Shakespeare specialists reading all 154 sonnets. There’s a facsimile of the 1609 Quarto edition of the poems, and plenty of background information to help you understand them.

Literature from James Joyce

James Joyce is another author whose works lend themselves to this approach. Naxos’ $10.99 Joyce’s Ulysses: A Guide unlocks the doors to that reputedly difficult classic novel. With a full text, replete with hundreds of annotations, and plenty of background information, you can dive into Ulysses with no fear of getting lost. There’s information about Joyce’s life, the music in the book, a brief recording of Joyce reading from it, and even an abridged audiobook of Ulysses (the full version is too costly to be included in the app).


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Taiwan kicks off series of events to commemorate Shakespeare

Taiwan will hold a series of events to commemorate the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth this year, the organizers said Friday.

The events will continue until 2016, the 400th anniversary of the literary giant’s death, they added. Continue reading

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Indonesia: Wanted in the bookstores: Literary canon

Visit any bookstore specializing in imported books from the English-speaking world and the chances are you will find non-fiction and fiction bestsellers as well as a significant amount of classics that are the pride and joy of a country or a culture.

The giants of British literature like William Wordsworth, William Shakespeare and Jane Austen are never hard to spot, as are the titans of American literature. They stand on the shelves waiting to be purchased and read by eager minds and literary enthusiasts.

You can even decide on the edition; the cheap paperback by Penguin or the ones with more flashy and artistic covers from the same or other publishers. Continue reading