Friday, July 22, 2011

Greetings from Prague

Greetings from Prague. The World Shakespeare Congress here was really lovely in every way. But did I remember to take a picture of our seminar on "Shakespeare on the Arab Stage" this afternoon? I did not. I was too busy enjoying the amazingly fast-paced and fruitful conversation with Rafik Darragi, Sameh Hanna, Jacqueline Jondot, Francis Guinle, and auditors including Mustapha Fahmi, Abdallah Al-Dabbagh, Poonam Trivedi, and others.  We have a long way to go toward fully developing this field -- especially as regards involving scholars of literature and theatre and theatre practitioners from a broader range of Arab countries -- but it's encouraging to see that some dynamic scholars are already doing really interesting work.

More details on the content of the research later.  Meanwhile, instead of the picture of our seminar, here is a photo of me with my friend Alex Huang, who works on Chinese Shakespeares, at the farewell reception hosted by the U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Opening of first "soliloquy" in Tanyus 'Abdu's Hamlet, 1901

أبتي أين أنت تنظر ما تم            صار عرصاً ذاك الذي كان مأتم
وغدت بعدك المآتم اعياداً           وذاك الثغر الحزين تبسم.

Why are the publishers having so much trouble getting this quotation to appear correctly in Arabic in the forthcoming issue of Shakespeare Studies?  Right-to-left issues are a pain.  My article on 'Abdu will be in Shakespeare Studies Vol. 39, accessible via full-text humanities search engines as well as Google Books and the like.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Shakespeare... at a Damascus bus stop

One might not think there would be time for theatre in Damascus these days, let alone Shakespeare, but apparently the Bard makes a cameo (along with some of his characters including Othello and Juliet) in an absurdist play being staged tonight and tomorrow at the Higher Institute for Dramatic Arts in Damascus.  Read more here (in Arabic).  The rhyming title might be translated "The Position of Ezbekia on the Crisis of Drama."  Not very easy to tell from this (unfavorable) review what the show was about, except that it made a perhaps awkward effort to integrate references to current events including random arrests, conversations between ghosts, etc.