Plain English: May 2009 Archives

Such excitement here in Oxford. About twenty-four hours ago the first female Professor of Poetry at Oxford University resigned the post she'd held for 8 or 9 days. Our Brit-land is a small world, and though I was not eligible to vote (I spent two post-graduate years at my Oxford college, but never took an Oxford degree), I seem, more or less, to know everyone involved in the fracas.
May 26, 2009 4:13 PM | | Comments (0)

Until I saw Britten's Peter Grimes last week at the English National Opera with surtitles, I hadn't realised how clunky and often silly Montagu Slater's libretto is. Or maybe I should say (by contrast), that I hadn't realised how fine is my late friend Myfanwy Piper's libretto for Turn of the Screw, or Britten and Peter Pears' redaction of Shakespeare for that of  Midsummer Night's Dream. The surtitles made Slater's clumsiness evident - if you shut your eyes you couldn't really make out many of the words. I confess I find this is almost always the case when opera is sung in English - even if English is the language of the libretto. It's all about consonants, innit? Though some of our English vowel sounds are, to say the least, unlovely when sung.
May 12, 2009 6:15 PM | | Comments (3)
As a philosophy undergraduate at the University of Chicago in the early 1960s, I had relatively little instruction from members of the English department. But I was taught Shakespeare by Norman Maclean, whom I had no idea would write "A River Runs Through It." Indeed, I had no idea he wrote fiction. But I should have guessed, for Norman (as I was allowed to call him when I later became a graduate student) made us use our imaginations when we read Shakespeare. 
May 4, 2009 1:00 AM | | Comments (0)

Me Elsewhere


About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Plain English in May 2009.

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About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
State of the Art
innovations and impediments in not-for-profit arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
The Unanswered Question
Joe Horowitz on music

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
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