sexta-feira, outubro 07, 2016

Shakespeare Meets Star Trek TNG: "The Annotated Shakespeare" by A. L. Rowse




video

I love Rowse. I love his eccentric and opinionated annotations. When I want Shakespeare, I go to my old copy of A.L.Rowse's "The Annotated Shakespeare". I always found Rowse’s edition to be a bit easier and more flavorful than the other annotated versions out there. Once I got deep into Shakespeare, I found that there were lots of ongoing feuds in the footnotes. I couldn’t care less. The main reason I bought this edition was not because it was “eccentric, opinionated, easier and more flavorful”, but because my first “encounter” with it was through Star Trek TNG! (you didn't expect that, did you??) 

Rowse’s one-volume edition shows up in several Star Trek TNG episodes. I just dug them up to be able to put some pictures on this post; one of my favourite scenes takes place between Piccard and Q wherein several Shakespeare lines are uttered to my fullest satisfaction... Shakespeare meets Star Trek was still the moment that changed it all. I was in high school, and caught the beginning of “The Offspring” one Sunday afternoon.  I’ve always loved Star Trek’s pseudo-intellectualism in all its forms, because it strived to not only be great entertainment, but also (like all great SF does) to place simple truths about our society and the human condition in a context removed from our own in which they could resonate more clearly. The way Gene Roddenberry (and his commissioned screen writers) took from Shakespeare may be same way that Shakespeare himself took from other playwrights at the time (Johnson, Marlowe, Fletcher, Kyd), i.e., this “taking” was never a mere pastiche of the old but a new interpretation for the present. The works of Shakespeare, after all, are timeless as well as universal—regardless if they are in English or in the original Klingon.

(Rowse's book on the right...)

I'm sure there's plenty I didn't get--and probably plenty I still don't--but a Shakespeare fan was born that Sunday afternoon, and I've been reading Shakespeare and watching Star Trek ever since (not the Abram’s crap; the TNG).

(Rowse's book in the background...)

My reading of Shakespeare by using Rowse was all I needed, as well as having the will, the time and the discipline to turn away from distractions. That’s why it took me 3 years to finish my Shakespeare project. The demands on my time are huge (*smile*).

(Q browsing through it...)

SF = Speculative Fiction.

NB: Afterthought prompted by Bookstooge in the comments section of this post: Back in the day there was no internet. Just us in front of the tube enjoying stuff. But the image of that mammoth of a book (and the pictures occupying the pages of the book) that was what stirred something in me. I'm not sure how I can verbalise it any better. It was always something at the back of my head. Later on, when the internet started becoming functional, I created a BBS at home (there's a post somewhere in my blog if you care to read it). That's when the geekery started. Star Trek was just one of boards I had running at the time on my own BBS. I had people from all over the world. One day the question just popped up on one of those forums. It didn't take long. The subject had finally been identified! I don't exactly remember how long it took me to find that out. But it was a moment I still cherish (I was in front of the computer reading "The Complete Robot" by Asimov as well as browsing the night posts coming from my American friends on the other side of the ocean...). That's memory for you...

7 comentários:

Book Stooge disse...

Huh, now isn't THAT interesting?
How did you figure out which edition was shown? That kind of detective work sounds really intriguing to me.

Manuel Antão disse...

Back in the day there was no internet. Just us in front of the tube enjoying stuff. But the image of that mammoth of a book (and the pictures occupying the pages of the book) that was what stirred something in me. I'm not sure how I can verbalise any better. It was always something at the back of my head. Later on, when the internet started becoming functional, I created a BBS at home (there's a post somewhere in my blog if you care to read it about it). That's when the geekery started. Star Trek was just one of boards I has running at the time on my own BBS. I had people from all over the world. One day the question just popped up on one of those foruns. It didn't take long. The subject had finally been identified! I don't exactly how long it took me to find that out. But it was a moment I still remember (I was in front of the computer reading "The Complete Robot" by Asimov as well as browsing the night posts coming from my American friends on the other side of the oceaan...). That's memory for you...

Book Stooge disse...

That is cool! Having a memory like that is priceless...

Manuel Antão disse...

Thanks for prompting me to write a fitting afterthought...

Luís Filipe Franco disse...

Ok!!! OK!I've been postponing returning to the original star trek series for some months now... Now it's a must:)

Luís Filipe Franco disse...

Ok!!! OK!I've been postponing returning to the original star trek series for some months now... Now it's a must:)

Manuel Antão disse...

You're in for a treat...