On Monday 28 May at 21:30 (UK time) BBC 2 will broadcast their King Lear starring Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson and others. Details here.
As the play had to be cut down to a little under two hours, the BBC version is expected to adapt the text considerably. The ageing Lear looks back nostalgically to a housekeeper he wanted to, but did not marry. In the consequent emotional turbulence he resolves to eat one of his daughters and a fool, and drink the blood of one of his sons-in-law. However, he cannot decide whom he should dine on first, and though it is clear that he should drink Burgundy, the culinary dilemma unhinges him.
Prof. Sobecki has recently been appointed co-editor of Studies in the Age of Chaucer, the yearbook of the New Chaucer Society and one of the leading journals for medieval literature. Studies has been in print since 1979 and features articles by some of the most prominent medievalists working today.
‘Here be Dragons’: the Oxford Fantasy Literature summer school will be held in the Faculty in September. Speakers from the Oxford English Faculty and other UK universities will look at different aspects of the genre, through 14 talks delivered over three days
interspersed with a series of 10-minute talks. Along with presentations focusing on the works of individual authors such as Tolkien, G. R. R. Martin, J. K. Rowling, Ursula Le Guin and Diana Wynne Jones, and overviews of the history of fantasy, there will be a number of short lectures on wider themes such as fantastic beasts, writing processes, and Arthurian fantasy. Further details and the full programme are available here.
As for the idea of a classroom of unruly schoolboys being stilled and thrilled to hear such stuff read aloud — as they must have once been by Tennyson — forget it. Poets don’t write for schoolboys any more. They seem to write mainly for each other.
In the recently published J. Roger Kurtz ed., Trauma and Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018, chapter 8, ‘Trauma in Non-Western Contexts’ was written by Dr Irene Visser. This can be accessed online through the university’s subscription to Cambridge Core.
Students revising the Classical background of ‘Literature from 1550’ should avoid the siren song of the plot of BBC’s most recent series Troy: Fall of a City which doesn’t claim to follow Homer closely. The series does demonstrate the perennial fascination of Ancient Greece and its literature.
Plagiarism software more commonly used to check student essays for overly assiduous borrowings has uncovered a long-forgotten, handwritten document from 1576 as the possible source for more than 20 monologues and passages from Shakespeare’s plays.