Sunday, April 13, 2008

Upcoming Series: Summer of Hamlet

So because V. and I are both incredible nerds, we're devoting our summer to reading various versions and adaptations of Hamlet. And because we're both incredible nerds, we're taking you along for the ride, posting every yawn-inspiring moment of it to this blog. Here's our schedule, with dates left off because we're not yet to that level of incredible nerditude:

- William Shakespeare, Hamlet. Naturellement.
- Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. A crazy absurdist comedy based on Hamlet's indistinguishable buddies. We're reading this one early on because the Shakespeare Tavern in Atlanta is putting it on May 9 through June 1, and we want to be able to read the play first.
- John Updike, Gertrude and Claudius. This whole project began as a way of forcing Shakespeare scholar V. to read Updike. I've not read this novel myself, but it's apparently a prequel to the play that leaves Hamlet mostly out of things. It'll be interesting to see how ostensible sexist Updike treats that dirty whore Gertrude.
- Heiner Müller, Hamletmachine. V. suggested this one, which I've never heard of. Müller condenses the play into eight inpenetrable postmodernist pages.
- Film: Hamlet. The classic and influential Olivier performance. I'm not wild about this idea, but we figured we needed to have a straight performance of the play.
- Film: Hamlet 2000. Yes, the Ethan Hawke version. Why Ethan Hawke and not Mel Gibson or Kenneth Branaugh? Because Ethan Hawke doesn't hate Jews, and he never cheated on Emma Thompson.
- Film: The Lion King. I love this movie, and it was my first exposure to the play. I was twelve when I first saw it. V. was eight, and even then, she thought it was a hacky ripoff of Shakespeare.

The semester ends in a few weeks, and I hope we'll get right on this series. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions as to texts or films to add to the mix, we'd love to hear them.


hillary said...

You could add Infinite Jest if you wanted a very full schedule.

If you want a less full one, you could probably locate "The 15-Minute Hamlet" on YouTube. It's pretty great.

Michial said...

Hi Hillary--nice to hear from you.

We will probably not do the Wallace just because it's so enormously long, but I'll look into the YouTube video.


Anonymous said...

I forgot about "15-Minute Hamlet"! I love that one. Thanks for the suggestion :)

hillary said...

It's like the best Austin Pendletoniness ever.