BITS &PIECES OF A MISPLACED LIFE: ANYTHING GOES

"Gilbert, the waspish member of the Gilbert
and Sullivan team, had little regard for the
acting ability of Sir Beerbohm Tree. He felt
that the controversy over the true identity
of Shakespeare could be settled once and for
all. His solution was to have Beerbohm Tree
recite from the Bard over the graves of the
three contenders, Shakespeare, Bacon, and
Marlowe. The real Shakespeare would, he felt
certain, turn in his grave."
     
OSCAR LEVANT. The Unimportance of Being Oscar
(New York: G.P. PUTNAM'S SONS, 1968)
**
<---------- Ophelia, this way to the nunnery

**

Shakespeare began  Hamlet as a searching study of 
the soul of man, but before he was done the characters 
were fighting duels all over the place and going mad 
and participating in all the varied experiences which 
come to men in melodrama.

Heywood Broun.  Seeing Things at Night.

 ***

Shakespeare, who belonged to a generation whose 
immediate predecessors had experienced social upheaval 
and anarchy and,
 as a result,  were haunted by a dread 
of them, put into the speech of Ulysses in his great 
and bitter play Troilus and Cresside the sense of 
chaotic nightmare engendered by the removal from the 
body politic of the cement of “degree, priority and 
place, institute, course, proportion, seasons, form. 
Office, and custom, all in line of
order”


Sir Arthur Bryant. Illustrated London News (July 1971).

KICKSHAWS
The word kickshaws derives from the French 
quelque chose, meaning ‘something’. The Oxford 
English Dictionary (OED) has a variety of alternative 
spellings for kickshaws and lists various illustrative quotations. The earliest quotation is dated 1598, 
when it appears in the original French form 
quelque chose. 

A couple of years later in 1600, Shakespeare used 
the spelling kickshawes in Henry IV, Part 2:

“A ioynt of mutton, and any pretty little tinie 
Kick-shawes.
”

Two decades further on (1623), the Bard used the 
word in Twelfth Night, albeit with a different spelling:

“Sir Andrew Aguecheek says: I delight in Maskes 
and Reuels sometimes altogether. Sir Toby Belch 
replies: Art thou good at these kicke-chawses Knight?”


The word has become imbued with a variety of slightly 
different meanings over the centuries a fancy dish in 
cookery, a , a , a , a fantastic person, something 
dainty or elegant, but unsubstantial or comparatively 
valueless. I was wondering about the existence of 
derivative forms - the OED has kickshawed. I tried 
a Google search and found the surprisingly named 
kickshawaii website, but it turned out this was a site
 about how and where to get entertainment and shopping 
kicks in Hawaii!

DARRYL FRANCIS, reprinted from INTERIM (May 2021)

**
EVEN SHAKESPEARE IS NOT BELOVED BY EVERYBODY

Jennifer Higgie in her marvelous collection of historical
insults -- FAR TOO NOISY, MY DEAR MOZART(London: Michael
O'Mara Books, 1997) --presents a few choice opinions about
the Bard of Avon from noted writers. To wit:

 "Crude, immoral, vulgar, and senseless."
             Leo Tolstoy

With the single exception of Homer, there is no
eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, whom
I detest so entirely as I despise Shakespeare 
when I measure my mind against his...it would
positively be a relief to me to dig him up and
throw stones at him.
          George Benard Shaw

This enormous dunghill.
           Voltaire

To the King's theater, where we saw A
Midsummer Night's Dream, which I had
never seen before, nor shall ever again,
for it is the most insipid, ridiculous
play I ever saw in my life.

Samuel Pepys
**

If Shakespeare can be so crudely dismissed &
insulted why should lesser writers care what
critics and reviewers think about their works?


SHAKESPEARE IN TOMBSTONE


Tombstone is not nearly as much fun 
As it used to be:
Shot glasses smashed against mirrors,
All that broken glass, 

Gun-Slinger after gunslinger coughing
Out their lungs
Into what is left of their brains.
The day of the movie singing-


Cowboy has long passed. 
At 8
A.M. morning light Is clear 
As an ace-high straight.

Clementine loved Tombstone.
Its desert flowers
Smelled like shaving lotion.
But her calicos are long gone.

Wyatt Earp’s youngest brother,
Plugged in his back,
Has been discovered face-down
In a driving rain. Another

Curtain lowered, 
His soliloquy
Left unfinished,
Crossing the bourn from which


No traveler returns. 
To be
Or not to be etc. etc.  
He was,like his brother,
A mess of personal problems.

Wild Bill? 
Not a lot of heroes left,
Good guys galloping pell-mell
Out of this place. 

Actors
In this movie have also passed
Into that other country,
You too shall be in that cast. 

Well…“I humbly thank you; 
Exeunt all,pursued by bears.

Louis Phillips



Louis Phillips                    













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