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Film review: Danton outgrosses Robespierre

Preface: As I've said, oldie writing will be dusted off and plunked blogside (at least at first; new stuff should gradually overtake i...

Friday, August 10, 2012

It's astrophysics vs medieval drama! And the winner is... the disintegrating parchments, by a furlong!!

Jeez, with a title as spiffy as that, I don't have to write an article too, do I?
   I do?
   Oh, okay. Back in 1999 I finished my English degree with a course in Medieval and Tudor Drama. In the class was one Wolfgang (real name) who--surprise!--had dropped out of Physics seeking... something that seemed to be missing in Science.
   Medieval drama being thoroughly soaked in Christianity, an almost pre-fab punchline on science and religion is available, but nope, THAT long-running battle is not where I'm going with this (and I caught only a passing comment from Wolfgang, not his entire rationale). No, Christianity will survive (or not) without any helpful cheerleading by your blogger.
   Oddly enough for an English course, I seem to recall there was no final paper required, although I wrote one optionally, having taken the course with the clear idea of looking for influences of medieval drama on Shakespeare, and making discoveries that validated my hunch, electrifyingly.
  Wolfgang, however, went the "project" route, investigating the curious staging of that magnum opus of medieval morality plays: The Castle of Perseverance. This epic-length play was elaborately staged "in the round"--as depicted in a rudimentary drawing that prefaces the only known copy of the play, the Macro manuscript (remember, this is pre-Gutenberg), a basic description which Wolfgang took, along with the speculation of scholars, to produce, on his laptop, a modestly life-like, computer-generated visualization of Perseverance being staged
   Laptops were rare in 1999, and graphics-programs fairly primitive, but Wolfgang somehow managed to produce a series of views of the ring and the towers and the peasantry amid the spectacle, which wowed the class and made the thing come alive...

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Yeah, a "work in progress" like most of the other recent posts.