User talk:Bishonen/Dorset Garden Spectacular

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

This is a userpage

Please note that this is a userpage. It's not an article, it's just my draft. Don't add categories, please. And if anybody should have the idea (however flattering) of nominating it on WP:FAC while it's still in my userspace, I'll be upset. Bishonen | talk 02:12, 30 July 2005 (UTC)


Ummm, Charles Killigrew, not Thomas? "hateful ideology?" (The Shadow 18 July somedanged time in UTC)

Thomas. Thanks, Tom. No, "the ideologically hateful make-believe of play-acting". As in: play-acting is make-believe, and is therefore an object of hatred in Puritan ideology, see Histriomastix (the text, not so much the wiki stub). Maybe I need to make it clearer? I realise that "hateful" is one of those subject/object reversible words. Bishonen | talk 16:22, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Ah, you did see the comment. I couldn't find it again, so I thought I typed into the void. Anyway, I think "ideologically hateful make-believe" needs some expansion. They didn't like the "telling lies" part of drama (see also Defense of Poesy, where Great Guy Sidney did a hell of a defense by synthesizing Plutarch and Aristotle), but they also didn't like public assemblies, so worshipful, that were idolatrous and libidinous. I.e. it's not just the make believe, but the fact that there are some people of low morals on the stage, and audiences are worshipping them, and there are people up there telling stories that invite people to think bad thoughts. Finally, some one of them must have made the comparison of the stage with the pulpit and the Satanic inversion thereof, because Swift repeats it over and over again in the Tale, and I doubt he would have if it weren't a parody. Geogre 17:54, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

I don't want the reasons they hated it in focus, though, I just want to allude to the fact that they did—I'm starting to worry the page will never get to the subject anyway. The remark about make-believe is just a distraction, I'll remove it. Bishonen | talk 18:12, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Well, if you want, but don't take what I say too seriously. You know me. I can dissertate about just about any adjective-noun combination for a good hour, in that charmingly pedantic way of mine. You knew it was a trouble phrase. Everything after that was just lack of keeping my trap shut on my part. Geogre 18:58, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

1. Any chance of your making this on anything that I can link to for "spectacle?" Any chance of saying, when you put in "spectacular," the following, "(or 'spectacle,' as it was referred to by contemporaries)" so that I can link? 2. Umm, what was 2? 3. You know, if you scan up one of the illegal-to-reproduce images to me privately, I might be able to draw it with a graphics program, thus making it a private artwork that I can give to the world. 4. What were the others I was going to ask? Geogre 17:55, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

I'd like to have the "spectacular" page be about the 1660—1700 period, because for why:
1. I think it's gonna be long anyway, I have the most fascinating quotes to put in. For instance, a fine stage direction from a burlesque of Settle's Empress of Morocco that I just realized the King's Company put on, making fun of the special effects.. heh heh.. I'm not the only person to find them comical!
2. There are two stages of the London-loves-opera thing: first the somewhat homegrown Restoration kitsch (though borrowing freely from French opera), and then your visiting Italian opera vogue, which starts pretty sharpish in 1705. So it's actually possible to keep them in separate articles. Mind you, I think it's all the more important that we cross-link the opera stuff! Not just as in wikilink, but in saying stuff about what, opera-wise, went before (in auggie), and what came after (in DG spectacular). I just wrote a paragraph about that and stuck it into DGS, as the Lead. It's not comfortable there, I'll obviously have to reformulate it if it's gonna be the Lead, but i'm putting it in for safe-keeping, and for you to look at. (Is the Pope thing I say even true? I was improvising.) See, you're getting a taste of the snail-pace article creation of teh Bishonen, does that make you writhe with impatience, you one-man wiki..? Anyway, referring backwards in auggie drama is probably more important than referring forwards in DGS, so do feel free to cannibalise anything on this page that you think might help there. Seriously, do, I can easily churn out more of the similar if I need it.
3. Aaahaa. A leeetle sneaky... I'm not sure you'll be able to do that and sleep at night. You'll see what I mean when you take a look. Hmm, the ones I can lay my hands on at the moment are fairly bad photocopies made at the library, that's not good enough. OTOH, I think I can find something on the web. Watch this space. Bishonen | talk 19:24, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Ok. Well, Pope's "Smithfield muses" are raree shows, carnivals, etc. The most particular barb there is aimed at John Rich as Lun, for Theobald had written "plays" for Rich as Lun. I.e. he carried the dumbshow/Punch muse from the fairgrounds to the ear of George II. However, there are plenty of nasty digs at the opera, as well as the theatrical special effects. I quote Pope's line about opera's one trill covering joy and rage. Umm, what else? You threw me.

Oh, yeah. You figure it's worth mentioning that Thomas Killigrew was a spy master for Charles and that he had been a spy for Charles II in exile? I think Davenant had also been conspicuously in the court-in-exile and had done some spying for Chuck. I.e. they had the two theatre contracts in their pockets before the Restoration. Geogre 21:54, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Well, they were both being rewarded for loyalty, I guess mentioning that would more be just a way of making the narrative "thick" (per Greenbaum), I don't see it as having a lot of implications for how the company competition played out. Anyway, I'm worrying about this article not turning out very interesting. I started to write it because I read these amusing stage directions about Juno's chariot being drawn by peacocks, and Proteus turning into a crocodile... but there seems to be so much that needs explaining before I even get there! I'm trying to write something introductory (not the Lead, which is supposed to be a mere summary, but after the Lead) about how the bad rep is Dryden's fault, and that his criticism is somewhat bad faith—the jealous comment from a writer whose own company couldn't afford the special effects he wanted, not a defence of Good Taste from on high. Anyway, get out of here, I want to phone you! Bishonen | talk 22:12, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Bad faith? Hmmm. I don't think so. We don't know, after all, how he felt about that stuff in his own plays. Did he like it, or did he put it in to satisfy the demands of others? The man who did the "Defense of Poetry" and all those Prefaces was probably interested in the Shakespeare-type density of text and was probably not happy with Dance of the Slave Girls #3 being put in. Literary playwrights in general don't like things that they don't get to write to this day, which is why there are people who write musicals and people who don't. Anyway, you distract me again. The Killigrew/Davenant thing thickens the text a bit, but it would really only cost you an adverbial phrase, and it would pay off highly, IMO (and for my interests, which may not be yours). It builds the case that I will some day pursue on my own time of plays getting staged as favors from the King himself (most particularly Behn's plays getting staged at first as payment for her Suriname work). Between you and me, it also explains Gould's one and only play: he did something to please Dorset, and that thing may well have been the attack on Dryden. If it wasn't that, it was still something. Some of the nobles used their fawning poets to say things they themselves wished to say, and that particular thing kept happening all the way up to the present day, when graduate students launch attacks on professors who are the enemies of their own dissertation director's. But, back to the point, it's an adverbial, and it strengthens the court = stage connection that you yourself make use of in the "intrusion of court/masque techniques" and the "private houses/private drama" stuff. :-) Geogre 03:40, 23 July 2005 (UTC) (And you said I wasn't clever!)

True, but what adverbial is it you have in mind? I already say that they got the patents because they'd been "notable for their loyalty" during the Commonwealth. As for Dryden's bad faith, that's Hume, but it sounds convincing to me—check out the bit about his personal financial interest and his operas, in the "Introductory" section. Anyway, yes, you're clever, and, well, the adverbials aren't that important, please tell me what you think of the structure? Do you think it's unencyclopedic to have that argumentative "Introductory"? I felt, without it, as if the reader would be nonplussed by being plunged straight into the early history: Why is it all so vague? Why don't we get told how it looked? Or how it was achieved? And why aren't there any really helpful piccies? I think something about the paucity (hey, there's a word! I'm a stick that baby in somewhere!) of specific sources is needed, but that's not saying that's what's there now is acceptable. I dunno. Is the intro too much of a mess of different things? Bishonen | talk 18:54, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

I like the present structure, although I don't think it's at all argumentative. Further, I think you can even fit in an interrogative structure past the 1st paragraph to set up a thesis. One of those, "Why are spectacles and specatulars accorded such ill fame in the history of the theatre, if the economics of theatrical production necessitated them, and if the playhouses themselves sought them out?" It would then give you, essentially, a chance to posit an answering thesis or to use the interrogation as, itself, an organizing principle. To me, this is not unencyclopedic, exactly, even though it is not common practice. As for the adverbial phrase, I was just thinking of something like, "Thomas Killigrew, who had operated as one of Charles II's spy-masters during the Interregnum, and William Davenant, who had been [I think] Charles II's Secretary of State in exile, were rewarded for their services by receiving the two patents for theatres." The reason was that I thought an explicit quid pro quo, rather than a general pat on the head for a faithful dog, would make it clear that this exchange was much more coarse and exact than just, "I like you, man! Here, have a letter of patent." It's the kind of coarsening that would make it easier to suspect that all first-time stagings were similarly handed out as rewards. Geogre 20:01, 23 July 2005 (UTC)


Next time you're editing the lead, the last sentence of the first paragraph says that a success would put the house in the "red." It would put them in the black (profit) rather than red (debt). Geogre 12:23, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Paragraph on why no one tells us how the effects were made added, invisible, along with a citation for it, invisible. Geogre 14:23, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

I guess you don't like it because 1709 is too late? Dennis works in the 1690's, and his attitude is the only one I know of that's documented. Oh well. Geogre 01:38, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Querulous and quarrelsome

My feeling on reading the whole of it was that I was left wanting the just-so story element of narrative that I like so much. The introduction and conclusion I wanted to tell me that it starts in the mists of times and continues to this day -- a big sweep of history and context that would pan the camera from cavemen to the 17th c. and then focus. That's why I kept urging telescopic comments on you. This may be my personal writing habit that's fooling me into thinking that it's an unmistakeable good, however.

The second thing was that I felt like the precise subject wasn't hit and hammered as well as it would have otherwise been, if the article had been dealing with a specific set of years or a specific person. I worried that a words of one syllable sentence was needed to explain to the naive reader what it was, exactly, that they needed to focus on. In that, I might have made matters worse rather than better with my inserted paragraph. I could confuse them about spectacle vs. spectacle play vs. musical spectacle.

Anyway, that was my problem, before. I re-read the article with a clearer head, and I think the article is FA, myself. I don't know if the naive reader will be confused, but I think it reads well and is well organized. It's scrupulously researched, of course, and the reader is carried along through the narrative very easily and smoothly.

On another note altogether, I found a new Dryden picture Image:J-Dryden.jpg that wouldn't be a disgrace, if you need it. Geogre 03:53, 29 July 2005 (UTC)


As I've said, I'm probably the wrong person, because I don't think it's long, much less too long. The deflating paragraph I have trimmed and made as tense as I could. At 35 kb, it really, really doesn't seem long at all. I don't see things to cut, first, and I see an interesting thesis about literary history. Geogre 13:02, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

If my sentence combining is noxious, please let me know, and I'll stop. I have tried to combine modifiers from sep. sentences to function as singles, but I have also tried to leave the originals in place, but between invisible marks. One of the strong points of the article is the narrative of the war between houses, with he did/he did, so I wouldn't want any cutting, but it is possible that the 2 sections on pre-history (1630-60) could be combined to one section that covered the early practice, ban, and ban evasion, leading to Restoration. That could cut a kilobyte and move to what seems to me to be the main business of the war that leads to high stakes gambles on decoration sooner. Are you going to be home 20:00-ish? Geogre 15:24, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

1st sentence

Spectaculars, multimedia shows, hit the London public stage for the first time in the late 17th-century Restoration period, enthralling audiences with action, music, dance, moveable scenery, baroque scene painting, gorgeous costumes, and special effects such as trapdoor tricks, "flying" actors, and fireworks

What's (a?) spectaculars again? El_C 17:13, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
Hi, how are you? (High?) One of my sources called these plays "Dorset Garden Spectaculars", which kind of appealed to me. A spectacular is not an established historical term, but, well, maybe a Broadway promotional kind of word for very expensive and flashy shows. I hope it is. ;-) In the 17th-century sense, that would be, as I say, plays, or operas, with action, music, dance, "moveable" or "changeable" scenery (wings and backdrops that could be smoothly and mechanically changed between or within acts, a new invention at the time), and so on. Yesterday, someone else complained about my calling them "multimedia shows"... sheesh, I don't know what to call them! It's just about ready to go live in the article space, and I'm really trying to figure a name that people will understand, please help, El C! What would you call them? Theree's also a term "machine play", referring to all the wave machines and thunder and lightning machines and such used in the productions, but who has ever heard that? I sure hadn't, ten days ago. Bishonen | talk 17:49, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
I like Spectaculars, it just sounds so off beat, I thought I was missing something. Totally beats festive-carnivale or merriment-fair-of-fantasticness. Also, it's more concise and less of a hyperbole than a fire-works flower show! Home honey, I'm high! But kinda sleepy, though. I may sit outside in the sun for a while and pet a cat. ANY CAT! This one, I'll take him. Yours, El_C 18:11, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
Wait, there's animations!? Why was I not informed? Grrr. El_C 19:08, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
Well, it ain't Fantasia, they're a little pathetic, actually, especially the flying machine. But I'd very much like to know if they work on your box! Bishonen | talk 19:19, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
Wait, a sec!? I have a box? This day just keeps getting better and better! El_C 19:24, 30 July 2005 (UTC)