User talk:Xover

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Hello Xover. I just wanted to express my appreciation for you defending me at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Templates. Shortly after I posted my comment, I departed for Italy with my family ("fair Verona"), and essentially just ignored any emails that lacked a subject heading of "Extremely urgent." Mind you, even had I been around, I wouldn't have been aware of the accusations being made, as I wasn't watching the page. It was a request for comment, I made a comment, and that was the extent of my involvement. But I returned yesterday, and seeing your ping, I read the exchange. Still don't feel the need to further comment, but, again, I wish to thank you. Happy New Year to you. Five Antonios (talk) 14:27, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

@Five Antonios: You're very welcome! --Xover (talk) 15:18, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

Earliest Shakespeare authorship doubt[edit]

Hi xover, if I link to Edward Ravenscroftwiki page and to this article

will that be enough to change the Shakespeare Authorship entry?

Thanks for your help. --Billdup (talk) 02:56, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

@Billdup: The issue of how to present what constitutes "the earliest doubt" (and just exactly what is meant by that concept) has been the subject of significant controversy during the development of the article (Shakespeare authorship question). As such it requires discussion on the article's talk page first. You need to post there describing how you propose to change the article and explaining your reasoning, with citations to reliable sources (and "reliable sources" here specifically as outlined in the policy pages: WP:RS, WP:V, WP:NOR, and WP:WEIGHT). The goal is to attempt to gain consensus among interested editors for the best way to improve the article.
I must warn you, though, that this particular topic (and articles related to alternate authorship theories in general) has been one of significant controversy, mostly due to a steady stream of editors who attempted to push their particular favourite authorship theory at the expense of all other concerns. The editing climate eventually devolved to the point that the Arbitration Committee (the highest organ for dispute resolution on Wikipedia) imposed what is known as "discretionary sanctions" on all articles related to this issue (broadly construed). Discretionary sanctions essentially means that administrators are given wide latitude to impose sanctions (including blocking accounts indefinitely, or imposing a ban from editing in a topic area or set of articles) at a much lower threshold of misbehaviour than usual, and without prior discussion of the specific sanction.
As a practical effect, all editors (but particularly those in favour of an alternate authorship theory, since as a group there is a history of disruption) must bend over backwards to act within policy; and the regular editors on that article are likely to be resistant to changes such as the one you propose (the issue has been debated ad nauseam, and several proponents of similar changes have been… unconstructive… and confrontational in their approach).
I don't mean to discourage you: articles can always be further improved, and fresh eyes on a problem is always valuable. I just don't want you to wade into a quagmire of old entrenched conflicts unawares (that rarely ends well), and my immediate assessment is that this is not a change that has any significant chance of gaining consensus. --Xover (talk) 06:55, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
Xover I hear what you're saying, what about if I just create a an article to 'The Ravenscroft Tradition' and leave it at that? Here it is in my sandbox, User:Billdup/sandbox --Billdup (talk) 17:49, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
@Billdup: A couple of issues with that. First of all, Ravenscroft isn't really talking about the Shakespeare authorship question; he's talking about Shakespeare attribution studies and William Shakespeare's collaborations. Which illustrates the more immediate policy point: drawing conclusions from what Ravenscroft wrote in 1687 is original research under Wikipedia's policies. Both Ravenscroft (1687), Symons (1885), and Knight (1839) are effectively primary sources; and combining them to reach a conclusion is novel synthesis. In order to write about this properly you would need to start with a modern survey or overview (the Oxford or Arden editions of Titus, typically) that reflect what the current state of the art is on the play, its authorship, and its critical history. These will typically reference Ravenscroft and his preface, but filtered through the understanding of a couple hundred years of research. And, crucially, it will reflect the interpretation and scholarship of Jonathan Bate or Eugene M. Waith rather than our own personal opinions.
Further, putting conflicting information into a separate article is known as a content fork, and is generally not allowed on Wikipedia as it endruns consensus processes and violates principles like neutral point of view. When it comes to the "doubt about Shakespeare" that is the thrust of the draft in your sandbox, and your previous edit to Shakespeare authorship question, the proper place for it (iff it is to be included at all) is the main Shakespeare authorship question article, and the way to including it is by raising the proposal on the article's talk page.
Now, usually this isn't such a fraught bureaucratic process: the vast majority of changes on Wikipedia are simply made with no fuss or discussion. The problem is mainly that you've chosen a controversial area, and a point under previous contention, so you somewhat inherit the consequences of that. --Xover (talk) 07:40, 21 January 2018 (UTC)

Another thanks[edit]

Hello Xover. I wanted to drop you a note of thanks for all your work on the "Scottish play" it is much appreciated. Cheers and enjoy the rest of your week. MarnetteD|Talk 18:53, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

@MarnetteD: Likewise! Don't think I haven't noticed your efforts on that article. :) --Xover (talk) 18:58, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
I am glad to help when I can :-) Memories of this sketch always makes me smile when I think about "the curse" Best regards. MarnetteD|Talk 19:02, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
@MarnetteD: Bwahaha! Blackadder would have been a runaway hit on the Elizabethan stage, I'm convinced of it! :) --Xover (talk) 20:00, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree X!! Speaking of coming at Will's plays from a different angle I don't know if you are aware of this version of The Comedy of Errors. When I went searching for info about it this morning (my time) I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is now available here - part one and here - part two. As my VHS has faded almost into obscurity I am happy about this. Now this may not be your cup of tea but I thought I would make you aware of it on the off chance. Cheers again. MarnetteD|Talk 12:51, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
@MarnetteD: I finally found the opportunity to watch it this weekend (long story, don't ask). It is indeed hillarious! I don't know about old Willy, but I'm pretty sure it would have been a runaway hit at The Globe. It's… I think it's sort of the essential expression of the play. That moment at the end, when Shakespeare is alone in a single spotlight on an otherwise darkened stage, juggling. The recording should have ended just there!
Now I must admit I like to think Shakespeare himself was more enamoured of the high dramas (the Hamlets and Macbeths), which, completely coincidentally I'm sure, also happen to be my favourites too. Take this, for example. So pretentious and overly dramatic that it verges on self-parody, but I absolutely adore it! --Xover (talk) 16:49, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
I am glad that you enjoyed it Xover. Thanks for the link!! Who is that young fellow anyway :-) McKellan is so good at teaching - he reminds me of Bernstein in that respect. Best regards. MarnetteD|Talk 18:53, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
I should add that I meant Leonard not Elmer HeeHee. Lennie's Sunday afternoon Young People's Concerts#Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts on CBS (1958–72) are a marvelous memory of my formative years. MarnetteD|Talk 19:07, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
@MarnetteD: Heh yeah, I kinda figured it was Lennie you were referring to. Not that I would usually know Lennie from Elmer (or Elmo for that matter). Apart from the usual modern mainstream personal favorites, my facility with music, in any capacity, is essentially non-existant (fundamentally a tin ear).
I, by chance, ran across a long article from The Musical Times analyzing Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream and figured it for a good opportunity to expand our article on it. Three pages in I realized that I had no idea what they were talking about, much less was able to summarise it.
In any case, Bernstein… I think I've caught bits and pieces of Dybbuk, Candide, and On The Waterfront, more or less by accident; but apart from West Side Story I don't think there's anything I would be able to point to as his without looking it up. Definitely a blind spot for me. I did make the mistake of looking up his Young People's Concerts on Youtube, though, and before I knew it an hour had passed. The man is absolutely magnetic! And, it must be said, his attempt to explain musical concepts to a K12-ish audience, was only slightly too advanced for me. :) --Xover (talk) 18:03, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Your post caused many smiles X. Thanks for that :-) I've seen three different performances of Candide over the years. When done well it captures the spirit of Voltaire and Bernstein. Magnetic is absolutely the right word for LB and his ability to impart his love of music (and life for that matter) to us is a great joy. Cheers. MarnetteD|Talk 18:54, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

Scala Theatre[edit]

Hello, Xover. Please see this change to the hatnote, which you and User:Paul_012 had previously worked on. My understanding is that, once we link the disambiguation page in the hatnote, we should not link to any other specific articles. If that is right, will someone please revert the change and explain it to this relatively new user? -- Ssilvers (talk) 20:56, 9 February 2018 (UTC)

@Ssilvers: I took a look at it. Going by "the book" (MOS), the article shouldn't have a hatnote at all. However, I personally think the MOS, in this area, is too focussed on ambiguity of article names, and doesn't sufficiently take into account terms—particularly names of buildings and venues—that, while not strictly speaking ambiguous, are very generic for the reader. In this particular case, a lot of readers, and a lot of books etc., will think of the place as simply "the Scala". So though not literally ambiguous, it will be conceptually so. In short, if anybody wants to add back in a {{other uses|Scala (disambiguation)}} hatnote, I wouldn't object. The MOS says no hatnote here, so we'd have to do it under WP:IAR. --Xover (talk) 06:43, 10 February 2018 (UTC)
@Ssilvers: I've also asked for more direct guidance on this to be added to the MOS over at WT:Hatnote#Missing guidance on generic terms and linking to dab sections. --Xover (talk) 07:21, 10 February 2018 (UTC)
Personally, I would vote to put back in the link to the disambig page, but not (also) the café. -- Ssilvers (talk) 07:25, 10 February 2018 (UTC)
@Ssilvers: I agree. But we're pretty deep into article-specific issues now. If you don't object, I propose we move this discussion to the article's talk page to let everyone participate, and to document whatever is the consensus for future reference? --Xover (talk) 07:36, 10 February 2018 (UTC)
Fine with me. -- Ssilvers (talk) 09:05, 10 February 2018 (UTC)
Actually, I'd say a hatnote is quite warranted here. "Theater" in US English means "cinema", and Scala Cinema (Bangkok) and Phoenix Picturehouse are both listed in the disambiguation page. There's also Teatro alla Scala, which translated into English would also be Scala Theatre. The ambiguity should already satisfy WP:HAT as it stands. The club, on the other hand, of course shouldn't be mentioned. (Commenting where the discussion currently is but feel free to move.) --Paul_012 (talk) 10:49, 10 February 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I have copied this thread to the article's talk page. Let's continue there. --Xover (talk) 10:58, 10 February 2018 (UTC)

Feature request IABot API[edit]

Phab ticket opened in case you want to follow it. -- GreenC 19:44, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

A. L. Rowse[edit]

I have started a thread on the talk page, which is what you should have done instead of reverting me. DuncanHill (talk) 16:59, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

Oh, c'mon, it's a good book![edit]

[1] But fair enough, the source was crap and I can't find a better one (and thanks for writing a good ES). Don't remove Neil Gaiman from Puck though, I'll fight for that ;-) And the source is better. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 08:27, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

@Gråbergs Gråa Sång: Yeah, sorry about that. I was really there trying to find cites for all the entries, trying to address the {{refimprove-section}} maint tag, but I just couldn't find any sources that discussed the book, and certainly not in that particular context. And when the description suggested the mention of Falstaff was simply in passing, the outcome was pretty much given. Do keep an eye out for references and give me a ping if you find any (or, obviously, add them directly). As to Puck, while I generally detest pop culture trivia in Wikipedia articles, and especially in the Shakespeare articles (that seem to amass them at an almost Falstaffian rate ;D), I expect that finding cites for Gaiman's use of him to be much easier. I know there's at least one book chapter (essay) that addresses The Sandman specifically in the context of Shakespeare (but I haven't read it yet). It's a pity character analysis and criticism fell out of style somewhere after Bradley (I blame Freud and Laclan). I love those perspectives on the plays, and I think they help illuminate the topic for our readers (hence the proliferation of fictional character articles in pop culture topics, where scholarly treatements are relatively less influential in determining due weight). In any case, thanks for the notice, and the kind words! --Xover (talk) 09:47, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
Then this section I wrote may make you grind your teeth a little: Marlovian_theory_of_Shakespeare_authorship#In_Fiction. I like broad-sense popular culture sections to an extent, they can be (and often are) crappy, Bō#In_popular_culture is really bad, but they can also be made decently WP-ish. Funny thing is that any article can have these sections: Ophidiophobia, Parasitoid#In_culture, Otto_Skorzeny#In_fiction, Cain_and_Abel#Cultural_portrayals_and_references...
It's a little odd that Ruled Britannia is so absent in sources, it did get an award. But it's an obscure genre and there's really no reason Shakespeare-scholars should pay attention to Turtledove. BTW, pop-cult Shakespeare doesn't get much better than this [2]. And british House of Cards. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 10:33, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
@Gråbergs Gråa Sång: Well, I mostly don't care about the alternate authorship theory articles. Not really due to the articles themselves (I find conspiracy theories in general, which they mostly are, to be fascinating), but because all the… let's be polite and call it "drama"… around them has left me with an active distaste for them (the whole sad story that eventually ended up in WP:ARBSAQ darn near put me off Wikipedia alltogether). Nor is it pop culture itself I object to (quite the contrary!). It's the endless lists of trivial references ("an actor that once was an extra on Voyager played a character in a direct-to-video film that once used the words "to" and "be" in very nearly consecutive sentences, which is clearly a reference to Hamlet."), original research, invariably in context-free list format, and without a citation.
Pop culture references that are significant (i.e. non-trivial), in pop culture works that are themselves significant, and which have been covered by high quality secondary sources… I love them! It's the perfect way to give a Shakespeare topic modern relevance, and make it interesting to people who would rather have a root canal then see a play, much less a Shakespeare play. Gaiman and Sir Patrick Picard (Jean-Luc Stewart?) are perfect examples here: the works have cultural significance of their own; reference and adapt Shakespeare in significant and culturally relevant ways; and the reference has been noticed and commented upon by well respected scholars (Jill Levenson, for example, edited Romeo and Juliet for The Oxford Shakespeare).
And it's very much worth keeping in mind that Shakespeare himself was the pop culture of his time, and littered the plays with contemporary pop-cultural references. Take a look at the Karamazov Brothers take on The Comedy of Errors that MarnetteD kindly pointed out to me a few sections above. Even if you take the pure circus out of it, there's nothing even remotely high brow about it. Or, indeed, the OldcastleFalstaff thing. A contemporary political allusion so sharp it rivals Shakespeare in the Park having their Brutus murder a Cæsar that's the spitting image of Donald Trump.
In any case, don't expect me to go on the war path against pop culture any time soon. Lists of trivia under the heading "In popular culture" on the other hand… Grr!
On Ruled Britannia, I was actually a little surprised to come up empty. Any obscure detail related to Shakespeare has usually been covered by someone over the last 400 years, and Shakespeare scholars tend to be kinda desperate to appear relevant, so their pop culture reference are quite common. Sometimes disdainful and dismissive, sure, but on the whole, Shakespeare scholars love stuff like this. Case in point: A Midsummer Night's Rave. :) --Xover (talk) 17:33, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
Pop culture and WP is how I came to get an interest in Shakespeare (I've only seen film-versions of a few plays). I'm sure I "miss" tons of stuff in for example Ruled Britannia, but it's fun anyway (I love Constable Strawberry). I've noted the drama around SAQ (!), it can be an interesting spectator-sport. I'm Swedish, and I can't remember a friend, teacher or colleague ever suggesting to me "you should read this by S". But he has a (not always) discreet omniprescence in fiction, and it's interesting to note it when it pops up. The St Crispin's Day Speech in Renaissance Man is a favorite of mine. First episode of Blackadder season 1 is also good.
Years ago my girlfriend and I was in London, and looked at discounted musical/theater tickets. First evening we saw Chicago, good enough. Second evening, we decided on what posters assured was a celebrated comedy, the title didn't mean anything to us (I actually wanted to see a theater version of Yes Primeminister but couldn't get consensus). "What's Hamlet doing? He's talking to himself!" Shakespearian english isn't always easy to understand, but I really enjoyed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 10:44, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
And speaking of St Crispin's Day Speech, if you're interested, it wouldn't hurt to add something about what Shakespeare scholars think about it to the article. Also, if someone would like to attempt to read a Shakespeare play, could you recommend a helpful edition, with good explanations, "translations" etc? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 10:51, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
@Gråbergs Gråa Sång: Strawberry? A Dogberry-analogue I presume?
And no surprise nobody ever recommended Shakespeare to you: in your neck of the woods it's all social realism and the economic plight of urban and suburban working-class youth in the seventies. Since the fall of the empire in '88, the poetry has been lacking (in spite of Thåström's best efforts). :)
Shakespeare is omnipresent, indeed. Partly, I think, because he was "not of an age, but for all time." Hamlet's angsty indecision is relatable and relevant for teens (and former teens) in any era, even though your uncle murdering your father and marrying your mother to usurp your throne is somewhat less common these days. The plot of Romeo and Juliet is picked straight out of a Hollywood teen movie, even if it took Baz Luhrmann, Leonardo Di Caprio and Clare Danes to make the dialogue palatable for a modern audience. Shakespeare somehow manages to be universal, and is therefore eminently stealable, in bits or wholesale. Even in his own day a schizophrenic potpurri of high culture and low, and only more so over the years as even his low brow stuff has acquired a high brow patina.
Interesting that you so enjoyed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. I haven't seen it performed (not even the movie version, but I hear that is pretty bad), but aside from the mostly modern language, I would have imagined it quite hard to follow for a non-native English speaker. When Guildenstern goes off on one of his philosophical expeditions I have trouble keeping up on the written page; not to mention the absurdist back and forth between the two. I think if you managed to keep up with that then it shouldn't take much practice to keep up with a Shakespeare performance. It's a bit more archaic, and it's in verse and more flowery, but you'll quickly learn to pic up the gist (and the details can be had at exhaustive length from the book version if needed). (oh, and Yes, Minister is, indeed, utter brilliance!)
The standard editions of Shakespeare are The Arden Shakespeare and The Oxford Shakespeare, but those are primarily academic works so I wouldn't recommend them for an introduction. I haven't tried the Folger Shakespeare Library's editions, but I hear good things about them. They're aimed at roughly high school level, and contain explanations of both words and phrases as needed, and plot summaries for every scene, plus some overview material on the play (roughly equivalent to our articles on the plays, only perhaps a bit shorter). Available in an ebook edition on both iBooks and Kindle (the iBooks version looks ok, I haven't checked the Kindle and I've had mixed results there previously). I would recommend starting with Romeo and Juliet as both the most relatable, easily accessible, and readable of the plays. Alternately, Macbeth is both short and with a plot that's not too convoluted. --Xover (talk) 18:51, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
Dogberry, yes, or so I'm told anyway. I may have a go at the scottish play. I have read Wyrd Sisters, seen the japanese one... no that was King Lear. But I saw the Macbeth episode of Upstart Crow and Sense and Senility, of course. I also think Elizabeth Urquhart is a fair Lady Macbeth analogue. As for Swedish poetry, I'd recommend The Long Ships[3] and Crusades trilogy. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 20:46, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
Just to chime in here. As a Yank I was raised on the Folger Library publications. They are nice because they have the text of the play on the right page and the footnotes on the left. It is nice to not have to go back and forth between the front and back of the book. Kurosawa did both Lear - Ran (film) and Macbeth - Throne of Blood - there was more than 35 years between them and the storytelling and filmmaking are very different between the two. I like them both but I am a complete Kurosawa devotee so my judgment is slanted :-) I think Scotland, PA is a clever and fun take on the tale - but I know it won't be to everyone's taste so I recommend it with a grain of salt to you both. Cheers. MarnetteD|Talk 21:20, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
Thanks! I thought I remembered a japanese Macbeth. Christopher Walken, eh? Interesting. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 21:53, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
Ok, I've ordered 3 Folgers, the paper kind. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 22:03, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
You are welcome. I hope that they work for you G. MarnetteD|Talk 22:08, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────By the way, did you know that the character Pug Henry quotes The quality of mercy in The Winds of War, novel (p149) and TV-series? [4] Omniprescence. Don't worry, I won't add it to the article. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 12:44, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

@Gråbergs Gråa Sång: Heh heh. Omnipresent indeed. And the worst part is, once you start noticing it, you can't stop noticing! :)
PS. Do let me know how you like the Folgers when they arrive and you get a chance to look at them. It'd be useful to have your perspective on them if I'm ever called upon for a similar recommendation in the future. --Xover (talk) 18:15, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
I shall. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 19:58, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
Question: Apart from categorypage "Cultural depictions of William Shakespeare", there's no WP-article or list for "William Shakespeare in fiction" or similar, is there? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 06:43, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
Most alarming. I've discovered a glaring error in Locating Shakespeare in the Twenty-First Century, page 110.[5] "When Marlowe makes a pass at a serving girl..." read that again:[6], it's Shaxberd doing the making of passing, and Marlowe doing the sticking with boys. Also, "a sexual preference unrecorded in historical material", that's a little over simplified, isn't it (and again, the implication in the comic is that Marlowe likes boys, not completely original)? It seems like a "Shakespeare in The Sandman" article could very well pass WP:GNG on it's own. Like you said, "Shakespeare scholars love stuff like this." Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 12:41, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
@Gråbergs Gråa Sång: Most alarming indeed. I shall have to think about writing a sternly worded letter to the editor! :)
There is nothing in the historical record indicating that Shakespeare was gay. There's a bunch of later speculation to that effect, based entirely on internal evidence in the plays and (mainly) the poems, but no actual historical record of it. There is actually more evidence for Marlowe in this regard, I believe.
"Shakespeare in The Sandman" might pass GNG, but it'd be kinda borderline IMO. It'd clearly merit a long section in Cultural depictions of Shakespeare—which I was sure existed, but evidently not—but a standalone article might be pushing it. --Xover (talk) 17:55, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
He had an earring and hung with Tobacco and Boys, case closed, obviously (yeah yeah, "may depict" etc). Upstart Crow is having fun with that one.
Sure, "Depictions" is more obviously missing. Awhile back I noticed there's no Religous humor either. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 19:57, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
My Folgers have arrived, I shall try to form an opinion in the coming days. About seeing S everywhere: A while ago, I created The Bible and humor. I returned to it today, and who has sneaked into it like a thief in the night, in the lead no less. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:35, 16 March 2018 (UTC)
Heh heh. Everywhere! --Xover (talk) 06:41, 17 March 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Hello Xover and Gråbergs Gråa Sång. I just got home from seeing this thoroughly enjoyable production of Julius Caesar. As I was driving home a couple DVD sets that I own came to mind. I was thinking that they might be worth your watching Gråbergs as you continue with your learning about Will. First is Playing Shakespeare. Made all the way back in 1982 it has many of our favorite actors as youngsters. It is an in depth look at at what goes into performing Shakespeare's works. The other one is Shakespeare Uncovered. It aired under a different title in the UK but I can't remember what it is. Hopefully you will know Xover. Each play is looked at from different angles including how they were written - what there inspiration was - etc. They also include clips from various performances through the decades. Now I know they may not be available to you in DVD form. Perhaps they are available on the net if you are interested. I should add that you may have criticisms of them Xover - feel free to correct my info as you wish. Cheers to you both. MarnetteD|Talk 05:37, 23 March 2018 (UTC)

@MarnetteD: I'm vaguely aware of Playing Shakespeare (which turned into a book afterwards, btw), but I don't think I've seen either of these (or at least not recently), so I'm not sure why you think I may object to either of them. I'm sure they take liberties with history, biography, textual history, and such; but that's par for the course with acting focused programmes and doesn't usually bother me. Acting and performance is a completely different perspective on the plays, and requires different priorities. McKellen for example, in the previously linked clip, reads way too much into the lines (if Shakespeare really put all that in those few lines there's no way he'd be able to produce 2–3 plays per year), but it doesn't really matter because the whole point of the clip is McKellen's approach, perspective, and performance.
Shakespeare Uncovered aired, I believe, on BBC under that name (I think it's even on iPlayer). It may of course have also aired under a different name, but I'm not familiar with it. Both of them appear to be very interesting and I will definitely be on the lookout for them.
The NT Julius Cæsar looks interesting too. Ben Whishaw did a magnificent Richard II in The Hollow Crown so his Brutus would be curious to see. @Gråbergs Gråa Sång: judging by Marnette's link above the performance will be shown in various venues that may be of relevance to you (Haparanda, Karlstad, Göteborg, some in Denmark). I believe the National Theatre Live productions are live streams of the performance, intermission and all, but I wasn't aware they'd expanded outside the UK so I'm not quite sure what you can expect there. --Xover (talk) 08:56, 24 March 2018 (UTC)

Bold, revert, discuss[edit]

...or as it has long been known, BRD, an explanatory supplement to the consensus policy. It would be very helpful if you were to practice this longstanding, nearly core principle. I want to encourage you to revert your edit here. You were bold, then you were reverted. Instead of forcing your edit back in (essentially edit-warring on a template affecting 2.7 million existing articles), the next step is to discuss. So...please revert yourself and let's have a discussion. Just because *you* don't like the format doesn't mean that others agree with you. (And just because *I* prefer a different format doesn't mean that others will agree with me). I will look forward to your response. Risker (talk) 20:19, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

Hey Risker. Glad to see you're still around. The rate of attrition, far too often as a result of pointless and avoidable wikidrama, of good editors is way too high, so I'm always heartened when I see some of the old familiar names pass by my watchlist.
Thank you for your otherwise both polite and constructive message; but I've got to say you're mighty quick to throw accusations of edit warring around (and I didn't much appreciate your somewhat more veiled repetition of it at Help talk:Citation Style 1 either). You know full well that the situation obtaining does not constitute edit-warring, and that there's a reason the bright-line rule is set at 3RR and not lower. Your argument here would have been much stronger without this accusation: human nature when faced with an accusation is to get defensive, and defensiveness is not particularly conducive to constructive discourse. Much better to ask about the rationale for whatever action you find objectionable, and make your requested corrective action contingent on your having properly understood it. It would not dilute your message, but it would avoid making the interaction needlessly confrontational. And, man did I ever have to remind myself of the great respect I have for your many contributions to this project, over many years and in some of the most demanding positions, and that you're both acting in good faith and trying to be both polite and constructive even though you must be pretty frustrated about the situation yourself. I shouldn't let this annoy me, of course, but among my many flaws is an insufficient ability to immediately ignore such things. In any case…
The revert (that I then reverted) was made with an invalid rationale: you cannot make a local consensus at (by analogy) Donald Trump (Visual Editor) that dictates changes to Hillary Clinton (cite web), or vice versa. The editor making it, while acting in good faith, was acting based on two requests, made without full information available, in the wrong forum (I'm guessing they were just trying to help out VE users, so I have no complaint in that sense). This would be one one of the valid rationales for "reverting a revert" (i.e. why the bright line is at 3R). Further, BRD, while often cited as applying to every edit, is intended mainly to help move forward changes that have stalled due to entrenched discussions. It is, like most other policies and guidelines, not a "suicide pact", and the focus should be on the "D" and not the "R" part. So to the extent that discussion is now ongoing, in the right forum (forums, as I see the underlying VE issue has also now been raised in its proper venue), this is entirely in line with the intent of WP:BRD.
That being said, since it did annoy me that you chose to stand on a formality here, I can hardly in good conscience do the same: I'm willing to self-revert while the discussion is ongoing. Or, indeed, just revert it yourself to avoid the back and forth; I won't object. I am however going to ask you to jump through one small hoop first (my apologies for that; I realise it's pretty bad form!):
Think through the theories of harm for the two possible status quos. The change obviously doesn't "affect 2.7 million articles" (I presume that was just a formulation for rhetorical purposes?) as changes to the TemplateData doesn't directly affect even a single article (if it did you certainly wouldn't find me making such changes!). The direct effect of TemplateData is just in the behaviour of the Visual Editor, and thus affects editors not articles. And in this case, with the TemplateData as it currently stands, it causes mild inconvenience to those few editors that a) use Visual Editor and b) mainly cite web sources and c) routinely add preemptive archives (that's a grand total of two that I know of, but I'm sure there are more). With the TemplateData as you would prefer, garbage parameters will get invisibly and silently added to actual articles for all editors who add or edit a citation using VE (a still small in absolute terms, but much larger than the other subset in relative terms), with all the potential for attendant annoyance and actual edit wars that implies. And I won't even go into the equivalent inconvenience to those editors (like me) who use VE to edit citations but have to manually compensate for the addition of garbage markup to articles. So long as discussion towards a consensus is actually happening I have no great objections to either outcome (neither is exactly the end of the world), but in terms of overall harm to the project and a balance of concerns I would urge you to consider whether the inconvenience to the relevant subset of editors truly outweighs the alternative. If you still prefer "your" version to stand while discussing, then by all means either let me know so I can self-revert, or just do so yourself.
Finally, thanks for actually chiming in on the discussion. My personal biggest frustration on the project is actually the absence of discussions (unless there's some drama involved), not a multitude of opinions. In fact, if you can muster an opinion, I desperately need more participation in the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#WORDSASWORDS vs. NOITALQUOTE for articles about a quotation! :) Cheers, --Xover (talk) 11:20, 27 February 2018 (UTC)


WikiDefender Barnstar Hires.png The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar
To Xover for the image detective work on film noir... Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 19:35, 24 March 2018 (UTC)
Thanks Cas. Much appreciated! --Xover (talk) 06:30, 25 March 2018 (UTC)

Thank you[edit]

Dear Xover, thank you so much. Last evening I was at the library, and I just happened to stumble across that book. When I get off to the university library, in the next couple of days, I'll get a better source. Thank you so much! Cheers!--A.S. Brown (talk) 21:25, 1 May 2018 (UTC)

@A.S. Brown: Oh, I didn't mean to imply that there's any urgent need to replace it! I just meant to urge caution when using such sources in the future because there's a lot of shoddy writing about Shakespeare, and if the article ever gets to FAC the source will have to be replaced because there are higher quality sources available. But in the mean time, I didn't see any obvious problems with the bits you added, and there are far more urgent problems both in that article and in the other Shakespeare articles in general. I'd much rather see you spend your time on these other improvements and additions I see popping up in my watchlist than to go back and replace that source just to replace the source. In any case, thanks for your contributions; and please don't let my grousing deter you! --Xover (talk) 05:08, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
Dear Xover, thank you so much for the kind words! Much appreciated! Cheers!--A.S. Brown (talk) 22:43, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

Speedy deletion nomination of James Blair Leishman[edit]

Hello Xover,

I wanted to let you know that I just tagged James Blair Leishman for deletion, because it seems to be inappropriate for a variety of reasons. For more details please see the notice on the article.

If you feel that the article shouldn't be deleted and want more time to work on it, you can contest this deletion, but please don't remove the speedy deletion tag from the top.

You can leave a note on my talk page if you have questions.

Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 09:55, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

I fixed the article for now but you should know better than to copy text from other websites. Please write the text yourself and add some sources for him. Regards SoWhy 11:17, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
@Kudpung and SoWhy: I am, in fact, reasonably well familiar with both copyright law and the related policies and parts of the TOS, and take pains to avoid both technical and substantive violations of it. Granted my work on it on-wiki has mostly been in relation to images (NFCC here and general issues at Commons), but I am familiar with the issues also in the general case and as it applies to article space.
In this particular case, though, the central point that seems to have slipped through the cracks is that mere facts do not rise to the level of copyright protection: only creative expression is afforded such protection (unless you want to get into database rights, which would be a whole `nother ballgame). And the original text in question (and our article, as it stood, too for that matter) is a condensed set of facts, listed in chronological order, with exceedingly little creative expression even possible, much less apparent. Where it was possible to rewrite it, it was rewritten: but there are only so many ways to list a set of facts without deviating from encyclopedic language or engaging in original research.
In other words, yes, I contest the speedy, and please restore the revdel'ed revisions.
And if there are concerns about notability—which I concede it is possible may be an issue—the venue for it is AfD, not speedy or supression. --Xover (talk) 12:38, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
I disagree. The text that was in the article was very similar to the one found in the source and there are plenty of ways to write it differently, e.g.
Leishman was born on 8 May 1902 and went to Rydak School as well as St John's College, Oxford. In 1928, the University of Southampton appointed him Assistant Lecturer in English Literature. In the following years, he received promotions to Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer before leaving Southampton for the University of Oxford in 1946. He taught as a Lecturer in English Literature Oxford until his death on 14 August 1963.
If you still believe your text should be undeleted, I will defer to admins with more knowledge in copyright manners though. Regards SoWhy 12:53, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
@SoWhy: By way of illustration, the Oxford Who Was Who entry for Leishman would trigger Earwig and similar tools in a comparison with our text, despite the fact I hadn't even checked if Who Was Who had an entry on him when I stubbed it out. And, in fact, such tools would trigger on comparing Oxford Univeristy's Who Was Who with the University of London's database entry for the same reason: it's just a bunch of facts in chronological order. --Xover (talk) 13:07, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Kudpung and SoWhy: Wow. So both of you really feel that you don't need to engage further on this issue?

I suppose I shouldn't be shocked at that, really, but… well, I actually am, a bit. Let me try to illustrate with a rhetorical question: is this how you would recommend approaching content issues and article development in general, or is it only when exercising advanced permissions that you feel dropping a single note (or in SoWhy's case, responding once to explain their actions as is the minimum required by the admin policy) is sufficient to fulfill the goals of a "collaborative editing environment" where WP:CONSENSUS is a policy? (And, to be clear, I mean "rhetorical" literally: I'm not asking you to answer it; I'm just using it to illustrate why I find your disengagement here problematic.)

@Kudpung: While checking whether you'd been editing the last two days, I came across this. Can you tell why I found that message sufficiently ironic in this context to call it out? Because while (both of) you are clearly acting in good faith and trying to behave "as it becomes…" (etc.), from where I'm sitting it's clear you're not sufficiently succeeding in imagining what it's like on the other side of this interaction. There are good reasons why false accusations of various policy violations are considered to be actionable under WP:NPA: now imagine how I feel when being implicitly accused of copyvio. The WP:NPP instructions call for checking blatant copyvio, and even warns of false positives, so when you speedy here, rather than using the non-emergency community process at WP:CP that actually gives me a chance to respond, you're actually making a pretty strong accusation (that SoWhy further intensified with their subsequent chiding "…should know better…", but that's hardly your fault). Neither one of you wanted to discuss before taking action, and neither one of you saw any need to discuss after taking action. Can you see why it might be kinda crappy to be on the receiving end of that?

@SoWhy: What admins with more knowledge in copyright manners are you deferring to? There are no other admins here because you have acted unilaterally, outside of any community process (i.e. on your individual mandate as an admin), and, in content terms, enforced your preferred version using the advanced permissions (and I mean that descriptively, not as an accusation), and then disclaimed any need to discuss the matter further. This was clearly not a case of blatant or willful copyvio, and there was no urgent need to "deal with it". At the very worst (and I strongly dispute that that's the case), it was an editor of over 10 years of contributions making a simple mistake, and in obviously good faith. If I'm to take your "defer to admins with more knowledge in copyright manners" as anything but a copout, I must take it as tacit admission that you see room for a doubt that your expertise in the area is not sufficient to resolve. For editors without advanced permissions that's usually considered a signal that it's time to engage with the community and community processes: processes and forums like WP:CP, in this case.

The world has long since disabused me of any delusions that I'm perfect, so it's entirely possible that my assessment in this case was wrong. Iff that was so, I'd be happy to apologize for my mistake, learn, and help clean up any relevant messes (in this case, I would have requested the revdels myself); which, regardless of conclusion, would have been a decent handling of the issue. Instead I'm sitting here feeling kinda dumped upon, and with the distinct impression that the biggest direct cause for our editor retention problem is the "last line of defence, without us the project would collapse" mindset among the new page patrollers and the admin corps. I appreciate that you (collective you) deal with a firehose of incoming crud, and take a lot of crap while doing so—and I'll reemphasise that I don't question your good faith, nor take issue with your actual conduct here (it's what's absent I'm questioning)—but an editor that has managed to keep on content-gnoming for over a decade without ragequitting really shouldn't be left pondering systemic problems, and wondering whether we shouldn't abolish NPP entirely, after an interaction with two experienced and well-respected admins. Or put another way, if you don't see that as a problem for the project, then your opinion of me must be pretty darn crappy!

PS. I'm about to request a G7 speedy of James Blair Leishman. I think a redlink to encourage someone to write the article is preferable to the useless sub-stub that's currently there, and I really don't care enough about the article's subject to expend more effort on it (I was just de-redlinking an author name in a cite from an unrelated article I was working on). Just letting you know so that it doesn't come across as POINTy.

PPS. While I'm bugging you, and on a somewhat more positive note, thanks for reinvigorating the Signpost! I enjoy it a lot, and think it's important for the project that we have it, so that effort is very much appreciated! --Xover (talk) 08:49, 5 May 2018 (UTC)

First of all, what was there more to engage? You added an example of what else would trigger the copyvio detector and that's it. You did not discuss the fact that I offered a version that was less like the original nor did you offer reasons why that version can't be used. I do maintain that close paraphrasing should be avoided if broader paraphrasing is possible without losing any information although I admit the line between copyright violation and allowed use of facts in text is hard to determine in such cases. That's why I was willing to defer to others and you are most welcome to bring this to WP:CP or WP:AN for review. After all, we are all fallible and I don't claim to be an expert. As such, I do apologize if my earlier comment sounded condescending. I always assume good faith whenever possible and I ask for you to do the same.
As for the article in question, I would encourage you to retract the G7 and maybe use the text I provided. A stub will give readers more information than a redlink does and as you write yourself, you only wrote it "by accident", so what are the chances someone else will really write an article about him anytime soon? Regards SoWhy 09:45, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
@SoWhy: First things first: thanks for responding, and for taking the time to do so substantively. Very much appreciated! Second: I took pains to make it clear above that I was not questioning (both of) your good faith here, or your conduct as such for that matter, even to the point of risking it getting ignored as a WP:WALLOFTEXT. If I still failed to be clear about that I would appreciate feedback on how I could have done better! Third: I also very much maintain that close paraphrasing should be avoided as that is very hard to to do without running into actual copyvio territory. It's hard to avoid in some cases (density of facts in the original, and paucity of breadth in available sources, making it doubly so), and it's very easy to fall into inadvertently, but pains should be taken to avoid it all the same.
As for your point that I did not respond to your suggested alternate wording, that's a fair complaint; but my focus was on the original text and its status, as that was what you'd called into question. Absent an actual problem with the original (which was and is my position), an alternate phrasing was a side issue. I have no objections to your suggested wording (and in fact prefer it as it's much better prose-wise).
But to expand on my point: consider the situation if you (both), instead of jumping to Tags & Tools, had dropped a note on my talk page outlining your concerns, and giving me the opportunity to address them. The focus of that interaction would have been not what was wrong with the original, and by extension what was wrong with me for having created it, but rather on how we could best improve it. And if, after giving me a chance to explain my position and rewrite the text that concerned you (which would have been a good idea on pure prose grounds, even without your copyvio concerns), you had lingering concerns, I could have requested precautionary revdel of of the old revisions myself (or a procedural AfD nom if notability was the remaining concern; neither option would have bothered me noticeably). That would have been a collaboritive effort to improve the article; would have cost you no more effort than the Tags & Tools approach; and would have left me feeling impressed with our dilligent, professional, and helpful NPP and admin corps. Rather than, in crude colloquial terms, feeling "butthurt" at being treated like the vandals and bad-faith editors I spend far too much of my own time dealing with. Put another way, that approach would have afforded me agency.
PS. Oh, and I really would prefer a redlink to a sub-stub, as a general position. I just mentioned it here so the G7 wouldn't come across as POINTy. It wasn't really intended to be relevant to the discussion.
PPS. I have off-wiki stuff keeping me busy today, so apologies if I am slow to respond. --Xover (talk) 10:39, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
Let's have a nice cup of tea and relax.
I'm happy that we are basically on the same page here. Again, I see that my initial comment was ambiguous and led to some assumptions of my intentions that should best be avoided. I will try and be more careful in future. My actions were merely guided by precaution, trying to avoid potential copyvio problems by removing them from sight as fast as possible. We can agree that communicating is superior to tools-based approaches when it comes to good faith creations and I am certainly not someone who prefers using (the) tools when editing suffices (which is why I regularly rescue articles tagged for speedy deletion by fixing them, 9 of which have subsequently appeared on the Main Page). So yes, my first comment was misplaced and could have been handled better but then again so could your creation of the article using closely paraphrased text. I hope all is good again now and we can have a nice cup of tea to relax Face-smile.svg Regards SoWhy 17:53, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
I've read the the thread above because I was pinged. I also do not see the need to prolong this discussion, but I would point out that while SoWhy and I are very experienced admins, within admin discretion on notability he and I may differ. I probably do more new page patrolling than he does and I've never complained about his occasional reverts of my tags, but at the time I tagged the article, in my opinion it made no claims of notability in its single line of text. I personally do not consider that on an otherwise unsourced article, a list of the subject's publications to be a criterion for evidence of notability. However, in restrospect, I admit I could perhaps have sent the creation to Draft. Anyway, we've all learnt something. It's brakfast time here on Sunday in Thailand and I'm enjoying a good mug of English tea. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 02:47, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
@Kudpung and SoWhy: Thank you both for your gracious responses; and a cuppa is lovely (mine is actually fresh ginger with lemon and honey, to the utter horror of all purists, but I find the stuff entirely addictive!). In brief, I'll echo the sentiment that if we've all learned something then the exercise will have been worthwhile. Oh, and contrary to (possibly) appearances above, do please let me know if you have any concerns with my edits in future! I consider lack of feedback to be a problem, and very much welcome criticism. Please don't let my taking issue with meta-/process-type stuff above discourage that: the lack of an explicit claim of notability (per the CSD) is an entirely apposite criticism, it was just the snowballing that started with use of speedy (vs. alternate ways to the same goal) etc. I took issue with. Anyways, thank you both. --Xover (talk) 09:28, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
(talk page watcher) I highly recommend—per broadening the breadth of your addiction—turmeric and ginger...literally breathtaking :) l never saw the article, who was the Leishman fellow anyway? —SerialNumber54129 paranoia /cheap sh*t room 09:43, 29 May 2018 (UTC)
@Serial Number 54129: Leishman was an English scholar of Jacobean poetry—known especially for his work on John Donne, Andrew Marvell, and Shakespeare's sonnets—and a translator of Rainer Maria Rilke. Of particular interest for me was his Themes and Variations in Shakespeare's Sonnets (1961), in which he, among other things, provides material enough to flesh out Sonnet 25 a bit. Figured I'd just quickly de-redlink the author name in the citation list, but… well… that didn't go exactly as planned.
I haven't tried turmeric yet, but I can imagine it'll work wonders there. Give it a chai-esque dimension (ooh! In fact, why not go all out with the spices here? I'll have to try that!). Thanks for the tip! --Xover (talk) 11:02, 29 May 2018 (UTC)
An interesting experiment would be to get a disinterested third-party to re-write it from scratch, using the same sources, and then see how Earwig scores them. Proof, as it were, by experimentation. A shame too, as our coverage of academics is not exactly comprehensive.
Bloody good work on de Ros! Many thanks, that's looking pretty thorough  :) Any joy with the Shakespearean section? No rush, just wondering. —SerialNumber54129 paranoia /cheap sh*t room 15:32, 29 May 2018 (UTC)
@Serial Number 54129: That would indeed be an interesting experiment. If any tps wants to have a go, I believe the only source used was the "Biographical note" section here. And Earwig's Copyvio Detector would be a good proxy for the ORES-based tool that's built into the WP:NPP dashboard (whose name escapes me at the moment. CopyPatrol? something like that.), which is, as I recall, only available to editors with the "patroller" flag. I think I may have a draft of the article sitting around somewhere if anyone wants to do a three-way comparison. But in any case, I still assert that that a mere list of facts does not meet the treshold of originality required to merit copyright protection in the first place, so the excercise would, in that sense, be pretty academic (i.e. interesting on its own, but probably can't be used for any practical matter).
The edits on de Ros are actually fairly superficial: just the stuff that really sticks out as I read it. You'll probably want a moderately substantial copyedit of it before going to FAC. In any case, I'm just reading up on him to have some context when going through the sources I found. I have a bunch, but mostly they just reflect what's already covered in the article. I'll go through them as time allows and see if there is anything to be extrapolated by the context in which he's mentioned. Sonnet 25 is a case in point: Leishman strictly speaking only mentions Sonnet 25 in passing, but by relating it to the overall thrust of the book there was actually quite a bit that could be mined (ignore the awkward structure: the section isn't yet properly integrated into the overall article). I'm hoping there's some similar hook for de Ros on the theory that it's better to have a nice fat section that you can trim down to preference than a thin dangling one.
Oh, and I assumed you'd have said if there was a particular timeframe you had in mind, so I've not particularly hurried. If you do have a timetable, please let me know. I don't have all that much time available for wiki stuff just now, but what of it there is I'm sure I could rejig if there's a deadline.
PS. I also assume that you feel free to revert any change I make that you don't agree with, for whatever reason. The (one of the) nice thing about working on articles outside one's usual playground is that one's proprietary interest in the article is much easier to subdue. In other words, you should take the edits as mere suggestions and my acquiescence to your preference as given. In fact, I have one change in mind that I'll probably immediately self-revert and leave it up to you whether you want to reinstate it. --Xover (talk) 08:57, 30 May 2018 (UTC)
Absolutely re timelines, etc., and your edits, I went and copyedited it a bit, but hope I haven't reverted much of yours—I just did it blind, as it were, not knowing whose edits I was copyediting...and now hopefuly it's slightly tighter.
See [7]—that's without the list of publications. But I agree with what you say about the threshold of originality: The way I've written it, the way the SAS page is written, is effectively a CV: no original treatment. —SerialNumber54129 paranoia /cheap sh*t room 16:57, 31 May 2018 (UTC)
@Serial Number 54129: Very interesting. Thanks! But, in fairness, SoWhy did a much better job then either of us above, and the criticism of my paraphrase is in itself fair. My main point, and thus my excuse for the poor prose job, is the lack of originality: absent copyright as an issue, there was no need for any greater effort.
Incidentally, I appreciate hearing you agree with me on that score. I don't mind finding myself in disagreement with others, or even with the majority. But if you find yourself in disagreement with everyone you must necessarily consider whether you are in fact plain wrong. I find it reassuring that this instance is, at worst, an instance of "reasonable people may disagree" and not me being completely out of touch with reality.
In any case, I'll try to get through the rest of the de Ros article this weekend and then start in on the Shakespeare related sources. --Xover (talk) 06:12, 1 June 2018 (UTC)

The Meter Reader; or, A Pain in the Arsis[edit]

(with apologies to George T. Wright, from whom I stole the first pun)

Hi, Xover. This started out as a note for Talk:Sonnet 25, but it stems from an anxiety I've felt for years at Wikipedia, and which goes beyond my work at the sonnets. So I decided to come here and pollute your talk page instead. So apologies to George T. Wright and to you. The inciting incident is your tagging my statement "the standard 2-syllable pronunciations also result in metrical lines" with a {{cn}}.

There are a couple of reasons I'm not sure what to do about this. I can cite Kerrigan who prints both as 2-syllable words (but even here, he doesn't state that they're 2-syllable words; no-one explicitly notes "this is to be pronounced in the usual way"; I must deduce this from the lack of "è" in his text). But even this does not really support the point I'm making, because Kerrigan does not state that either of these lines are in fact metrical; again, to a first approximation no-one does this. What is interesting to me is that, when we want to know which of alternate pronunciations were meant by the author, our best evidence is typically rime and meter; but here neither helps us because both words can rime either way, and the position of the words in the line can happily accept either syllabification while remaining quite vanilla in metrical structure (this would usually not be true in another position). Now it is not impossible that after an extensive search I could find some crabbed nerd of an editor who explicitly states something to this effect. But probably not. So should I not have written that statement? Should it now be deleted?

But -- putting aside the "furniture" (template work, etc.) -- these questions can be asked of about 80% of the content I've added to the Sonnets articles. Is all my work about to go away? I guess what I'm looking for is some perspective on what details actually require citation. I can't resist quoting this post:

I am posting this here pre-emptively in case anyone may think that the content in the scansion and analysis section regarding assessments of iambic tetrameter, syllable counts, and catalexis was original research. I assert, per WP:NOTOR and WP:SYNTHNOT, that these are facts that can be deduced/observed by any reasonable person looking at the work with a basic knowledge of poetry or access to reference works defining poetic structure. The material within the article constitutes a basic analysis and categorisation of a primary source, i.e. the poem, without extraneous interpretation. I've gone to great care not to go beyond a basic analysis, and to back up that analysis with reliable secondary sources, per WP:PSTS. Any claims that I've made about the poem in this section would be easily verifiable based on looking at the poem and comparing it to the definitions of in a glossary or dictionary of poetic terms or in any number of monographs on rhyme, meter, and poetic form.
— User:ColonelHenry 14:59, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

One feels that this metrical argument might have been punchier if translated into meter:

What I assert is a fact,
As is plain from the fact I assert it.
I've explained this to you with some tact,
So don't go and bloody revert it.

— User:Phil wink just now

The joke of course is that this preemptive (and peremptory) harangue from a since-disgraced Wikipedian supported a metrical reading that was almost certainly wrong (sez I). Yet it seems that something like this argument must sometimes be acceptable, especially if we wish to point out basic metrical patterns in individual lines of specific poems. Possibly I've been rendered jaded by too much reading on metrics, but I genuinely have no concept of what "any reasonable person" would think (nor am I certain they'd be correct anyway): are the Sonnets written in iambic pentameter? Burton Raffel would evidently argue that they're really 4-beat lines, and Alan Holder would tell you they're essentially in free verse. Now, they're heretics, but they're published heretics, so they have that over me. I recognize that when I do Shakespeare at Wikipedia I'm in the presence of SAQ heros, but that's not me. I can't bring myself to argue for the scholarly consensus being iambic pentameter 153 times. And it seems like you tacitly agree that some metrical facts might just be assertable, because there are probably over a dozen other possible {{cn}}s just above the one you tagged.

So as I said, I'm just looking for some perspective. Sorry for the wall. Phil wink (talk) 21:58, 6 May 2018 (UTC)

Consider the wall. It is well constructed. It is solid. All its parts fit well together. It serves its purpose admirably. Remove any one stone and its utility is diminished. Remove two and its function becomes a portal, not a wall. A twig thrown in the sand is certainly quicker to erect, and to scale, but does it really fulfill the same purpose?
This nerdy crab will pinch you right where it rhymes if you don't cite your sources!
@Phil wink: No need to apologize for verbosity with me: not only am I frequently guilty of the same sin, I protest that cogent and coherent "walls of text" are no sin at all. Not all issues can be distilled into pithy one-liners, and those not capable of sitting still for a reasonably complete elucidation of a position have no business complaining about it. I realise I am at odds with the vast majority on this point, but I cling to my position until it is forcibly removed from my decrepit grasp.
The specific line in question may indeed have to go if we cannot find a suitably crabbed nerd to salvage it, because it crosses the line into being an interpretative statement. Not by much, and the question is arguable, but, for me, enough to merit the {{cn}}. However, if truth be told, its biggest sin is being the last clause of a sentence whose first clause is cited to a good secondary source. The preceding parts of the section do not stand out as much simply because there are no cites there.
Not everything must be cited, of course. For instance, plot summaries do not, in general, need any explicit citation: they are implicitly cited to the work itself, the work is a primary source for itself, and summarising it is an allowable use of a primary source. I would similarly argue that an actor playing a part in a movie or TV show (that includes a credits sequence, obviously) is similarly exempt from needing citations in the general case. Both, of course, subject to exceptions where there is some genuine controversy or the plot requires interpretation to summarise. One could certainly argue, to a point, that basic metrical structure falls into the same category.
However, instead of arguing over that 153 times, I think we need to find a single approach that will stand up to 153 challenges. For instance, we really don't need someone to comment on any given single, specific, sonnet for most statements about metre. We can find some suitably basic (but authorative and unlikely to be challenged) work that makes clear that some things are settled and not subject to controversy: i.e. analysing a line's metre is a mechanical exercise that does not require interpretation. We can combine this with general statements about the sonnets' structure from Duncan-Jones et al, and based on that allow ourselves to go slightly further.
At that point we may still have trouble with the clause that precipitated this discussion (or we may not), but should have covered most, if not all, of the preceding part of the section. And we can reuse it across all 153 of the buggers. The stuff that should be a problem after that should be the very stuff that scholars and critics actually do comment on, and so should be possible to find cites for.
All of that being said, I think you may give too much weight to the {{cn}} in question. It was more in the vein of a "note to self", much as the similar {{pn}} tags: I just wanted to mark them so they're easier to find when I have an opportunity to work on it. The stuff needing page numbers is a good example actually: I haven't dug up those pages mostly because I'm pondering whether, and if so how, to deal with the context for all the Fair Youth sonnets. Because I can't deal with 127 arguments about whether it is historical fact that Will and Kit were an item, was going steady with Henry, no wait it was William, no he was straight as an arrow, and it's gay not homosexual, no it's actually queer, no it was really Anne that liked to roleplay, you're all wrong it was… So, yeah, a general approach that we can replicate across the whole sequence, rather than trying to dig up some page where Duncan-Jones says straight up that he was playing for both teams (she certainly thinks so, but she's a bit diplomatic in how she puts it).
PS. Your more metrical version above may be the funniest thing I've read on Wikipedia in years. I may have to write an essay on something or other solely for the purpose of quoting it somewhere in project-space! :) --Xover (talk) 17:11, 7 May 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for your advice. I'll quickly rattle through some reactions. S25 cn: I've updated the inciting statement to a citable and cited one; the page number is actually for the 1st (1986) edition because that's all I have to hand, but the revised (1995) is on its way, and I'll double-check eventually (I'm guessing it's the same page anyway). Doggerel: Aw shucks, thanks; happy to entertain. Context: I say link to Shakespeare's sonnets#Fair Youth and have done with it. If the discussion there is insufficient, then maybe we need to fix that too (if only I knew someone obsessed with the biographies of people associated with Shakespeare...). I'm quite skeptical that the current Context has any value, and I haven't deleted it only because I haven't had time yet. Besides, 25 must be one of the least queer of the 126; I agree with what I take to be your position, that the queer angle of the sonnets should be covered, but for this sonnet in particular, I'm not sure that's really even germane. And even a sentence about who FY was seems a bit much to me. In my view we save that for the link. Scansion: I confess I exaggerated a bit for effect on iambic pentameter; although there really are those who would deny this is the meter of the sonnets, I don't expect them to form a meaningful contingent on WP. But sweet, innocent Xover, I fear you don't appreciate how unsettled is virtually any scanion of any line of English verse (and it's the individual scansions, and any associated statements, that are my real concern). If you wish for insight into my thinking on this and you're into self-punishment you might peruse my much-hated article on Scansion; for an ultra-quick précis, I've made (I hope) some germane notes at Sonnet 30, though this by no means exhausts the problem. For the scansion of specific lines (which will often have zero available citations) a tolerable beginning position may be that Wikipedia has a recommended house style (though you will not be surprised by its author); this immediately limits the multifarious possibilities of scansion methods, and to some extent the assumptions underlying them. As you'll sense, this part of the wall really could go on to extreme heights (depths?). So I'll relinquish. Again, thanks. Phil wink (talk) 03:57, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
Updates: (1) Uh-oh. Looks like you took the dare! (2) Just got Kerrigan 1995, and as expected my new citation is still valid. (3) I meant to ask earlier: are you going for GA with S25? Just curious. Phil wink (talk) 22:35, 11 May 2018 (UTC)
@Phil wink: (1) Yup. And, much as expected, I understood very little. A smidgen of the blame for which I'll lay at your door (I'm pretty sure all this can be communicated in a more generally accessible way), but, obviously, mostly because I'm an utter imbecile in that area. (3) Not currently planning to, no. But then I'm still mostly working to get a grip on the subject so I'll have a better foundation for approaching structure, scope, etc. My familiarity with the sonnets and poems is poor, so I have only superficial knowledge of important context. Coupled with the dunce hat with "Peot!" written on it, I'm really not certain what to do with it. My default position is that all 154 individually have GA potential; but where XXV falls relative to that remains to be seen. If my slow absorbtion of knowledge suggests it, I might decide to give it a try. You can be sure I'll beg for your help if so! --Xover (talk) 08:03, 12 May 2018 (UTC)
@Phil wink: Context: I do think we need to fix Shakespeare's sonnets and then summarise suitable sections of it for the context in each sonnet article. But each sonnet article should be able to stand on its own, so we do need to give the reader the necessary context. For the Fair Youth sonnets this obviously includes the queer angle, but I am deeply dissatisfied with the status quo there: activists want it to say this is definitely gay love poetry, as the opposite extreme of previous critics who have bent over backwards to try to "explain away the gay". We need to find some way, even in summary style, to provide the nuanced view on this; including reporting the historical perspectives. In any case, I think on that point you and I are in agreement on the broad outlines, with some potential disagreements on details, so I suggest we pick that discussion up on Talk:Shakespeare's sonnets when it becomes relevant. Scansion: I fear you are entirely correct in pointing out my naïveté in this regard. This may necessitate some very tough choices: if no reliable source has commented on a particular detail, for us to cover that detail would be according it undue weight. That is, something like "notability" applies at the level of details inside articles, and not just for selection of articles as a whole. I still imagine that for basic stuff we should be able to find basic sources to support; and that for points we need to go into detail on, it will be because some reliable source has gone into detail on it and can be cited. We'll certainly have things that will fall in the middle there, but I'm still hopefull the majority is solveable. --Xover (talk) 07:51, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

Silent Shakespeare[edit]

Unrelated to the above (because I'm stalking you), probably you are aware of the Silent Era website, but in case not: it has pretty extensive data both on the original films and on their renditions in home video. Cheers. Phil wink (talk) 19:32, 12 May 2018 (UTC)

@Phil wink: I was aware it existed, but I had forgotten and so didn't think to check it for this. For some reason it didn't show up in my Google searches. Thanks for the links! --Xover (talk) 07:08, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

A thank you[edit]

Reviewer Barnstar Hires.png The Reviewer Barnstar
Thanks very much for helping to review Mowbray—thanks to your helpful suggestions, it passed. I appreciate you taking the time and trouble to look in. Cheers! —SerialNumber54129 paranoia /cheap shit room 14:49, 13 May 2018 (UTC)
@Serial Number 54129: You are, quite literally, too kind. My tiny little drive-by contribution just because I happened across an issue in my area surely merits no mention. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'll definitely take the star, but that's just because I have no shame and will lap up any and all such tokens with relish. :) --Xover (talk) 05:17, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
"Glories, like glow worms..."! Xover, let me continue the shamelessness, by asking if you would perhaps consider looking in on another effort of mine; by which I mean, again, his representation in Shakespeare. Unlike Mowbray, this chap is in both Richard II and Henry IV; would you have any thoughts on what I could address? I've seen [8], [9], [10] and [11], for example—although won't be at a library for a bit to actually see what GBooks wont tell me!—any further pkes and prods in the right direction would be much appreciated. Not that I want my money's worth out of that barnstar of course  ;) Have a good weekend anyway! Cheers, —SerialNumber54129 paranoia /cheap shit room 20:05, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
@Serial Number 54129: I'll have a look once time and the infernal bug that's currently turning my head into cotton allows. An initial scan suggests he's mentioned quite often in the literature, but mostly just incidentally as part of a group. That is, he shines bright but has neither heat nor light. --Xover (talk) 07:57, 20 May 2018 (UTC)
ha! Just so  :) one of the few things I've found so far is him doing a double-act with Willoughby. Classic! very sorry you have a moody head Xover—get well soon! —SerialNumber54129 paranoia /cheap sh*t room 10:13, 20 May 2018 (UTC)

Sort of ruins the rhythm[edit]

This edit:[12].

By the way, I finished my Folger's A Midsummernights Dream awhile back, and I think it "worked" quite well. I even chuckled a couple of times. Some things feels surprisingly modern, for example there was a scene where one of the girls basically screams "I'M GONNA SCRATCH YOUR EYES OUT BITCH!!". Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet next. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 13:12, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

@Gråbergs Gråa Sång: Heh heh, yeah. Doesn't quite fit iambic pentameter, does it? I'm all for inclusiveness and equality, but maybe not by retconning modern sensibilities into a 400 year old work. That's the sort of thing they did in the Regency, and Shakespeare suffered for it well into the second half of the 20th century. Elizabethan England was antisemitic and misogynist—but, strangely enough, even a few centuries earlier they were not particularly transphobic, it seems—and we'd do best to acknowledge that so we can learn from it rather than repeat it.
Glad to hear the Folger editions worked out. I'd suggest R&J first as it's much nearer to modern story-telling sensibilities. Macbeth isn't that far off either, and short, but it skirts dangerously close to the "a bazillion obscure nobles squabbling over incomprehensible points of honor" that tend to make people run away screaming from the history plays. But if you got through one of them intact, you shouldn't have any real trouble with the rest of them (again, except the histories: they're pretty rough going in places).
And, yeah, when Harold Bloom publishes a book titled Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, he's on to something: there are a lot of very modern themes and characters in the plays. Much more than in contemporaries like Jonson, for instance. And when you start comparing it to stuff like the Matter of Britain (think King Arthur) and other roughly mediaeval works like Palmerin of England, you'll be shocked at the difference. Those earlier works read as completely alien! Shakespeare's prose in the original seems straightforward and nearly modern when compared to Chaucer's just a few centuries earlier. Shakespeare (not single-handedly, to be sure) created modern English and invented the tropes and techniques, and even the plots, we take for granted in modern storytelling. You can see his hand all over modern culture; and his works are a watershed in the development of language and literature.
No wonder Shakespeare had the first crazy fans recognizably like the modern meaning of the term. --Xover (talk) 15:49, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
Funny thing, when you wrote "retconned" I thought "ok, now I have to tell him about Pippi's dad", but your knowledge about great litterature is without flaw. It's sad, but not unique. Barna Hedenhös got similar issues, and Tintin in the Congo has been quietly removed from libraries... Of course, it's not just a swedish thing: [13]. And Thomas Bowdler waaayyyy predates any of this. I'll take your advice on R&J.
Don't know if you watch Upstart Crow. In one episode S is very pleased with his "big new Jew-play" (The Jew of Malta), but in the end has to give it to Marlowe. His wife then advice him to write another Jew-play, but give the Jew some human characteristics, an idea he finds intriguing. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 16:43, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
@Gråbergs Gråa Sång: So long as they don't start mutilating Ronja, Mio, and Jonatan and Karl, I suppose we'll have to grit our teeth and take it. Alfons, though, can go jump in a lake (and take Mållgan with you).
Upstart Crow doesn't air anywhere around here, so not watching it. I've been meaning to track it down at some point though.
Oh, and I'm reminded that there's a brief discussion in Jessica (The Merchant of Venice)#Character sources that illustrates pre-Elizabethan attitudes to Jews and other non-Christians (Saracens, in this case). It might also give you a bit of the flavour of the literature of that era. --Xover (talk) 04:23, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
Hah! I had no idea Willi Wiberg was such an export success! As I remember, non-caucasians Homo Sapiens aren't even mentioned in the other works, which avoids the problem. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 12:17, 19 June 2018 (UTC)

Books & Bytes – Issue 28[edit]

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