Behind the Hedge

artist, writer, scholar of Old English poetry . . . freelance everything. I just sort of do stuff . . .

Recent Blog Posts

The “Merry Devil of Edmonton” and “The Witch of Edmonton”
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The following is adapted from the introduction to my adaptations of The Merry Devil of Edmonton and The Witch of Edmonton. Out of Shakespeare’s Shadow That fellow from Stratford casts a long, virtually impenetrable shadow over the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage. Few today would be able to t...
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On Larry Niven’s “Flash Crowd” and the internet mob.
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I like to reread the science fiction I first read when I was a teenager.  I find interesting the perspective a life lived in history gives to the artifacts of youth.  Recently I reread Larry Niven’s collection of short stories The Flight of the Horse and was particularly struck by “Fl...
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“The Two Gentlemen of Verona”: wherein the Freewill Players demonstrate how to “tweak” a problematic Shakespearean play.
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No spoilers here. Like the texts of a number of Shakespeare’s plays (The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, Othello), The Two Gentlemen of Verona is a little uncomfortable for audiences today.  How can one respond to a happy ending that sees the victim of attempted rape reconciled...
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De gustibus . . .
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De gustibus . . .
I sat in my “office” this afternoon. A couple strolled by with their young child on their way to the public pool down the avenue in the woods. Several hours later they strolled back, wet towels on shoulders, dripping hair plastered to foreheads, smiles on faces, strung out along the s...
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Thoughts on “A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes” by Madhur Anand
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I’ve been meaning for a few years now to write down some thoughts on Madhur Anand’s 2015 collection of lyric poems A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes.  Since I was a child reading Sagan and Shklovskii’s Intelligent Life in the Universe and therein discovering the poetry of ...
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Thoughts on Burns Night: Haggis, Scotch, and Authenticity
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  The cottage leaves the palace far behind – “Cotter’s Saturday Night”, l. 168 Every January 25th unknown numbers of people around the world, for largely unknown reasons, gather to celebrate something called “Burns Night”. Usually these celebrations involve the drinking of Scotch whisk...
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Witches. In a Church. On a Winter Evening.
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Wyrd oft nereð unfaégne eorl      þonne his ellen déah. — Beowulf There’s something magical about walking through an Edmonton winter evening snowfall to live theatre.  Strathcona theatre-goers are blessed to have available to them the walking part.  But all […]
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Thoughts Arising from an Endnote in Hofstadter’s Translation of Pushkin’s “Eugene Onegin”
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I love the writings of Douglas Hofstadter. For many, many years I’ve been inspired, influenced, and provoked to unexpectedly deep thought by those writings. On many subjects, not least translation and mourning, I feel his words are essential reading. After seeing Catalyst Theatre‘s presenta...
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Of Anglo-Saxon Drink and Old-Style Philology
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Sophocles long ago Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow Of human misery . . . — Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach, ll. 15-18   Part One On the Taste and Strength of Anglo-Saxon Drink: A formal effort Much ink has been spilled on the Old English […]
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