Monday, August 17, 2009

I'm Back (Burn Your Bookes News!!!)

It has been a month between posts here at Balkans via Bohemia. I can only offer my humblest apologies. The web traffic on this site -- strangely enough -- has not dipped, aided in part by search threads such as "zagreb occupation," "bohemia beograd" and "slaughter on the autobahn." It's been busy in my absence.

I cannot blame the lack of posts on my own Hildegard Kneffian "weary dreary holiday time." To the contrary. At Richard Byrne Inc., like much of the rest of America, individual hours and productivity have been up, even if wages have remained stagnant.

Anyway, things are about to get real busy on this blog again. The reasons?

* A slew of new Taffety Punk Theatre Company projects, including a sneak preview of my own play, Burn Your Bookes, at the Kennedy Center on Sunday, September 6th as part of the 8th annual Page-to-Stage Festival. There's a full press release here. Let's just say I'm excited that Edward Kelley (above in an engraving from from A True & Faithful Relation of What Passed for Many Yeers between Dr. John Dee and Some Spirits -- the classic 1659 text of Kelley's spiritual "consultations" with Dr. John Dee) gets to walk again. The Punks are also doing an all-female production of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure starting in mid-September, of which you will hear much more anon.

* I will have a huge article in The Nation about Dušan Makavejev appearing sometime in the next few weeks. But as long as that article is, I wasn't quite able to get everything in. So look for some of the bonus extended disco remix material here.

* I finally managed to get my hands on both volumes of Sir Cecil Parrott's memoirs: The Tightrope and The Serpent and the Nightingale. Parrott is best known now as the first English translator of Jaroslav Hašek's The Good Soldier Švejk -- which is the Bible of this website. But let's just say that Parrott's memoirs are perhaps the ultimate Balkans vis Bohemia books, covering Parrott's time as tutor to young Yugoslav crown prince Peter (who was suddenly thrust into the kingship when his father, Alexander I, was assassinated in Marseille in 1934) and extended stints as a diplomat in Prague, Moscow and elsewhere. They were never published in the United States, so I'm looking forward to giving readers a taste of these books.

First order will be a couple posts about Burn Your Bookes to set up the sneak preview. Who was Edward Kelley? What do we know about Renaissance alchemy? So stay tuned -- and if you live in DC and are here over the Labor Day weekend, consider yourself invited! (It's a free performance...)

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