Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Shakespeare in a fortune cookie

The Folger Shakespeare Library whispers me its secrets via my Twitter feed, and in this way I learned that an upcoming China exhibit had provoked the Folgerians to call for Shakespeare quotes that could be folded into fortune cookies and sold in the gift shop during the run of the exhibit.

I live for this sort of thing. Confluence City, ya'know. So I sped around in some of my favorite plays, and sent the Folger some lines that might make sense to someone who broke open a fortune cookie and found them there.

Love, and be silent.
(Cordelia in King Lear)

You have now the good advantage of the night.
(Edmund in King Lear)

You are abused and by some putter-on
That will be damn'd for't.
(Antigonus in A Winter's Tale)

Your marriage comes by destiny.
(The Clown in All's Well That Ends Well)

Your voice shall be as strong as any man's
In the disposing of new dignities.
(Cassius in Julius Caesar)
Barbara Jacoby wrote back from The Folger saying thanks; good ones; she would add them to the list.

Twitter cuts you back to 140 characters, so there wasn't an opportunity in the announcement I read to describe what exactly the China exhibit is.

As I look into the matter, I see it must be Imagining China: The View from Europe, 1550-1700 - which comes with a musical performance I so would like to see, A Harmony of Friends: Music of Italy and China.

What's it all about?

Folger says: "Early modern Europeans imagined China as a land of wonder, of riches, and of enormous opportunity. Rare books and maps from the Folger collection, along with items from the Library of Congress and the Walters Arts Museum, capture England's dawning cultural awareness and admiration of things Chinese."

The exhibit is free, so if they choose any of my fortunes for the cookies I don't suppose free tickets would be of much value. Neither do I see them buying plane tickets to D.C. for everybody who submits a winning fortune. I think I'll hit them up some recordings of The Folger Consort if I make the cookie cut.

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