[LMB] Joys of Doyle

Pouncer pouncer at aol.com
Sat Jan 15 17:03:49 GMT 2022

 >So there is no historical basis for assigning any particular age to
 >Mercutio or Tybalt. We don't know who created the roles (though we 
have  > a limited pool of possibles in company members), and there is no
 > explicit or compelling internal evidence (as there is for Juliet and
 > Hamlet). It's fair to guess as seems good to one's take on things, 
but > it remains a guess.

So much for Doyle, (Or SHAX, or Burbidge, in this case).  We are left
with the Watsonian clues and we infer what we can.

 >> I remember my Shakespeare prof in college pointing out indications in
 >> the plays that there may have been "the short dark one" (Hermia,
 >> Celia) and "the tall blonde one" (Helena, Rosalind).

Pouncer -- this is a true and I think highly interesting observation 
that encourages us to use Watsonian methods from within the text to draw 
inferences about what was going on in the real world, back stage, in the 
company's hiring practices and finances or whatever.  It's like using 
the scripts of Saturday Night Live or the Tracy Ullman show to track the 
progress of the careers of Jane Curtain and Gilda Radner -- or Tracy and 
Julie Kravner. Or maybe guess why Vickie Lawrence, hired to play Carol 
Burnett's younger sister in the early run of the latter's skit comedy 
show, wound up her career playing, instead, Carol's character's "MAMA". 
  Just guessing:  perhaps Ms Lawrence had some difficulty shedding 
post-pregnancy weight gain,  and presented with a more "maternal" figure 
in the later episodes?  (Watsoning.) So, checking her bio, we discover 
the run of the show was from 1967 (when Lawrence was hired as the little 
sister) to 1978 and Lawrence bore her children in 1975 and 1977 (Doyle). 
  So without further research we might still be willing to guess FROM 
THE ART that something very important was happening IN REAL LIFE.

 >And yup again. The contrast may have varied over time as boy actors
 >got older and either became adult players or left the stage, but as 
 >with >the fat/thin odd couple pairings, having a clear contrast of the 
 >paired heroines (derived from commedia dell'arte, where it's usually 
the prima donna inamorata and her friend or maid) in colouring or height 
 >or both does several jobs -- helps the audience to know who's who, 
sets >up banter and insults, and stages difference that can be used for 
 >humour and all sorts.

Yes yes. The parent/child things in Lawrence's career.  Also the "master 
/ servant" dualities.  Colonel Blake and Corporal O'Reily. The noble / 
mechanical confusions in Shax -- Rosalind as Ganymede is also comical as 
a pampered aristocrat pretending to be a shepherd.

Leaving off American  1970's TV sitcoms for a moment, we might discuss
the current trend of what terminology applies to the modern practice
of inserting "Easter Eggs" in a work.  In the Bujold Canon, it's most
usually Tuckerization -- Ma and Martin Kosti alluding to the NPR
broadcaster -- Vormuir and Vorfolse alluding to members of this List.
The recognition of who these characters and names allude to is pretty
Doylist -- we understand what Lois is about.  And we get a little
joy out of being part of the "inside"  -- the privileged people who
"get it".  Nowadays these sort of thing has gone wild.  The superhero
franchises in particular assign character and street names to the
artists and writers who worked on the concepts decades ago -- Ditko
or Infanto or Clairmont...   Anyhow,  it's not clear to me that this
sort of reference is either Doylist OR Watsonian.  It's not about the
current artist's life or finances or experiences. It's not about the
character's perspective.  It's a ploy to pay off the audience's
presumed history or experience.  "Yes, we know you remember the
name of Supergirl's cat in 1965, so we're using that same name in
the 2018 TV show..."   Is there a technical name for the
artist's insertion, and the consumer's recognition, of what fandom
now calls the "Easter Egg"?

Applying the Doylist methods to Herself's canon since the 1980s,
we might note that among the first of her works was _Ethan of
Athos_ . Jim Baen is reported to have discouraged similar
works -- about "The Planet of Queers" or some such.  So we have
the very long publication gap between a sympathetic view of
Ethan, and the reveal about Aral and his aide Jole. (under the
editing, I might add, of Toni Weiskopf, right? So Baen's
preferences have left the building...) From Doyle we might
expect a follow-on with Arde Mayhew and Bel Thorne having
adventures -- with United States/ Beta Colony sort of perspective --
in all sorts of alternative cultures.  Instead we got a deep
dive into Barrayar. I can't help but wonder how much Baen
had a thumb on the scale of these artistic choices. (Do any
old letters or e-mails from the 1980s still exist where the
possibilities are discussed?  Fic-fragments, and plot bunnies
from Lois herself?)

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