Bookfish 2014 by Steve MentzResources

  • Steve Mentz

Originally published on Steve Mentz’s blog, 2 January 2015.

By Steve Mentz (St. John’s University, New York City)

Two days into 2015 and I haven’t done my 2014-in-review post! I’m behind already.

In swimming as in blogging, 2014 was a year of constancy. No long swims, and several months with no water-miles logged — in Jan I was recovering from ear surgery, and in May I guess I got caught between pool and open water seasons — but a respectable total of 103.37 miles. On the blog, 12,500 page views, roughly the same as last year, and about 7k visitors to the site.

Month Total Distance
Feb 13.01 miles (=22,900 yards, =20,940 meters)
Mar 11.25 miles (=19,800 yards, =18,105 meters)
Apr 5.26 miles (=9,250 yards, =8,458 meters)
Jun 11.96 miles (=21,050 yards, =19,248 meters)
Jul 9.24 miles (=16,260 yards, =14,869 meters)
Aug 17.88 miles (=31,471 yards, =28,777 meters)
Sep 6.16 miles (=10,850 yards, =9,921 meters)
Oct 3.35 miles (=5,900 yards, =5,395 meters)
Nov 14.80 miles (=26,050 yards, =23,820 meters)
Dec 10.45 miles (=18,400 yards, =16,825 meters)
Total 103.37 miles (=181,931 yards, =166,358 meters)


Of my 55 blog posts — which I think may be a new high number for me —  19 were theater or film reviews. Here’s the list starting in January, an autobio in spectating:

1. Twelfth Night with Mark Rylance (1/17)

2. Cry, Trojans by the Wooster Group (1/31)

3. Twelfth Night by Pig Iron (2/21)

4. Antony & Cleopatra at the Public (3/13)

5. Red Velvet at St Ann’s (4/4)

6. Lear at Tfana (4/23)

7. Rumstick Road by the Wooster Group (5/2)

8. Macbeth with Kenneth Branagh (6/6)

9. Antony & Cleopatra at the Globe (6/28)

10. Two Gents and The White Devil in Stratford (8/7)

11. 2 Henry IV and Roaring Girl in Stratford (8/9)

12. Gaia Global Circus (by Bruno Latour) 9/28

13. Tempest 1 at LaMaMa (10/6)

14. The Master and Margarita at Yale Drama (10/26)

15. Tempest 2 at LaMaMa (11/22)

16. Pericles at the Public (11/26)

17. Tamburlaine at Tfana (12/7)

18. Inherent Vice (12/15)

19. Tempest 3 at LaMaMa (12/20)

Most blog posts in a month was 5, in June, October, and December; least was 1 in May (what was going on in May?), followed by 2 in July and September.

I estimate those 19 reviews amount to something over 15k words that I wrote about performances in 2014. Almost all of them were only published on this blog. I have promised an article-sized version of my response to “Cry, Trojans” to Shakespeare Survey next year, after the Woosters do a final full production in St. Ann’s this coming March. Other than that, though, I haven’t published any of these reviews, though I may still combine the three Tempests at LaMaMa this past fall into something larger. (I think my last published review was on the Julie Taymor *Midsummer Night’s Dream” that opened the new theater space for Tfana in Fort Greene in fall 2013; it appeared in Shakespeare Bulletin 32:2 [Summer 2014] 307-310. But I never blogged that one.)

This coming spring semester I’m going to mine this archive as well as recent issues of Shakespeare Bulletin, and maybe a few other early modernist blogs (like Holger Syme’s Dispositio) to think about how we respond critically and rhetorically to modern performances of early modern plays. There are a bunch of great upcoming shows in NYC this spring, as I’ve noted already, and I should be able to get almost all of my students to at least a couple of them. I’ve been wanting to shake up the writing that I assign in my Shakespeare class without reducing the intense focus on close analysis, and this might be a good way to do it.

I’m toying with a couple of other 2015-ish resolutions, but those will have to wait for a later post.

Author: Steve Mentz

Steve Mentz is Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies at St John's University. He is the author of Romance for Sale in Early Modern England: The Rise of Prose Fiction (2006), Rogues and Early Modern English Culture (2004), and numerous articles on Shakespeare, ecological criticism, maritime culture, and related topics. He regularly reviews plays for Shakespeare Bulletin, as well as on his blog.