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1964 HOMAGE TO SHAKESPEARE IN ARGENTINA

Homage to Shakespeare on the

IVth Centenary of his Birth (1564-1964)

FUNDACIÓN SHAKESPEARE ARGENTINA

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1964 HOMAGE TO SHAKESPEARE IN ARGENTINA

Argentina Pays Homage to Shakespeare on the IV Centenary of his Birth

Bust in Buenos Aires in Homenage to William Shakespeare

FUNDACIĂ“N SHAKESPEARE ARGENTINA

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1964 HOMAGE TO SHAKESPEARE IN ARGENTINA

Argentina Celebrates the Great Writer

In 1964, the Republic of Argentina paid a heartfelt homage to William Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of his birth and organised a large celebration with the participation of many important figures from Argentine cultural life. Homage Commission To celebrate the centenary of the birth of the English poet, a National Shakespeare Homage Commission was set up with Dr. Marcos Victoria nominated as its President. The aim of the commission was to organise various commemorative events to take place during 1964. 23rd April, 1964 On the anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare, the dramatist and his work were celebrated in the Republic of Argentina at a number of events organised by Argentine-British cultural institutions and by third-level educational institutions. Present at these celebrations were figures from national authorities, people connected to the Homage Commission and members of the British community. FUNDACIÓN SHAKESPEARE ARGENTINA

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1964 HOMAGE TO SHAKESPEARE IN ARGENTINA

At the Residence of the British Ambassador The trade attaché of the British embassy in our country, Mr. T. E. Rodgers, gathered a small group of public figures at the residence of the British ambassador. Those attending included the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Miguel Ángel Zabala Ortiz, officials from the Ministry for Culture and the San Martín Municipal Theatre, and writers and journalists connected with the events in homage to the author of Hamlet. Mr. Rodgers gave a short speech in which he highlighted the aesthetic values of Shakespeare's work. At the Lenguas Vivas language institute The first in a series of conferences on the theatre of Shakespeare, which took place at the Lenguas Vivas Higher National Pedagogic Institute, was chaired by Dr. N.A.R. MacKay who gave a talk on Madness in Shakespeare and Cervantes. The speaker started by pointing out that it was between 1604 and 1605 that the most important works of both authors appeared and, these works being concerned with the topic of madness, the coincidence between Shakespeare and the author of El Quijote becomes even more obvious. “In the great tragedies of Shakespeare of that period”, he said, “the focus passes from external conflicts, patriotic themes and romantic passions, to a different level, one on which the dark forces of the Universe appear to be in conflict for the possession of the human soul”. Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear In Hamlet, the conflict is perhaps limited to the spirit of the Prince himself, although an external influence is suggested by the ghost of his father. As with Hamlet, whose logic is in conflict with the logic of the world that surrounds him, Don Quijote also lives in his own world even if, as opposed to Hamlet, he does not hesitate to attack and extract vengeance on the injustices of the 'normal' world. “The world of Macbeth”, he continued, “cannot be considered as normal: both he and the other characters of the work appear to be puppets of evil, hidden forces and, in the end, it says that life itself is irrational and inexplicable”.

FUNDACIÓN SHAKESPEARE ARGENTINA

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1964 HOMAGE TO SHAKESPEARE IN ARGENTINA

After referring to the madness of King Lear - which to him seemed to extend to the Universe itself - he stated that this vision of irrational conditions, which transcends all everyday experience, expressed by Cervantes and Shakespeare in terms of madness, appeared on its deepest level to respond to the conditions of the time: the transition between the medieval concept of universal order and the modern universe of the laws of Physics. “The cosmology which was glimpsed at that time  reinforced  the clear and rigorous logic of natural laws but, as Pascal said just forty years later, it was a cold and silent Universe in which man was lost, without being able to explain either life or death. For both Shakespeare and Cervantes this threat to the spirit could only be expressed in terms of madness”. Professor Ara on Shakespeare and the Argentine poets At the Argentine Institute of Literature, part of the Arts Faculty of the University of Buenos Aires, its Director, Professor Guillermo Ara, spoke on the topic of ‘Shakespeare and the Argentine Poets’. Professor Ara stated at the start of his talk that, even though it is quite possible to pinpoint with some degree of certainty the moment at which Shakespeare started to have an influence over certain Argentine writers, “it is much more difficult to back up with texts an inevitable, strictly literary influence". He first traced  the itinerary of Shakespeare’s influence  in Europe, quoting extensively the opinion of Victor Hugo on the dramatist and the general conception of his art. Echeverría: a Shakespearean character On the topic of the Argentine Romantic writers, the first literary heirs of Shakespeare, he portrayed Echeverría with the words spoken by Hamlet to Ofelia: “I am myself indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me …. What should such fellows as I do, crawling between earth and heaven?”

FUNDACIÓN SHAKESPEARE ARGENTINA

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1964 HOMAGE TO SHAKESPEARE IN ARGENTINA

“Echeverría's biographical notes”, he remarked, “insist on pointing out sins, errors, regrets of cruelty or abandonment, vacillations of faith and instability in emotions”. He immediately compared, now from within the work of the poet, the similarities in the hallucinations of the witches in Macbeth with those of Oribe on the night before the death of Avellaneda in the poem of the same name, also mentioning the poem To the Weeping Willow which Echeverría himself, in 1830, called simply Imitación del Inglés, or In Imitation of the Englishman. Lugones' Hamlet Works and quotations of Shakespeare and imitations by Domingo Sarmiento, Juan María Gutiérrez and Emilio Becher, amongst others, were used by Professor Ara to gloss the drama  Dos ilustres lunáticos, or Two Illustrious Lunatics, by Lugones where the author of Lunario comes up against Hamlet and Don Quijote during a strike which took place in 1918. Lugones' Hamlet, he reminded us, was “more an industrial magnet than a true prince with his fine walking stick and blond cigarettes”. He advised the workers thus: “You should reconcile  yourselves with the law, take advantage of its  exemptions, elect your deputies, take over parliament, carry out a few extravagancies to keep the rich guessing, such as becoming ministers, for example, …..” Fragments from Ricardo Güiraldes, from Horacio Nuñez West, the poet from La Plata and from Mario Trejo were used to illustrate the final part of his talk which concerned the influence on the new generations of Argentines by the English poet.   Talk today by Jorge Luis Borges on Shakespeare Thus read an article in La Prensa newspaper on 23rd April, 1964:

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1964 HOMAGE TO SHAKESPEARE IN ARGENTINA

“At  6:30  this evening, in the meeting room of the Argentine Scientific Society, Santa Fe 1145, in an event organised by the National Institute for Drama Studies, the writer Jorge Luis Borges will deliver a talk on the topic of The Enigma of Shakespeare”. The Automobile Club The Argentine Automobile Club joined in the commemoration by hanging a portrait of Shakespeare in the entrance hall of their building. The English Institute for Higher Studies The same newspaper announced that “The English Institute for Higher Studies is organising between 5th  and 21st  of next month a series of lectures on Shakespeare to be given by Mrs. I.P. Allmutt, H.J. Jackson, Romney Brent y Jorge Luis Borges. There will also be a concert of Elizabethan music, directed by Alberto Ginastera and an essay competition on the topic of the author of Romeo and Juliet with a prize to be donated by Mr. George Mackern. Meanwhile, public debates will be organised, under the title How and Why to Read Shakespeare, to which Argentine critics and writers will be invited, as well as theatre readings - dedicated especially to the  tragedies  and comedies – and screenings of the films Macbeth, Hamlet and Henry IV”. Radio homage The newspaper La Nación of 23rd April, 1964 announced: “At 9:30 this evening, Radio Municipal will broadcast a programme dedicated in its entirety to the great poet. It will start with a talk on the subject given by the Director General of Culture, José Edmundo Clemente, and a reading of related works by Jorge Luis Borges and Ángel Batistessa. Then, there will be a recitation of three sonnets in the poet’s honour written by Don Atilio Betti and excerpts from the translation of Romeo and Juliet by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

FUNDACIÓN SHAKESPEARE ARGENTINA

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1964 HOMAGE TO SHAKESPEARE IN ARGENTINA

Scenes from his tragedies will also be enacted by distinguished artists including Mrs. Delia Garcés and Mrs. Milagros de la Vega as well as Messrs Orestes Caviglia and Luis Medina Castro. At the La Boca Rotary Club This institution will dedicate its weekly meeting which takes place today to paying homage to British culture on the 400th  anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare. Ladies will be in attendance, as will a group of Rotarians from Rosario West, and Don Alberto de Zavalía will address the figure of the great poet”.

Other commemorative events In a clipping from  the newspaper  of 1964, the following information about further events in homage to the English author was published: “Sponsored by the National Shakespeare Homage Commission, the President of which is Dr. Marcos Victoria, another event in memory of the great poet will be held  at 6:30  this afternoon organized by the Buenos Aires Theatre, directed by Don Alberto de Zavalía who will also open the gathering with a speech in keeping with the occasion. In the Liceo, the actresses Violeta Antier and Susana Rinaldi and the actors Luis Medina Castro and Enrique Fava will interpret excerpts from As You Like It and Othello, in a Spanish version by Mr. Zavalía himself, with production by Jorge Petraglia. There will also be a reading of a number of sonnets in the original by Doña Alicia Jurado, and some translated into Spanish by Manuel Mujica Láinez to be read by Doña Delia Garcés. The second part of the event will be dedicated FUNDACIÓN SHAKESPEARE ARGENTINA

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1964 HOMAGE TO SHAKESPEARE IN ARGENTINA

to music inspired by texts of Shakespeare written by composers right from contemporaries of the great dramatist, such as Robert Johnson and John Wilson, to Rodolfo Arizaga, passing through the aria Come Thou Monarch of the Vine by Franz Schubert, written for one of the songs of Anthony and Cleopatra. Don Guillermo Gallardo will be the singer and he will be accompanied on the piano by Mr. Gerald C. Laidlaw. Series of Conferences in SADE The series of talks previously announced, to be given by Jorge Luis Borges on the works of Shakespeare and Doña Susana Bombal on the musicians of the period, have been suspended for reasons beyond the control of the organisers until September, while the  day after tomorrow, at 7 p.m., the  series of talks  at the Argentine Society of Authors commemorating the 400th anniversary of the birth of Shakespeare will start with a conference to be given by Don Adolfo Mitre on the topic of Shakespeare’s Era and the Forgotten Figures of his Time during which he will treat of the Swan of Avon’s poet friends and rival poets and of his young patron, the Earl of Southampton, the ‘possible inspiration of the sonnets’. The series will continue on 2nd August with lectures to be given by Don Alfredo Olivera, on Shakespeare: the Man, Mr. Bernardo Ezequiel Koremblit, who will talk about Falstaff’s Insolence and Shakespeare’s Indulgence, and Don Mario Carlinsky”.  

FUNDACIÓN SHAKESPEARE ARGENTINA

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1964 HOMAGE TO SHAKESPEARE IN ARGENTINA

Homage at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata At the Faculty of the Humanities and Education Sciences, the Institute of Foreign Literatures organised in conjunction with the Institute of Modern Languages, directed by Professor Elsa T. de Pucciarelli, a series of lectures with the following programme: 24th  April: Dr. N.A.R. MacKay, representative of the British Council in Argentina, The Madness of Shakespeare and Cervantes 19th  May: Dr. Hans-Werner Wasmuth, Director of the Goethe Institute in Montevideo, The Meeting of Goethe with the Genius of Shakespeare 17th  June: Prof. Ángel Batistessa, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Faced with

Some Lyrical-Dramatic Texts by Shakespeare 27th  August: Prof. Jack Rush, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Hamlet in

Shakespearean Tragedy. As their contribution to the commemoration, the Arts Department of the Faculty of Humanities and Education Sciences of the Universidad Nacional de la Plata have published 'Shakespeare in Argentina' which includes studies by Raúl H. Castagnino, Juan Carlos Ghiano and Pedro Luis Barcia and will also bring out a critical compilation of the collection of texts about Shakespeare published in Argentina.

FUNDACIÓN SHAKESPEARE ARGENTINA

www.shakespeareargentina.org


1964 HOMAGE TO SHAKESPEARE IN ARGENTINA

FUNDACIÓN SHAKESPEARE ARGENTINA

www.shakespeareargentina.org


1964 HOMAGE TO SHAKESPEARE IN ARGENTINA

Victoria Ocampo and her Homage to Shakespeare Victoria Ocampo, who expressed great admiration for Shakespeare, gave on 28th July, 1964 a lecture entitled Shakespeare or, What You Will in the General San Martín Municipal Theatre. There, Victoria Ocampo stated, amongst other things, that: “What we can be sure about is that this man, Shakespeare or what you will, fell prisoner to his own creation because today, even if for different reasons from the ones that keep those erudite people awake at night, Shakespeare in no longer Shakespeare for us, the common readers. Shakespeare is Hamlet, is Portia, is Othello, is Ophelia, is Shylock, is Henry V and Cordelia, Titania and Prospero, Rosalind and Macbeth, Cleopatra and Puck, Lear and Romeo. He is his characters and nothing more. Nor anything less. Often for me he is not even his characters, but rather that which one or the other of them said in that or the other situation. Or he is the verse of a sonnet …. He is everything, is each and every one of us. His great waves have formed our coastlines; cliffs which, generation after generation, look towards what the French untranslatably call "le large". Once he spoke of ‘the uncertain glory of an April day’; April was his month, but his glory was anything but uncertain.”

Her magazine Sur published two consecutive issues (289 and 290) in his honour. Dedicated entirely to Shakespeare, they were made up of contemporary Argentine and foreign contributions and of an anthology of famous reviews of Shakespeare. The selection of the texts was made by Jorge Luis Borges.

FUNDACIÓN SHAKESPEARE ARGENTINA

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1964 HOMAGE TO SHAKESPEARE IN ARGENTINA

Homage of the Comedia Nacional The Comedia Nacional Argentina, directed by Luisa Vehil, also paid homage to Shakespeare with the opening of the play As You Like It on 11th  September 1964 in the General San Martín Municipal Theatre in the City of Buenos Aires. The production and direction of the play was by Alberto de Zavalía.

FUNDACIÓN SHAKESPEARE ARGENTINA

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1964 HOMAGE TO SHAKESPEARE IN ARGENTINA

A bust of Shakespeare inaugurated in the Rosedal rose garden in Palermo A bust of Shakespeare was unveiled in the Rosedal in Palermo. The bust was donated by “the British community in the Republic of Argentina on the 400th  anniversary of his birth”. The work, by the sculptor José Fioravanti, should have been unveiled in 1964 on the anniversary of his birth, but the event was delayed by bureaucratic hitches.

(Newspaper cuttings from La Nación and La Prensa, 23rd April, 1967)

FUNDACIÓN SHAKESPEARE ARGENTINA

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1964 HOMAGE TO SHAKESPEARE IN ARGENTINA

Reproduced below is the article about the event which appeared in La Prensa newspaper, Buenos Aires, on 24th April, 1967. “The British community in Argentina have donated to the City Council of Buenos Aires a bust of William Shakespeare, created by the sculptor José Fioravanti, which the Mayor’s office has decided to place in the Rosedal of Tres de Febrero Park in Palermo. Yesterday, at 11 a.m., the inauguration ceremony was held there in the presence of the British Ambassador to our country, Sir Michael Creswell, the Indian Ambassador, Mr. I.D. Chopra, the Secretary for Culture and Social Affairs of the City, Dr. Juan Schettini, the President of the  British community association  in Argentina, Mr. G.B. Chantrill and the representative of the British Council in London, Dr. D Mackay. Also present were the writer Victoria Ocampo, Mrs. Delia Garcés, Mr. Alberto de Zavalía, the sculptor José Fioravanti, members of the British diplomatic mission, city council representatives and special guests. Delegations of students from St. Andrew’s school, Belgrano Day School, Barker College and the Michael Ham and Northlands schools formed a guard of honour around the bust of Shakespeare. The event The Municipal Symphony band, conducted by maestro Mariano Drago, played the Argentine and British anthems and then Dr. Juan Schettini and Ambassador Creswell unveiled the bust of the English dramatist. This was followed by a speech given by Mr. MacKay who, among other things, stated: ‘Thousands of kilometres separate this rose garden and Stratford-uponAvon and more than four centuries separate us from the man whose resemblance is perpetuated in this bronze, but such were his universal genius, his transcendent power over the imagination and the thought of men that, gathered today here on the banks of the River Plate, we do not notice the insurmountable barriers of time and space as happens with other historic figures'. FUNDACIÓN SHAKESPEARE ARGENTINA

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1964 HOMAGE TO SHAKESPEARE IN ARGENTINA

Finishing, Mr. Mackay remarked that Argentines and British people had come together around the bust of Shakespeare with the intention of coming together in admiration of this sublime genius who, he started, ‘belongs to all of us because he belongs to humanity’. Mr. G.B. Chantrill The head of the British community, Mr. Cantrill, also spoke and referred to the work of the sculptor, Mr. Fioravanti which, he said, will remind future generations of the work of ‘this genius who accumulated in his heart the greatness and the weakness of human beings’. Dr. Schettini Closing the ceremony, the Secretary for Culture and Social Affairs of the City, Dr. Juan Schettini spoke. The public official thanked the British community for their donation and said that it highlighted and was witness to the deep and traditional ties that Argentina has held since its historic origins with the homeland of the poet. Dr. Schettini talked about the work of Shakespeare and stated that this ceremony was a true celebration of the spirit for the capital city of the Republic. The speaker then said that ‘as Dante in the Divine Comedy leads us through his allegorical poem to heaven on earth, William Shakespeare in his theatre shows us the turmoil of life,along the complete range of its shades and violence’. Dr. Shettini said finally ‘that this evocative bust of one of the greatest poets of the world should be as a symbol of the friendship that unites Argentina with Great Britain with close, strong and sincere ties". Sources: La Prensa and La Nación newspapers, Buenos Aires, Argentina. "Sur magazine": Shakespeare 1564 – 1964 (Issues numbers 289 & 290, Buenos Aires, July – August – September – October, 1964). "As You Like It", version by Alberto de Zavalía, Ediciones Dintel publishers, 1965. "Shakespeare in Argentina", Universidad Nacional de La Plata, August 1966.

FUNDACIÓN SHAKESPEARE ARGENTINA

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1964 HOMAGE TO SHAKESPEARE IN ARGENTINA

Bust of William Shakespeare by the sculptor José Fioravanti in Tres de Febrero Park, Buenos Aires, Argentina

FUNDACIÓN SHAKESPEARE ARGENTINA

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Homage to Shakespeare in Argentina in 1964