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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: December ::
Re: Masques
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 898.  Sunday, 5 December 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Roy Flannagan <FLANNAGA@OUACCVMB.bitnet>
        Date:   Saturday, 4 December 93, 09:57:00 EST
        Subj:   Masques
 
(2)     From:   Georgianna Ziegler <
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        Date:   Saturday, 04 Dec 1993 13:25:43 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0896  Q: Masques
 
(3)     From:   A.G. Bennett <
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        Date:   Saturday, 4 Dec 1993 13:36 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0896  Q: Masques
 
(4)     From:   Stephen Orgel <
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        Date:   Saturday, 4 Dec 1993 17:24:34 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0896  Q: Masques
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roy Flannagan <FLANNAGA@OUACCVMB.bitnet>
Date:           Saturday, 4 December 93, 09:57:00 EST
Subject:        Masques
 
On unambiguous masques: if Stephen Orgel is listening, he can remember
for us where he modified some of his earlier opinions, in an an article
he wrote about 1991?  David Norbrook has also written very capably on
the political subtexts of masques, as in his essay "The reformation of
the masque," in {The Court Masque}, ed. David Lindley (Manchester:
Manchester UP, 1984).  Roy Flannagan, Ohio University
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Georgianna Ziegler <
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Date:           Saturday, 04 Dec 1993 13:25:43 -0500
Subject: 4.0896  Q: Masques
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0896  Q: Masques
 
For at least one other non-Orgelian discussion of Jonson's masques,
see the article by Marion Wynne-Davies, "The Queen's Masque: Renaissance
Women and the Seventeenth-Century Court Masque," in GLORIANA's FACE...
ed. Wynne-Davies and Cerasano (Harvester, 1992).
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           A.G. Bennett <
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Date:           Saturday, 4 Dec 1993 13:36 EDT
Subject: 4.0896  Q: Masques
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0896  Q: Masques
 
Dear James McKenna:
 
Barbara Keifer Lewalski's latest book, _Writing Women in Jacobean England_
(1993) has some interesting things to say about Jonson's masques and the roles
James' queen, Anne, played in them-- both as a participant in performance and
behind the scenes in commissioning works. Although the logical inference here
is still that the masques supported the institution of monarchy, Lewalski
does some interesting things with the contention that Anne "foster[ed]
cultural myths and practices which enhanced her own dignity and power." The
masques may have been pro-monarchical, but they didn't have to be pro
patriarchy, seems to be the point.
 
Just a thought....
 
Alex Bennett (
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(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen Orgel <
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Date:           Saturday, 4 Dec 1993 17:24:34 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 4.0896  Q: Masques
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0896  Q: Masques
 
C'mon now, I don't believe I ever claimed that masques were unambiguous.
On the contrary, my argument in the last chapter of INIGO JONES was
that, like most symbolic forms, they meant what the observer wanted
them to mean. But anyway, times have changed--big Inigo was written
in 1972; so David Norbrook argues that the masque is always an
adversarial form--this strikes me as overstated, but on the right
track. You could also look at a recent piece of mine on OBERON in
a collection called SOLICITING INTERPRETATION, edd. K. Maus and E.
Harvey. There are many essays on the subject in a volume edited
by David Lindley, the title of which I forget. The most startling
work on the doubleness of Jonson's masques is Dale Randall's book
on The Gipsies Metamorphosed.
 
What we, as modern literary critics, tend not to take seriously in
a form like the masque is the realities of the patronage system, and
we tend to think that writing to the order of a patron is a violation
of the artist's integrity (whereas, eg, writing something a publisher
will buy because it will sell isn't). But that's an anachronistic
notion of artistic integrity; when Jonson told Drummond he wouldn't
flatter though he saw death, he wasn't being disingenuous; he didn't
think of himself as flattering the king. What he was doing was as
old as Horace and Virgil: laudando praecipere.
 
Nuff. Next person who compares me to Tillyard gets a custard pie
in the kisser.
 
S. Orgel
 

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