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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: November ::
Spirits of the Internet (Two Possibly Missed Digests)
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 712. Wednesday, 3 November 1993.
 
From:           Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:           Wednesday, November 3, 1993
Subject:        Spirits of the Internet (Two Possibly Missed Digests)
 
SHAKSPEReans,
 
Perhaps because of the season, over the weekend some of you received double
copies of some of the SHAKSPER digests and did not receive others at all.
The gliches occured sometime after the digests left the University of Toronto
and before they came to you.  I thank everyone who informed me of the
abnormalites, and I am reposting below two digests that some, including
myself, did not receive.
 

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Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 697.  Monday, 1 November 1993.
 
From:           Steve Urkowitz <SURCC@CUNYVM>
Date:           Sunday, 31 Oct 93 08:56:44 EST
Subject:        12th Night Production NYC
 
Announcing a production of TWELFTH NIGHT at Baruch College and City College:
November 10-12 at 7pm, November 13 at 3pm at Baruch College, Lexington Avenue
at 23rd Street, in the Studio Theatre, Room 911, and at City College, Shepard
Hall Room 291, entrance on Convent Avenue and 140th Street, Thursday, November
18, at 12 and 6pm.  [The Baruch performances are just about sold out; we are
working there in a 60-seat house.]
 
The play is set on a mythical island at the beginning of the 20th Century, when
for a brief flowering peoples from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas built
diverse and concordant communities in the islands of the Caribbean Sea.
Shakespeare imagined such a world, and this production brings it into life.
The play explores the delights of mirror images; delightedly it mirrors the
accomplishment of concord our schools achieve and celebrate.
 
The production is directed by Susan Spector, Speech Department, Baruch College,
and Steven Urkowitz, English Department, City College.
 
For reservations, call 387-1345,  area code 212.
 
Yikes!  The prose of this advertising flyer seems heavily orotund in the
electronicly fluid context of e-mail, but I'm scrambling to finish props for
the show and to catch up with student papers accumulating ominously on my desk.
 
We'll have photos and a videotape to document the production, but at the moment
I wish people could come see it in its happy fullness.
 
                      Best wishes,
                        Urk SURCC@CUNYVM
 

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Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 701.  Monday, 1 November 1993.
 
(1)     From:   David Schalkwyk <
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        Date:   Monday, 1 Nov 93 14:04:34 SAST-2
        Subj:   Versions
 
(2)     From:   Piers Lewis <
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        Date:   Monday, 01 Nov 1993 09:36:14 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Versions of Shakespeare
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Schalkwyk <
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Date:           Monday, 1 Nov 93 14:04:34 SAST-2
Subject:        Versions
 
I'd like to ask what is at stake in the debate about whether or not
each instance of a Shakespeare text is a "new independent 'version'"
or not?  In one sense the latter claim is unimpeachable, in another
it runs counter not merely to common sense, but to our ability to
refer across time to the same play, say _Macbeth_.  For we could ask
the same thing about the scores of symphonies, coins and even words.
Is Beethoven's Ninth by Harnoncourt the same sympony as Beethoven's
Ninth by Klemperer?  Are the words I am using now the same as the
ones used so far on this list or those I used yesterday?  Or are
they in each case "new independent versions"?  Some considerations
incline us to answer in one way, others in the opposite.  One thing
is certain: what philosophers call the type/token distinction enables
us to see how and why we can refer to Beethoven's music or
Shakespeare's plays as the same piece across the differences
*necessitated* by repetition across time (what Derrida calls
iterability), and also why we *must* continue to regard each new
instance as a token of the same type in order to maintain consistency
of reference.  In other words, in order to speak about _Macbeth_ in
the first place (even if to raise the possibility that each
instantiation is new and different), we have to assume that we're
referring to the same thing.  Otherwise no-one would be able to
discuss, advertise and ask for and about videos of the plays, stage
performances, textual editions and so on.  This list would not exist,
and we couldn't teach _Macbeth_.
 
    On the other hand, when we start talking about the problems of an
authoritative text, performance, or interpretation, thereby
examining distinctions between tokens (or even begin to question
the "originality" of the type itself) then difference trumps
similarity and we're drawn in the opposite direction.  What I think
we should do is clarify *why* we should want to incline one way
rather than the other.  In other words, we need to move beyond
affirmation or denial or even positions like "I think we're actually
in agreement", and spell out what is at stake in the debate -- why it
matters to talk in one way rather than the other, always remembering
that the bugbear of reference (which will not go away despite
Saussure) has already stacked the cards in favour of sameness.
 
David Schalkwyk
English Department
University of Cape Town
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Piers Lewis <
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Date:           Monday, 01 Nov 1993 09:36:14 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Versions of Shakespeare
 
Is one version of a play as good as another?  Or are some better than
others?  If so, what criteria do we or should we rely on in making such
judgments?  Or has that question already been answered?
 
Piers Lewis
 

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