1995

Q: Shakespeare and Science Fiction

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0082.  Tuesday, 7 February 1995.
 
From:           Paul Franssen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 07 Feb 1995 12:46:44 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Shakespeare and SF
 
Dear Fellow Shakespeareans,
 
In my search for stories linking Shakespeare with Science Fiction, I have come
across references to two volumes of _The Magazine of Fantasy and Science
Fiction_: volume 63, of November 1982, contains a story entitled "Shakespeare
MCMLXXXV," by Bill Pronzini and Barry N. Malzberg, and book reviews concerning
Shakespeare by the same authors; and vol. 72 of January 1987 contains a story
by E. Bertrand Loring, "The Man who Wrote Shakespeare." So far I have been
unable to trace the magazine anywhere. Could anyone help me out?
 
Paul Franssen
University of Utrecht
Department of English
Trans 10
3512 JK Utrecht
The Netherlands
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Re: Welsh; Shylock; Fortinbras

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0081.  Tuesday, 7 February 1995.
 
(1)     From:   John Owen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 6 Feb 1995 15:10:28 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 6.0075  Re: Welsh
 
(2)     From:   Alexander D. Smith <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 6 Feb 1995 17:16:08 -0600
        Subj:   Re:  Fortinbras at Winnipeg
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Owen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 6 Feb 1995 15:10:28 -0800
Subject: 6.0075  Re: Welsh
Comment:        RE: SHK 6.0075  Re: Welsh
 
It is difficult for me to understand Terence Hawkes statement regarding
character vs. political analysis, as the two are completely in harmony in this
case. The idea of 1 Henry IV only as a political tract reduces the
heartbreaking personal implications of the scene. Mortimer is quite tragically
a nincompoop who marries a woman he can't communicate with; and his
co-conspirators are the unstable Hotspur, the half-mad Glendower and the
self-seeking Worcester. The realization, certain by the end of the scene, that
they are utterly doomed is almost unendurably pathetic.
 
Regarding Shylock, I don't want to get into a war where the only weapon is
repeated assertion, but I feel compelled to remind Ms. Kagan that the motive
Shylock himself confesses is that of "making what merchandise I will". In other
words, Antonio is bad for business. Shylock's treatment at the hands of the
Christians inflames the desire to destroy the merchant, but that intent is
calculated before the action of the play. Shakespeare's humanization of the
character is purely a post facto transformation of a villainous stereotype.
 
John Owen
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alexander D. Smith <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 6 Feb 1995 17:16:08 -0600
Subject:        Re:  Fortinbras at Winnipeg
 
David Glassco called the war Fortinbras is preparing for in the background
during IV, iv a 'pointless war'.  I couldn't disagree more.  Old Norway
(Fortinbras' father) and King Hamlet (Hamlet's father) made a 'bet' and fought
a war a short while ago.  The deal was that whoever won would get the all of
the land that the loser had conquered.  King Hamlet won, slayed Old Norway, and
took the lands.  Now Fortinbras' will not sit passivley by and let his father
be killed and his honor destroyed and all of the lands he had conquered by
taken away.  He prepares to wage war againt Denmark to regain the land that
King Hamlet won from his father and to regain his father's honor.  In IV, iv
Fortinbras is not preparing for his attack on Denmark, but rather on Poland.
Perhaps this is a 'pointless war' in the senese that there is no real reason as
to why Fortinbras should attack Poland save to gain some more land, but it is
not at all pointless in how it speaks of Fortinbras' person.  Fortinbras takes
what he wants.  He does not let his environment confuse and reduce him to a
coward in "bestial oblivion" (IV, iv) as becomes of Hamlet in this chaotic and
disguised world (a world where his mother runs to marry his uncle, his uncle
kills his father and crowns himself, Ophelia, the woman he loves, is used as
bait before him so that Poloniuns can spy on him, and his two close friends,
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, are sent to spy on him by Claudius).  Fortinbras
can motivated himself to fight for a war that does not have very special and
close meaning to his heart, yet Hamlet cannot motivate himself to fight for
something of the greatest importance (avenging his father's murder).

Re: Oedipus and Greek Tragedy

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0080.  Monday, 6 February 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Bernice W. Kliman <KLIMANB%This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 06 Feb 1995 09:22:53 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Oedipus
 
(2)     From:   Piers Lewis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 06 Feb 1995 11:18:38 -0600
        Subj:   Greek Tragedy
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bernice W. Kliman <KLIMANB%This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 06 Feb 1995 09:22:53 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Oedipus
 
Yes, Oedipus kills his father and marries his mother unwittingly--but he had
gone to the oracle in the 1st place because he had been told that the couple
who had brought him up were not his parents.  He runs off, then, forgetting
about that concern, and kills the 1st person he meets old enough to be his
father and then marries the 1st woman he meets old enough to be his mother.  I
don't think he is entirely the victim of fate.
 
Just adding my two cents....
 
Bernice
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Piers Lewis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 06 Feb 1995 11:18:38 -0600
Subject:        Greek Tragedy
 
Nietzsche would be amused.  You've missed the point he'd say:  Sophocles isn't
"contemplating" the possible irrationality of the cosmos in _Oedipus_, he's
proclaiming it.  The play's a fable, he'd say, about knowledge, inquiry, the
new philosophies that call all in doubt.  Preceding Aristophanes' attack on
Socrates and the sophists by six years, it dramatizes the futility of
intellectual inquiry and rational understanding.  And he'd have had a good
laugh at the notion that democracy and the decline of the aristocratic warrior
ethos should be acclaimed as evidence of progress.  'Progress' is a modern,
post-renaissance idea.  "Why," he asks in the posthumous fragment, 'Homer's
Contest'," did the whole Greek world exult over the combat scenes of the
_Iliad_?  I fear that we do not understand these in a sufficiently 'Greek'
manner; indeed,  that we should shudder if we were ever to understand them 'in
Greek.'"
 
Bernard Knox makes a related point in his 'introduction' to Robert Fagles'
translation of the _Iliad_:
 
"Homer's Achilles is clearly the model for the tragic hero of the Sophoclean
stage; his stubborn passionate devotion to an ideal image of self is the same
force that drives Antigone, Oedipus, Ajax and Philoctetes to the fulfillment of
their destinies.  Homer's Achilles is also, for archaic Greek society, the
essence of the artistocratic ideal, the paragon of male beauty, courage,
patrician manners--'the splendor running in the blood,' says Pindar . . .   And
this too strikes a tragic  note, for Pindar sang his praise of aristocratic
values in the century which saw them go down to extinction, replaced by the new
spirit of Athenian democracy."
 
Knox goes on to say that even Socrates, "a man whose life and thought would
seem to place him at the extreme opposite pole from the Homeric hero, who was
so far removed from Achilles' blind instinctive reactions that he could declare
the unexamined life unlivable . . . on trial for his life, should invoke the
name of Achilles" in order to explain to his judges "why he feels no shame or
regret for a course of action that has brought him face to face with a
death-sentence . . . rejecting all thought of a compromise that might save his
life . . . . In the last analysis, the bloodstained warrior and the gentle
philosopher live and die in the same heroic, and tragic, pattern."
 
It's the strangeness of the ancient world that ought to impress us:  not how
much our distant ancestors resemble us but how little.  None of them were
liberals.  Why on earth should we suppose that the Dionysian religious and
literary culture of 5th century Athens supports the values and principles of
modern liberalism or responds to the demands of the liberal imagination?
 
Piers Lewis
Metropolitan State University

Re: Multimedia Project

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0079.  Monday, 6 February 1995.
 
From:           John Boni <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 6 Feb 1995 09:32:54 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 6.0075 Re: Multimedia Project
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0075 Re: Multimedia Project
 
RE: Multimedia Project, comments of Leslie Harris and Bob Gingher--
 
Fall term I set up a listserv for my Shakespeare Honors Seminar. Since I am at
an urban commuter institution, one of my goals was to provide an opportunity
for students to "talk" in ways analogous to those available on a residential
campus.  Secondarily, we have recently instituted a computer Literacy
requirement and my course helped fulfill it.
 
Prof. Gingher's comments I found most apt:  The good students profited from
this new tool.  I learned from colleagues in history and literature that
sending assignments, or amplifications of assignments, or news about upcoming
examinations, etc., through the list helped motivate others who might not have
used it as much.  We have continued the lsit this term, and a few  of us
convened to see the Chicago Shakespeare Repertory's very good production of
"Troilus & Cressida."
 
It is no surprise that while our colleagues in the sciences use computers for
mathamatical analysis, we in the humanities find them a tool to communicate
better with our students and thus augment instruction and learning.
 
I'd be interested in others' ideas and experiences.
 
John M. Boni, Dean
College of Arts & Sciences
Northeastern Illinois University

Re: The Homoerotic

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0078.  Monday, 6 February 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Grant Moss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 6 Feb 1995 09:48:08 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0069 Qs: Homoerotic
 
(2)     From:   Christine Mack Gordon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 6 Feb 95 09:34:39 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 6.0069 Qs: Homoerotic
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Grant Moss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 6 Feb 1995 09:48:08 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0069 Qs: Homoerotic
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0069 Qs: Homoerotic
 
Regarding the recent inquiry on homoeroticism in the sonnets I would suggest
the book "Queering the Renaissance," a collection of essays edited by (I think)
Jonathan Goldberg.  To the best of my knowledge, the debate still rages on, but
I think we need to be wary of trying to apply 20th-century standards and
definition of gayness to the 16th and 17th centuries, tempting though it often
is.  I don't mean to reject the idea of the sonnets and other works being
gay--they may very well be--but the fact that they sound like love letters to
someone in 1995 is not enough to establish anything definite.
 
Grant Moss
UNC-Chapel Hill
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Mack Gordon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 6 Feb 95 09:34:39 -0500
Subject: Qs: Homoerotic
Comment:        SHK 6.0069 Qs: Homoerotic
 
In addition to Jon Connolly's suggestions, I would highly recommend Bruce
Smith's *Homosexual Desire in Shakespeare's England.*
 
Chris Gordon

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