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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: April ::
Literature and Ideology (Was Early Modern
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0296.  Friday, 14 April 1995.
 
(1)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Thursday, 13 Apr 1995 16:12:53 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0293  Early Modern Subjectivity
 
(2)     From:   Lonnie Durham <
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        Date:   Thursday, 13 Apr 95 20:30:13 CST
        Subj:   Literature and Ideology
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Thursday, 13 Apr 1995 16:12:53 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0293  Early Modern Subjectivity
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0293  Early Modern Subjectivity
 
Apparently Gabriel Egan does not know the uses to which conservatives have put
"difference." And this amazes me. He passes over my reference to The Bell Curve
as if we does not realize that that very conservative book claims, as Gabriel
Egan claims, that the "races" (read "cultures" if you will) are different, and
that some races are definitely inferior. Now, I ask you, what races do you
think the authors of The Bell Curve find inferior?
 
My reference to scientific facts is apparently conservative since, as we all
know, "science is the handmaid of capitalism." So we must disregard any
evidence found by scientists that we humans are genetically the same (or very
similar). By the way, the Germans in the 1930s diregarded evidence of
similarity, and built up elaborate systems of difference. "Difference" is not
just a tool used by Cultural Materialists.
 
The fact that we humans are a single species does not at all affect cultural
difference. The English have always known that other cultures were (and are)
different. The English knew that Indian cultures were different when they
established the Raj. "Difference" was not at that time a liberating tool -- to
the Indians in any case.
 
Gabriel Egan accepts the dogmas of Cultural Materialism without question.
Anyway who questions these dogmas (e.g., all human acts are political) is a
conservative. Anyone who argues that we humans have agency and responsibility
for our acts is a conservative. Anyone who believes that she speaks the
language (i.e., has the power to subvert) rather than the language speaks her
is a conservative. Well, in that case, the radical revolution will be preached,
fought, and won by conservatives.
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lonnie Durham <
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Date:           Thursday, 13 Apr 95 20:30:13 CST
Subject:        Literature and Ideology
 
I haven't been particularly a partisan of Wm. Godshalk's position on Early
Modern Subjectivity, but I must say that some of his recent critics have wildly
misrepresented him, perhaps on purpose, in order to wrap themselves in a moral
smugness that is most unattractive and uncharitable.  I only WISH literature
were as effective a means of social control as Gabriel Egan seems to believe.
I'm sure the vast majority of us have been stressing love, peace, and justice
for all we are worth, any time the text gives us the least opening for it.  It
isn't only you folks who are parading this latest version of the doctrine of
"false consciousness" who are horrified by the avalanche of commercialism and
greed that informs every aspect of the culture, but to pretend, as Catherine
Belsey does, that you have somehow reinvented youselves OUTSIDE culture is,
given your own arguments, ludicrous. Your attempts to culturally cleanse your
students' minds are based as much upon prejudice as anyone else's.  Please, a
little more humility.  Why, even *I* in one of my recent postings spelled Fred.
Crews's name C-r-u-i-s-e.  Can you imagine!
 
Love to all,
Lonnie Durham
 

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