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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: May ::
Greene; Marx/Eagleton; London/Stratford;
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0425.  Monday, 29 May 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Bradley S. Berens <
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        Date:   Saturday, 27 May 1995 10:49:15 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0424 Q: Greene's Spleen
 
(2)     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Saturday, 27 May 1995 21:18:45 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0423  Re: Marxism and Eagleton's _WS_
 
(3)     From:   Joanne Walen <
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        Date:   Sunday, 28 May 1995 14:34:33 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0418 Re: London and Stratford Seasons
 
(4)     From:   Jerry Bangham <
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        Date:   Sunday, 28 May 1995 22:41:22
        Subj:   Congratulations!
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bradley S. Berens <
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Date:           Saturday, 27 May 1995 10:49:15 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 6.0424 Q: Greene's Spleen
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0424 Q: Greene's Spleen
 
For Jesus Cora,
 
Why not check out the endlessly useful SHAKESPEARE ALLUSION BOOK?  First
published in 1909, reprinted in 1932 and 1970.  It has a bunch of references to
Greene, but apparently only the famous references to Shakespeare from A GROAT'S
WORTH.  The ALLUSION BOOK deserves a new and revised addition, but I doubt this
will happen anytime soon.
 
If you do not have easy access to this book, email me privately and I'll check
it out locally.
 
Yours warmly,
Bradley Berens
email: 
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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Saturday, 27 May 1995 21:18:45 +0100
Subject: 6.0423  Re: Marxism and Eagleton's _WS_
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0423  Re: Marxism and Eagleton's _WS_
 
> Eagleton's _William Shakespeare_. Is it "[hot] air, or a cyclotron of
> insights?" I'd put my money on "hot air" in the ninth. Eagleton seems
> better in theory than he is in practice.
 
I would have cited _WS_ as an example of the wit and joyful energy of Prof.
Eagleton's work, his novel _Saints and Scholars_ being another, _Literary
Theory_ another. Some snippets from _WS_:
 
"The witches are the heroines of _Macbeth_...It is they who, by releasing
ambitious thoughts in Macbeth, expose a reverence for hierarchical social order
for what it is, as the pious self-deception of a society based on routine
oppression and incessant warfare." p2
 
and
 
"It is almost as though Shylock is defying the court to deny him in order to
expose its own hollowness. Either way he will win: by killing Antonio, or by
unmasking Christian justice as a mockery." p38
 
Two brilliant inversions to get students thinking against the grain of 100
years of leaden criticism. Are these extracts 'true'? Of course not. But none
of the nonsense that passes for textual criticism which we routinely refer each
other to, is 'true'. If we engage in real archeological work on, say,
recovering the conventions of Elizabethan dramaturgy we may find something of
significance that illuminates how (not 'what', but 'how') these text might mean
to the original audience. And the above snippets are examples of 'what' the
text could be made to mean to us now. But as for discovering 'what' they meant
then, forget it.
 
_Literary Theory_ is not Eagleton's theoretical manifesto for what should be
done to text, nor _WS_ the practice. The former is a sociological history of
literary theory and the way it inadvertantly speaks of the concerns of the
society that produces it. The latter is offered as "an exercise in political
semiotics", but was really produced (I suspect and hope) to help a new
generation of lefty Shakespearean pedagogues warm up their students. The
'theory/practice' opposition is very silly and old-fashioned.
 
Gabriel Egan
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joanne Walen <
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Date:           Sunday, 28 May 1995 14:34:33 -0400
Subject: 6.0418 Re: London and Stratford Seasons
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0418 Re: London and Stratford Seasons
 
RSC'S 12N bland and touristy? Not. . .unless they've done something awful to it
since last summer in Stratford. There the show belonged to Des Barrit's
Malvolio without a doubt. (Some traditionalists did seem to think there was too
much playing-to-the-audience pantomime in the box-tree scene, but it was a
hoot.) There was much to think about in Tony Britton's darkly tinged Sir Toby
and Derek Griffith's Feste, who was more the wise fool than the clown. A group
of us "text-crawled" through the play and then saw it three times. We found
strong performances all around. By the way, has the Stratford skyline (as
Ilyria) made the transfer to London?
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jerry Bangham <
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Date:           Sunday, 28 May 1995 22:41:22
Subject:        Congratulations!
 
A while back. it was announced that list member Edward Gero was nominated for a
Helen Hayes award for his performance as Hotspur in Washington's Shakespeare
Theater production of Henry IV.
 
This week's "Variety" carries the announcement that he was the winner of the
best supporting actor award.  Way to go!
 

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