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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: October ::
Polite v. PC; African *Mac.*; Misunderstanding; Cowell
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0803.  Tuesday, 17 October 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Marcello Cappuzzo <
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        Date:   Monday, 16 Oct 1995 23:24:23 +0100
        Subj:   RE: Politeness vs. Political Correctness
 
(2)     From:   <PILZERKL@VUCTRVAX>
        Date:   Monday, 16 Oct 1995 17:59:26 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   *Macbeth* in Africa
 
(3)     From:   David Skeele <DBS@SRU.bitnet"
        Date:   Monday, 16 Oct 95 13:30:26 EDT
        Subj:   Re: Misunderstanding
 
(4)     From:   Chris Gordon <
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        Date:   Monday, 16 Oct 95 21:14:50 -0500
        Subj:   Stephanie Cowell readings
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marcello Cappuzzo <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 16 Oct 1995 23:24:23 +0100
Subject:        RE: Politeness vs. Political Correctness
 
I received Ken Steele's most recent posting as a wisely conceived and extremely
interesting contribution to the (necessarily) continuous revision and
adjustment of the methodology of this electronic discussion.  However, ever
since my first reading of it, I sensed in Ken's message something disturbing,
something that made me feel a little uncomfortable.  Today, after reading it a
second time, I think I found the source of my uneasiness in certain aspects of
Ken's thought, in particular in the tone of the following sentence:  "we must
always bear in mind that an internet discussion group such as SHAKSPER may
incorporate participants from every imaginable human culture, and that unlike
our hallway chatter at the SAA, every word we share here is in print and very,
very public."  What is it that makes me feel uncomfortable.  It is my
impression (only an *impression* -- it may be I'm completely wrong) that here
Ken is addressing not the whole group (the "public"), but only a section of it
(the"actors"?) -- which impression, in turn, causes in me a sort of "guest
syndrome," i.e. the unpleasant sensation one normally feels when, solitary
guest of an acquaintance's large family, one happens to overhear a senior
member of that family recommend his or her younger relations not to pick their
noses in the guest's presence and, first of all, not to laugh at the guest's
funny accent.  The main consequence of all this is that such terms as
"political correctness" or "tolerance" start sounding strange to my ears, and
tend to mean "diplomacy!" rather than reciprocal, scholarly "respect" and
"understanding".  And then I start perspiring, don't know what to do with my
hands, try to whistle my uneasiness away while (slowly) moving towards the back
door... Do you think there is something wrong with my psyche?  If so, I
apologize for my wrong use of this medium.
 
Marcello Cappuzzo
University of Palermo
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           <PILZERKL@VUCTRVAX>
Date:           Monday, 16 Oct 1995 17:59:26 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        *Macbeth* in Africa
 
A *Macbeth* set in Africa came here to Vanderbilt last year.  It may have been
the Carolina Festival production;  I have forgotten which company it was.  The
interesting thing about the production for me was how, though they set it in
Africa, and seemed to allude to colonialist conflicts, there seemed to be no
consistent resonance with the energies of the play, except to provide an
extremely violent aura (this production began with a rape of the witches by
soldiers).  The white characters seemed to be scattered fairly randomly through
the cast, so we couldn't figure out how race was supposed to figure into their
take on the tragedy.  (Macbeth and Lady M were both black.)
 
Nearly the entire last act of this particular production becomes more a
reader's theater treatment than a drama--another innovation we didn't find
particularly successful (perhaps to show the characters riveted into their
places in destiny?).
 
If you see the Royal Shakespeare production, let us know how they employ the
African setting.  In the production I saw, it seemed mostly to provide
beautiful costumes and violent setting, but not much dramatic fullness.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Skeele <DBS@SRU.bitnet"
Date:           Monday, 16 Oct 95 13:30:26 EDT
Subject:        Re: Misunderstanding
 
I hate to clog up the internet with two letters on the same day, but as I read
through today's postings I realize that I may have misunderstood the use of the
term "early Modern" as Kay Pilzer and others have used it.  As a scholar
primarily interested in nineteenth and twentieth-century Shakespeare criticism
and production, I automatically assume that when someone says "Modern" they are
referring to Modernism, and so early Modern becomes the late nineteenth and
early twentieth century.  Apparently this term is here being used to refer to
the Renaissance.  Sorry about the mistake.
 
David Skeele
Slippery Rock University
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Gordon <
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Date:           Monday, 16 Oct 95 21:14:50 -0500
Subject:        Stephanie Cowell readings
 
Bernice Kliman asked for details about Stephanie Cowell's upcoming NY readings
from her new novel, *Physician of London.* She'll read at 7:30 pm, Tuesday,
November 14, at the Community Book Store, 143 Seventh Avenue (between Garfield
and Carol) in Park Slope, Brooklyn; and at 7:30 pm, Wednesday, November 15, at
the new Barnes and Noble Superstore in Union Square (33 E 17th Street). Wish I
could be there.
 
Chris Gordon
 

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