1995

Re: Historical Fact

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0816.  Thursday, 19 October 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Robert Appelbaum <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 14:25:34 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0808 Re: Historical Fact
 
(2)     From:   John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 10:59:29 +0100
        Subj:   SHK 6.0808 Re: Historical Fact
 
(3)     From:   Ben Schneider <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 11:52:46 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0808  Re: Historical Fact
 
(4)     From:   Michael E. Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 08:15:22 -0800
        Subj:   Re: Historical Fact
 
(5)     From:   Keith Ghormley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 21:08:19 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 6.0808  Re: Historical Fact
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert Appelbaum <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 14:25:34 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 6.0808 Re: Historical Fact
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0808 Re: Historical Fact
 
Ed Pechter asks whether, if it is true that the social does not "determine" the
theatrical, we are not left with formalism, and Northrop Frye.  I certainly
hope not, and I know of at least two ways of getting beyond the impasse.  The
first is the concept of "structural determinism" -- Althusser and Jameson.  By
this definition instead of the social (or the material) being the cause, and
the theatrical being the effect, the two spheres operate simultaneously within
(sorry, Bruce Young) a larger totality, and each in effect "determines" the
other.  The second is Greenblatt's concept of negotiation.  We can find the
social and the theatrical negotiating with one another.  In this case what we
most want to do (and this is what I find most good culturalist criticism doing)
is assess the exchanges being made from one sphere to another, and especially
the cultural-political-economic interstices where the exchanges are being made.
 The merit of the Althusserian approach, I think, is that it forces us to try
to come up with a picture of the whole.  The merit of Greenblatt's approach
(though its apparent lack of a "picture of the whole" has raised a lot hackles)
is that it is non-reductive.
 
By saying the *MV* is a fairy tale I was alluding to such ideas as that form,
after all, matters, that unconscious intentions (and the Unconscious itself)
after all matter, that none of our *grandes histoires* are yet capable of
explaining (or explaining away) theatrical experience, that after all our
rigorous historicizing and psychologizing moves there always seems nevertheless
to be a remainder, a surplus of energies, and that it is dogmatic, whatever
one's ideological affiliation, to pretend that there isn't.  By saying that
*MV* is a fairy tale I am also, however, saying the opposite of what Ed Pechter
fears I am saying, i.e. that *MV* is harmless.  Fairy tales can be dangerous
things; certainly they are usually efforts to contain rather dangerous things.
 
While I think it is wrong to suggest that *MV* is in part a response to a
"rising tide" of Puritanism (taking my thesis, alas, from what I am taking to
be a "historical fact," i.e. that there is no evidence that something like
"Puritanism" was "rising" during the 1590s) I do accept the obvious idea that
*MV* has a number of anxieties built into it, and that one of those anxieties
has to do with the possibility of something like Puritanism.
 
Old historicism in its positivist forms wanted Shakespeare's plays to "express"
underlying historical realities.  Both dialectical materialism and new
historicism, however, provide ways of seeing that plays *as* historical
realities, operating in complex ways in relation to other historical realities.
Unfortunately, as soon as you move away from the fact/expression or
sub-structure/super-structure ontology you lose your ontological grip on "the
real," on the incontrovertible "fact" or "historical condition," out of which
the play has sprung.  But it is the work of critics, I think, to work (read,
interpret, assess) the sphere of indeterminacy that results from
de-ontologization, the interstices of cultural production where everything is
in fact (!) a "construction."
 
Puritanism aside, one of the things that *MV* seems to tell us is that although
there were no Jews in England to speak of in the 1590s (there's our "fact"),
nevertheless there were "Jews."  Another is that although there was little in
the way of a merchant marine in England yet, nevertheless there was an
"Argosy."  These are the things of fairy tales ... Laslett would't have
anything to do with things like these, but Laslett was a positivist.
 
Robert Appelbaum
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 10:59:29 +0100
Subject: Re: Historical Fact
Comment:        SHK 6.0808 Re: Historical Fact
 
Nick Ranson asks about my (I think accurate) quotation from F.R.Leavis. I think
it is an interesting response to the assertion that there are such things as
neutral facts which merely lie there to be discovered.  The act of discovery
itself is imbued with value judgements, and this is something that even a
stridently anti-theoretical critic such as F.R.Leavis was prepared to concede.
I don't have the full context of the quotation to hand, but if my memory serves
me correctly Leavis was talking about the impact of poetic imagery. My concern
is not to collapse "history" into just another narrative, a la Hayden White,
but to try to recognize that there is no "fact" without value, and that this is
crucial in the study of any form of representation. To this extent I'm
sympathetic to Gabriel Egan's position.
 
This, of course, has nothing whatsoever to do with eating your breakfast. That
is, if I may coin a phrase, a red herring. It has to do with how we construct
knowledges, and reconstruct the past, and under what conditions
 
Cheers,
John Drakakis
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ben Schneider <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 11:52:46 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 6.0808  Re: Historical Fact
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0808  Re: Historical Fact
 
Nietzsche, whose name I can't spell  said something like "truth is whatever
hasn't been disproved."  This dialog is working backward, wasting time
discussing whether there is such a thing as fact.  Of course not.  What we do
is chop away at error.  This is   absolute incontrovertible non fact and has a
tendency to stay that way.
 
Fact is what's left  at the end of the day, and some of it has been left for a
great many days.  But we have  a great backlog of nonfact to whittle away at.
 
Yours ever,
BEN SCHNEIDER
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael E. Cohen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 08:15:22 -0800
Subject:        Re: Historical Fact
 
Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote in SHK 6.0808:
 
>Let's get this straight: there are no facts.
 
Is that a fact or an opinion?
 
Michael Cohen
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Keith Ghormley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 21:08:19 -0500
Subject: 6.0808  Re: Historical Fact
Comment:        RE: SHK 6.0808  Re: Historical Fact
 
BECAUSE what we call facts keep being overturned we need to abandon the term.
Nothing is incontrovertible.
 
Let's get this straight: there are no facts.
 
Gabriel Egan
 
-----------
Gabriel Egan said facts are everywhere.  Gabriel Egan said there are no facts.
Both of these statements are true.  Therefore Gabriel Egan believes in facts,
the concept of fact, and endorses all forms of factual knowledge. There being
no possibility of any fact to the contrary, we may place any meaning we wish on
his statements.
 
Keith Ghormley

Re: Shakespeare, Literature, and Importance

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0815.  Thursday, 19 October 1995.
 
(1)     From:   David Evett <R0870%This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 17:49 ET
        Subj:   Literature
 
(2)     From:   Stephanie Hughes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 17:52:52 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0806  Re:  Shakespeare, Literature, and Importance
 
(3)     From:   Stephanie Hughes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 18:11:58 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0806  Re:  Shakespeare, Literature, and Importance
 
(4)     From:   Gabriel Egan<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 02:37:26 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0806  Re:  Shakespeare, Literature, and Importance
 
(5)     From:   Shirley Kagan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 10:27:24 -1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0806 Re: Shakespeare, Literature, and Importance
 
(6)     From:   Michael Harrawood <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 14:25:42 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: Importance, Triumph, etc
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <R0870%This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 17:49 ET
Subject:        Literature
 
A follow-up to An Sonjae's telegraphic reference to Raymond Williams' survey of
the various and variously interconnected uses of the word "literature" in
English--a drafty, rambling old house, with many mansions, in which Terence
Hawkes and Joseph Greene can each feel, like the Roman Catholics in the old
joke, that they are the only ones up there.  Williams cites C16 uses of the
word as far back as Colet (d. 1519)--already anticipating (by his contrast with
"blotterature") the colloquial distinction between the stuff in the *Norton
Anthology* and all other texts; he gives support to Tom Bishop's remarks about
"poetry" as a tolerably appropriate Early Modern (not early Modern) synonym;
and he does the informative and provocative things that he does with the other
99 terms he investigates in *Keywords*.  Check it out.
 
Dave Evett
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 17:52:52 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0806  Re:  Shakespeare, Literature, and Importance
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0806  Re:  Shakespeare, Literature, and Importance
 
Alas, I don't save my messages for long, so can't defend myself against
misinterpretations, or ask forgiveness for lack of clarity. Some use of the
term "ideological" raised Gabriel Egan's hackles. Sorry. Sorry also to Mr.
Harrawood for my response which must have sounded to him as though I were
accusing Matthew Arnold and Carlyle of hypocrisy, which I was not. I found his
quotes from them of great interest, and the remark about Engish hypocrisy
really wasn't meant to apply to them. It's hard to be as clear and thorough as
one would like in these posts. I find everyone's thoughts on these subjects of
great interest, and am delighted to be involved in such serious and broad-based
discussions with this erudite group.
 
Stephanie Hughes
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 18:11:58 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0806  Re:  Shakespeare, Literature, and Importance
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0806  Re:  Shakespeare, Literature, and Importance
 
Problems surrounding the use of the word "literature" are similar to the
problems surrounding the use of the term "classical" for music. The symphonic
music being written today can't technically be called "classical", so they
usually call it "serious music." That doesn't really do it either. I guess I'll
just go on calling what Shakespeare wrote "literature". Of course it was drama
too, but the language needs a word that means "writing that is so beautiful or
powerful, whether by subject or style, that it has influenced the development
of culture." That would include such things as The Gettysburg address, certain
passages from the King James bible, and so forth. When I asked what else I
could call it, it was this that I meant. If we don't have words for thing we
can't talk about them. (My daughter had a Japanese roommate in high school, who
told her that there are no specific words in Japanese for the male and female
sex organs.)
 
Stephanie Hughes
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 02:37:26 +0100
Subject: 6.0806  Re:  Shakespeare, Literature, and Importance
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0806  Re:  Shakespeare, Literature, and Importance
 
Paul Crowley expresses a view
 
>Great literature is invariably produced by intensely
>egocentric and eccentric individuals.
 
That rules out Shakespeare's plays then. The theatrical companies for which he
worked and later shared in were without doubt collaborative. Our modern notions
of individual creativity and individual intellectual property are thoroughly
anachronistic in application to Shakespeare and his milieu.
 
To further the 'did Shakespeare produce Literature?' debate, I'd like to throw
in a reminder that literature is a private experience (for the study) whereas
drama is necessarily a social event (for the theatre). Modern theatre
conventions like lowering the lights to help the audience forget its own
presence owe much to the literary culture emphasis of individual over
collective experience. Crowley's attempts to claim for Shakespeare a literary
status which Shakespeare and his contemporaries would find incomprehensible
come from a long and risible academic tradition.
 
Gabriel Egan
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Shirley Kagan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 10:27:24 -1000
Subject: 6.0806 Re: Shakespeare, Literature, and Importance
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0806 Re: Shakespeare, Literature, and Importance
 
I can't resist throwing in another comment in respomse to Paul Crowley's latest
post.
 
It seems that on the one hand you are carrying the banner of individual freedom
and democracy while on the other you insist on some sort of rigid allignment of
your perceived "facts" with a formula of the world.  My response to you re: the
holocaust and the one person who mattered is a good point of departure.  After
realizing that your assumption that "one person mattered" may have been
misconstrued, you ammended the statement to say this was simply in the
"political" sense to which I can only say, when you start making divisions of
that sort (one person has political significance, another one doesn't) you run
the risk of losing track of the very humanity and individual liberty you set
out to defend.
 
In your last post you offered the following:
 
>No one questioning "historical facts" would ever dare to put
>theory into practice and say "The Holocaust is not an historical fact".
 
To which I can only respond with a resounding "NOT TRUE".  There are lots of so
called "revisionists" out there who are trying to do precisely what you say
they wouldn't dare to do.  I don't think we can lump them all into a
"non-questioners" category.
 
You also wrote:
 
>A certain amount of questioning is appropriate.  We should often ask "Do we
>really know what we claim to know?".  But we must never extend it into
>"We can
>know nothing, and should say nothing, and must never make any judgements".
 
For whom are you speaking?  Who goes into your "we" category?  Surely if your
prime aim is to argue for individual liberty you should try and be more careful
about speaking for a body of individuals who may not agree with you.  And who
should be set in the position of deciding how much questioning is appropriate?
And how often is "often"?  I think you catch my meaning.
 
Questioningly yours,
Shirley Kagan.
 
(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Harrawood <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 14:25:42 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:        Re: Importance, Triumph, etc
 
Paul Crowley's comment that the "individuals" who produce literature "must
necessarily live in tolerant open-minded communities" reminds me of an exchange
between Norman Mailer and Jorge Luis Borges on the Cavett show many years ago.
Mailer walked unannounced, apparently thinking to honor Borges with his
presence, and began praising him in terms very much like those Mr. Crowley
likes to use.  He went on about the inherent links between literature and love
of liberty, about how literature cannot flourish in intolerant communities,
etc.  Borges -- old and frail -- became so indignant he tried to lift himself
up out of his chair, and pretty much ruined Mailer's pitch by insisting with
some force and clarity that literature thrives on horror, strife, and
oppression.  My sense at the time was that this is an issue that bears some
examination, and that its terms should not be taken for granted.
 
Dante was no great supporter of individual rights; neither was Virgil. Serious
scholars have pointed out moments in the work of each that would seem to
militate against the notions of liberty and individualism that we perhaps
cherish today.  Its also a stretch for me to imagine the "open-mindedness" of
the court of Henry VIII, or for that matter of the London street community of
the 1590's.
 
I keep sensing some confusion of categories that thwarts any real progress on
this thread.  Joseph M. Green now says that English attitudes towards Italy
were complex and that this was really his point all along (although I can't see
it from his use of terms like "xenophobia" and "Babylon").  The pathos of
over-generalization he imagines in the scenario with the failing undergraduate
at the end of his last post seems to undercut the over-breadth of his imagining
that all nationalisms are alike.  If there will be a Triumph of Chinese, what I
bet will be most interesting about it will be all the ways it is _not_ like the
Triumph of English -- no competition with Italian for rhyme words, no
alteration of the sonnet form, no sense of insularity or smallness, of being
"behind" other cultural and linguistic models, no sense of regaining a lost
ancient cultural foundation.  Chinese will triumph over different things.
 
It isn't clear that other national self-perceptions include the sense of a
touring "essence" that can "turn to bloud" the best from other cultures (this,
from Jonson's "For William Roe") -- an attitude that might be taken for the
little brother of the later "Grand Tour," a particularly English institution
for relating to other cultures.  My sense is -- to cross over to another thread
-- that the best way of really getting at the issue is to look at the texts and
at the "facts" and see what they tell us.
 
The "historical facts," which Mr. Crowley invokes, now along with the threat of
a new holocaust, and then drops in favor of an emotional pitch for liberty and
the individual (one which includes a slam at the academy, which he fled), are
likely to tell us that "literature, individualism, liberty, rule of law," and
so on, are not bound up together as we might like -- are, in fact,
generalizations in need of scholarly inquiry. (Duh!).  The terms of the present
inquiry, for better or worse, continue to interest me mostly because they are
shaped by the very language and history we speak and about which we are
speaking.
 
Michael Harrawood

Re: Banning *MV*

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0813.  Thursday, 19 October 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Douglas Abel Drama <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 14:09:51 -0700 (MST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0802  Qs: *MV*
 
(2)     From:   Nat Colley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 09:58:51 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0805 Re: *MV* as Ba...
 
(3)     From:   Karin Magaldi-Unger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 08:46:50 U
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0805  Re- *MV* as Banned Play
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Douglas Abel Drama <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 14:09:51 -0700 (MST)
Subject: 6.0802  Qs: *MV*
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0802  Qs: *MV*
 
On banning of Merchant of Venice:
 
There was a big controversy in Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario, about 1988. The
accusation by some parents was that studying the play was making kids
anti-semitic.  They were apparently doing things like throwing pennies at
Jewish kids in the schoolyard.  The story made one edition of CBC television's
Monitor series.
 
For more info, contact me personally.
 
Douglas Abel
Keyano College
Fort McMurray, Alberta
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
403-791-8983
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nat Colley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 09:58:51 -0400
Subject: 6.0805 Re: *MV* as Ba...
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0805 Re: *MV* as Ba...
 
Brad Berens responded to Jan Kraft and then asked about a theater journal that
discussed MV, the name of which he could not recall. American Theater did a
cover story on MV this summer. Perhaps that is the publication you are thinking
of? The article is called "Wrestling with Shylock" and is in the July/August
1995 issue.
 
Nat Colley
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karin Magaldi-Unger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 08:46:50 U
Subject: 6.0805  Re- *MV* as Banned Play
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0805  Re- *MV* as Banned Play
 
A response to Jan Kraft & Brad Berens regarding The Merchant of Venice:
 
I work at Shakespeare Santa Cruz (I am the Education & Outreach person) & lived
through the "controversy" of which Brad speaks. We initiated several
opportunities for dialogue within the community as a means of examining
intolerance in addition to attending the actual production:
 
--a version of the play that toured local high schools & was preceeded by an
  extensive curriculum guide;
--an open forum in Santa Cruz with historians, a local rabbi and the director
  of the play;
--post-show discussions between the cast, invited community members and
  audiences;
--a weekend conference with Dr. James Shapiro of Columbia University as the
  keynote speaker;
--public radio discussion with community members & the director
--program material that addressed intolerance, etc. etc.
 
Several brief thoughts:
 
* Part of Danny Scheie's concept was to expose the intolerance in the play not
only of Shylock but of the love relationship between Antonio & Bassanio. The
anti-semitism in the play was not overshadowed by the romance plot, rather the
emphasis on both highlighted the hypocritical nature of the Venician quality of
mercy.
 
* You might try contacting Dr. James Shapiro at Columbia: his knowledge of the
play and response to it post-holocaust is extensive. Just before he came to
speak at our Festival, he attended and reviewed a very exciting Israeli
production of the play. M of V is alive and well in Israel.
 
* John Gross' book SHYLOCK is a helpful compendium of the legacy of
Shakespeare's character for the Western world and includes some performance
history you can use.
 
* The article Brad refers to appeared in the July/August 1995 issue of AMERICAN
THEATRE. (While the comparison of four recent productions of M of V is
interesting, you might find the analysis of the issues somewhat simplistic).
 
* The group, People for the American Way, in Washington D.C. is another source
you may find helpful. They research and document instances of censorship in the
arts. Our production, as well as others were covered in one of their recent
publications.
 
Karin Magaldi-Unger
Education & Outreach
Shakespeare Santa Cruz

Qs: Sonnet Society; Neo-Latin Trivia

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0814.  Thursday, 19 October 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Georgianna Ziegler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Oct 95 15:40:00 PDT
        Subj:   Sonnet Society
 
(2)     From:   Timothy Billings <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 23:44:03 -0400
        Subj:   neo-latin trivia
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Georgianna Ziegler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 18 Oct 95 15:40:00 PDT
Subject:        Sonnet Society
 
Have any of you Shaksperians out there in cyberspace ever heard of a "Sonnet
Society" or even a "Shakespeare Sonnet Society"?  This question came over my
desk today (one of many such from Jane Q. Public) and proved a real stumper. I
may be missing something, but I've never heard of one.  Any information will be
gratefully received.  You may reply to me or to the List.
 
Thanks!
Georgianna Ziegler
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Timothy Billings <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 23:44:03 -0400
Subject:        neo-latin trivia
 
I've cudgel'd my brains out about it and now come crawling for help.
 
     O Hominum mores, O gens, O Tempora dura,
     Quantus in urbe Dolor; Quantus in Orbe Dolus!
 
Not strickly a Shakespeare question, I apologize, but in an article I have
drafted on Latin, Dress, and Gender chiefly in *Merry Wives of Windsor* and the
*Hic Mvlier* debate, I am stuck on this couplet attributed only "the Poet" (in
*Haec Vir*).  So I lean on your collective learning.  I have spun the IBYCUS
dizzy.  It is not classical.  Of course it alludes to Cicero. But does that
help?  Henderson and McManus do not gloss it, nor does anyone else, to my
knowledge, who has written on it (not a few).  Any leads will be repaid with
professional courtesy and obscene fawning.
 
Abjectly, hopefully,
Timothy Billings

Tmp.; MV; What is; Italy; African Mac.; Reading

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0812.  Thursday, 19 October 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Michael Saenger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 15:09:00 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Tempest about costumes
 
(2)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 14:09:11 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0798  Re: *MV*
 
(3)     From:   Tom Clayton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 14:08:49 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0807  Re: What is this list for, exactly?
 
(4)     From:   Andy Grewar <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 09:27:32 GMT+120
        Subj:   Shakespeare's Italian connections
 
(5)     From:   Stephen Buhler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 10:10:20 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: "African *Macbeth*"
 
(6)     From:   Steve Urkowitz <SURCC@CUNYVM>
        Date:   Thursday, 19 Oct 95 00:36:46 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0786  Re: Recommended and Recreational Reading
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Saenger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 15:09:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Tempest about costumes
 
On my last post, I received a direct question from Steve Sohmer.  I though the
rest of the list might be interested in our dialogue, so I am forwarding it.
 
>Professor Richard Wilson of the University of Lancaster (UK) has recently made
>some remarkable discoveries about the inspiration behind The Tempest. I do not
>know if he has published yet, but you might write him for a copy.
 
>You're quite right about the nature of the list, though I don't think you're
>right about the costumes...which is like saying Proust wrote what he did when
>he did because he smelt a cookie, n'est ce-pas?
 
My response was this:
 
>Well, you're free not to be convinced, but the point I'm making is that
>Shakespeare was more of a theater man than an auteur.  Now if a theater man
>gets a valuable resource, be it a star actor, new stage machinery, or whatever,
>he uses it.  We don't tend to think of Shakespeare in this way, but I believe
>we should.
 
Steve responded:
 
>If you think the note would be useful to the group, by all means post away.
 
>You might support your argument by reminding everyone that WS certainly wrote
>to the strengths and around the weaknesses of his acting company, worked out
>which parts could be doubled with which, and concerned himself with other
>stagecrafty devices during the drafting process.
 
P.S. from Michael Saenger: Good point.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 14:09:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0798  Re: *MV*
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0798  Re: *MV*
 
I agree basically with Stanley Holberg's reading of the "Hath not a Jew eyes?"
speech (Riverside 3.1.59ff.). The context of this speech is revenge.
 
The question is: how far does the context influence the auditor's feelings
about Shylock's assertion that Jews and Christians are alike?  Alfred Harbage
told his classes (I was there) that this speech, i.e., "Hath not a Jew eyes?",
was never spoken in a German production when the Nazis were in power.  Although
I don't know Harbage's source, he seemed to be sure that it wasn't.
 
My question is:  if the speech is completely undercut by the context of
revenge, why was the speech NOT delivered in Nazi Germany? One answer (among
the many!) may be that the speech seems -- to the auditor -- to be in italics,
to transcend the context.  We auditors remember the apparent plea for the
recognition of a common humanity, and forget that the plea is imbedded in a
justification for revenge.
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Clayton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 14:08:49 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 6.0807  Re: What is this list for, exactly?
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0807  Re: What is this list for, exactly?
 
This is getting better than bear-baiting!
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andy Grewar <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 09:27:32 GMT+120
Subject:        Shakespeare's Italian connections
 
On Monday, 16 Oct 95, Lee Buchanan asked:
 
>Did Shakespeare travel to Italy? What do you reckon? What's the latest on this
> hypothesis?  I'd be grateful for any info?
 
As I understand it there is no proof whatsoever that Shakespeare ever left
England, though he *could* have.  Some of his fellow actors did in fact travel
as far as Italy, most notably William Kemp, but that was *after* he left the
Shakespearean company.
 
The reason for the Italianate qualities of many of Shakespeare's plays has not
been adequately explained.  I have a theory that it was due to the influence of
the travelling Italian actors, who performed all over Europe from the 1540s
onwards in what later became known as the commedia dell'arte.  Shakespeare or
the actors he worked with probably had some contact with the Italian actors,
and it seems likely that Shakespeare used their plots and the stock characters
of the Italian comedy as a basis for much of his own drama.
 
I've written two articles on the subject, and would be glad to communicate with
anyone who has any ideas about it, and to give publication details of my
articles to anyone who's interested.
 
Andy Grewar,  Academic Development Centre,  University of Fort Hare,
              Alice  5700,  Eastern Cape,  South Africa.
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen Buhler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 19 Oct 1995 10:10:20 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Re: "African *Macbeth*"
 
The troupe currently touring with modern-day settings for *Macbeth* and *Romeo
and Juliet* bills itself as the Haworth Shakespeare Festival.  Local promoters
may stress the actors' past experiences with the Royal Shakespeare Company and
the Royal National Theatre, but Haworth and their management do not present the
plays as official RSC or RNT productions.
 
The *Macbeth* is based upon the Haworth/Committed Artists of Great Britain
staging which appeared in this country as part of the 1991 New York
International Festival of the Arts.  The reviews of that production, which
featured a contemporary African setting but no "updating" of the text, were for
the most part very positive.  This *Romeo and Juliet* features Lucy Whybrod (in
the real starring role) and Adrian Lester (in the runner-up role).  Mr. Lester,
incidentally, is an alumnus of the Cheek-by-Jowl productions of *As You Like
It*. Stephen Rayne repeats as director and Cindy Kaplan as producer; both were
involved with the original Haworth *Macbeth*, with Voza Rivers as co-producer.
 
I'll be attending both shows here in Lincoln.  Should I report on them for the
benefit (I would hope) of other SHAKSPEReans?
 
Stephen M. Buhler
 
(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Urkowitz <SURCC@CUNYVM>
Date:           Thursday, 19 Oct 95 00:36:46 EDT
Subject: 6.0786  Re: Recommended and Recreational Reading
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0786  Re: Recommended and Recreational Reading
 
Best book?  For me, Michael Long, THE UNNATURAL SCENE (1975).
 
I found it after reading the SQ review of it by G Blakemore Evans, who said
that it was the first book in a long while that he actually LEARNED totally new
things from, new ways of thinking about the plays.  For the last 20 years
Long's insights have shaped the ways I think about the texts, the social
constructs they generate, and my own dancing through today's equivalent
constructs.
 
Long elsewhere writes on Modernist poetry; his epigraphs for THE UNNATURAL
SCENE come mostly from Yeats.
 
'Tis late.  I wish I could do justice to the rich pleasure and wisdom that I've
drawn from this volume.  It came out in paperback around 1980 and was almost
immediately pulped.  Don't know why.  I treasure my copy. ---g'night.

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