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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: September ::
Re: Castrati; Bloom; Graduate Programs
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0671.  Tuesday, 5 September 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Joseph M Green <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Sep 1995 09:55:39 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0669  Q: Pandarus as Castrato
 
(2)     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Sep 1995 17:05:08 GMT
        Subj:   Teaching Shakespeare
 
(3)     From:   Lee A. Jacobus <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 05 Sep 95 21:05:40 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0652  Re: Grad. Programs
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joseph M Green <
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Date:           Tuesday, 5 Sep 1995 09:55:39 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 6.0669  Q: Pandarus as Castrato
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0669  Q: Pandarus as Castrato
 
Surely one does not have to take the radical step of establishing the existence
of a 17th century eunuch community to suggest that Pandarus is a castrato and
to write a rather charming article about eunuchs in Shakespeare. The idea is
wonderful -- there is the charm of novelty, the necessary concern with the
"continum of human sexuality" (including, at last, those "cut off untimely,")
and a splendid opportunity to point out once again just how wicked those
aristocrats were.  Sex, power, inclusiveness -- who could ask for anything
more?  One must begin the article with an anecdote.  Something along the lines
of Foucault's rendition of the torture and death of Damiens would do
splendidly.  An account of a castration wouldn't be hard to find; and from
there some account of an artistocrat lounging about after an encounter (he
could even be smoking tobacco!) and languidly ordering the hanging of a
poacher. Then you make your assertion.  These eunuchs didn't come from nowhere.
 Certainly the aristocrats of Shakespeare's day availed themselves of their
services.  After all there were Turks in Shakespeare's time (here insert the
quotation you have already found) and from there the rest is easy -- so much
seamlessly flows from Shakespeare's text.  Again, a wonderful idea and if you
could only establish the suspicion that James was, himself, quite taken with
these fellows, an idea sure to become canonical.
 
joseph green

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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Tuesday, 5 Sep 1995 17:05:08 GMT
Subject:        Teaching Shakespeare
 
Am I the only teacher to be astonished at the admiration Harold Bloom's recent
effusion seems to be generating amongst SHAKSPERians?  It struck me as
appallingly trite, unscholarly and overblown: little more than Leavis and water
--or in this case, wind. Fie!
 
T. Hawkes
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lee A. Jacobus <
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Date:           Tuesday, 05 Sep 95 21:05:40 EDT
Subject: 6.0652  Re: Grad. Programs
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0652  Re: Grad. Programs
 
This is to applaud Bill Godshalk's advice about graduate school.  I recall
sitting in my living room looking at two letters of admission.  One was for
Stanford and the other for Claremont.  I found out that the Huntington Library
treated  Claremont grad students on a par with visiting scholars, so I chose
Claremont. I also found the teacher I thought I would work with spent 3 out of
the 4 of my only semesters in grad school in London.  So I had the pleasure of
learning to work in one of the greatest renaissance libraries in the world.  It
made graduate school a true joy.  When my teacher came back from London we
talked most of the time at lunch at the Huntington.
 

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