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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: July ::
Re: Playing Videos; TV Series; Cultural Construct
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0594.  Monday, 31 July 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Paul Nelsen <
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        Date:   Sunday, 30 Jul 1995 10:36:12 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0590  Qs: Playing Shakespeare Video
 
(2)     From:   Joanne Whalen <
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        Date:   Sunday, 30 Jul 1995 19:21:02 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0590 Qs: Playing Shakespeare Videos
 
(3)     From:   William H DeRoche <
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        Date:   Sunday, 30 Jul 1995 21:36:00 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0590; TV Shakespeare Series
 
(4)     From:   Edward Friedlander <
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        Date:   Sunday, 30 Jul 1995 16:52:33 CST
        Subj:   Shakespeare as Cultural Construct
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul Nelsen <
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Date:           Sunday, 30 Jul 1995 10:36:12 -0500
Subject: 6.0590  Qs: Playing Shakespeare Video
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0590  Qs: Playing Shakespeare Video
 
John Barton's PLAYING SHAKESPEARE series may be purchased in standard VHS
format from Films for the Humanities, Box 2053, Princeton, NJ 08540 ( they have
a toll free phone number as well but I do not have it at hand).  Each of the
eleven tapes in the series features insightful moments that demonstrate how
actors interrogate and interpret Shakespearean text, dramtic moment, and
character.  Barton moderates the proceedings with intelligence and cuddly
charm. My students have found the tapes very engaging.  Regrettably, however,
Films for the Humanities commands a daunting price for these tapes.  The cost
really does have to be rationalized as an "investment."
 
Paul Nelsen
Marlboro College
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joanne Whalen <
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 >
Date:           Sunday, 30 Jul 1995 19:21:02 -0400
Subject: 6.0590 Qs: Playing Shakespeare Videos
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0590 Qs: Playing Shakespeare Videos
 
The latest brochure from *Films for the Humanities and Sciences*
(1-800-257-5126, PO Box 2053, Princeton, NJ 08543-2053) lists the entire Barton
series--11 tapes--@ $89.95 per tape or $939 for the entire series.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William H DeRoche <
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Date:           Sunday, 30 Jul 1995 21:36:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0590; TV Shakespeare Series
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0590; TV Shakespeare Series
 
I have a paperback "William Shakespeare" by John Mortimer, published in 1977.
On the back it said "John Mortimer's witty, bawdy, irreverent look at the life
Shakespeare might have led while he was writing his plays - now dramatised in a
dazzling six part ATV series starring Tim Curry as William Shakespeare and
co-starring Ian McShane as Christopher Marlowe ... Jane Spencer-Turner as the
Dark Lady".  Hope this helps.  Bill DeRoche.
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edward Friedlander <
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Date:           Sunday, 30 Jul 1995 16:52:33 CST
Subject:        Shakespeare as Cultural Construct
 
I have been lurking for the past month and enjoying what I've read. It's great
to have an easy vehicle to remain in touch with what was once my primary focus.
 
I'm a pathologist in Kansas City, with a focus on autopsy and classroom
teaching.  I graduated magna from the Honors program in English Lit at Brown in
1973.  As a handicapped boy who liked to read, Shakespeare in particular had
been the primary interpreter, for me, of human experience.
 
And -- without apology to my postmodernist colleagues -- there IS a common
human experience, across languages and cultures.  Those of us in the sciences
laugh (or cry) at our counterparts in the humanities who would make a political
word-game of the experimental method -- the method of science which has brought
us the unparalleled good health we enjoy, as well as a host of new problems.
If Jacques Derrida is ever wrongfully injured by a physician, I will be happy
to be his expert witness and present the best scientific case to bring him
justice -- even if neither of us can really explain the relationship between
words and the world of nature.
 
But you don't have to be a scientist to be troubled by the "cultural
relativism" ideology.  Just look at the human heart.  The more I hear about
"multiculturalism", the more I see what people want, across cultural lines.
People want to be healthy, and adequately fed. People want to be loved, and to
be loved back.  People seek meaning -- even if it means believing lies to make
them feel intellectually and morally superior.  People seek an answer for
death, and Shakespeare's Hamlet is the first man to say on stage what most
people, before and after, have felt in our hearts -- confused, but with a sense
of.... After this, people want economic opportunity and security, personal
dignity and self-determination, and so forth.
 
Anybody with a heart realizes all this.  Sure, there's politics in
Shakespeare's plays, and anytime people start talking about "values". But
worldwide, over 400 years, human beings in every condition have found The Bard
to be the greatest expositor of what happens inside most people.
 
I'm no philosopher or epistemologist, but I'm not blind, either. I've heard of
the people who claim that math and physics are culture and gender-biased, and
I'm comforted by having no reason to believe they, themselves, know any math or
physics.  I'd argue that anyone who finds Shakespeare to be a mere cultural
construct knows nothing of the human heart as it really is
                            Ed Friedlander, M.D.
                            
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