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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: June ::
Re: Miss-Begetting
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0482.  Thursday, 15 June 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Renee Pigeon <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 14 Jun 1995 09:09:20 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0477  Re: Miss-Begetting
 
(2)     From:   Milla Riggio <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 14 Jun 1995 13:22:21 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0477  Re: Miss-Begetting
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Renee Pigeon <
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Date:           Wednesday, 14 Jun 1995 09:09:20 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 6.0477  Re: Miss-Begetting
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0477  Re: Miss-Begetting
 
Couldn't Edmund have been born as a result of "simple fornication" if Edgar's
mother were dead (perhaps as a result of childbirth)?  I know Shakespeare
doesn't address this, but as long as we're speculating . . .
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Milla Riggio <
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Date:           Wednesday, 14 Jun 1995 13:22:21 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0477  Re: Miss-Begetting
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0477  Re: Miss-Begetting
 
Thanks to Robert Dennis and David Crosby for the gentleness of their
remonstrance, somewhat at odds it would seem with the prevailing mode of
response and debate on SHAKESPER but nevertheless appreciated by the person
being "corrected," namely me.  What is clear is that in my reference to
Renaissance "myths" about conception and, by implication, about girl children
and women, I was referring to the modern sense of the term "myth" as meaning
"an unfounded or false notion."  The importance of cultural mythic narratives
as encoders of value is, it seems to me obvious.  Indeed, I am working on a
book now on the idea of the Abraham/sacrifice story as one such central mythic
narrative for Jewish/Christian/Muslim cultures. Far be it from me to deny the
power of myth, but the idea that an energetic conception would more likely
produce a boy child seems to me to fall into the area of "false notion." Can
you explain how such an idea as this fits the category of mythic narrative that
you are rightly insisting on?  It is true that this "false notion" or "myth"
derives from assumptions that are sanctioned by cultural myths: such notions as
the idea that physical vigor and prowess are masculine, for instance. And there
are stories galore to support such assumptions. But there are also derivative
and secondary and FALSE ideas about people, gender, etc. that may be sanctioned
and explained by mythic narrative but are themselves merely "myths" in the
sense of untruths.  No? At least, if memory serves me correctly at this great
distance, my daughter was somewhat more vigorously conceived than my son.  But
there they both are!
 
Milla Riggio
 

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