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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: December ::
Re: Politics
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0934.  Thursday, 12 December 1996.

(1)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Dec 1996 12:04:58 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0927  Re: Politics

(2)     From:   Andrew Walker White <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Dec 1996 17:48:28 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0927 Re: Politics

(3)     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 11 Dec 1996 00:26:01 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0895  Re: Politics: Marxists, Elitism


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Tuesday, 10 Dec 1996 12:04:58 -0500
Subject: 7.0927  Re: Politics
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0927  Re: Politics

Dave Evett asks,

>In this line, that is, (apparent) flubs, what is John Drakakis' breath "baited
>" _with_?

Well, taking Shakespeare into account (Angel and ministers of grave defend
us!),  I'd say baited with poison.

Yours (helpfully), Bill Godshalk

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Walker White <
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 >
Date:           Tuesday, 10 Dec 1996 17:48:28 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0927 Re: Politics
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0927 Re: Politics

Mr. Taylor has helped us out by locating the quote that set me off on my
tangent about leftist thought.  Unfortunately, he mistakenly identified me as
the author.  It was Mr. Egan who wrote the remarks about 'elitist
entertainment.'

Mr. Taylor's observations following that quote agree with my own.

> Allow me to be a little naive here, but this characterization raises two
> questions.  Have "middle class" and "elitist" become synonymous?  Now that
> would be interesting!  Or are you suggesting something more subtle than that?

Precisely.  It seemed to me to be a matter of guilt by association, which is a
very flimsy argument.

As for other references to Tory reforms in the UK, as a member of a student
organization here at the U of Illinois demanding union representation for all
graduate students who work as "teacher's assistants" (read:  professors with
only a fraction of the pay, and no benefits) I can sympathize completely.
There is indeed a cult of self among right-wing thinkers every bit as dangerous
as the one which I have spentd some bandwidth castigating here.

But I fail to see how the Tory reforms have much bearing on the struggles of
performing artists to bring productions to the stage.  There is a world of
difference between the sick fantasies of Ayn Rand fanatics and the humane
notionsof most actors, directors and designers.

Mr. Egan asks about my silence; I am currently preparing my best leather shoe
for consumption; what I said about the lawsuit at the Globe was on the
testimony of a friend in London, and was not based on any text concerning the
case.  I will be glad to repent in sackcloth and ashes if my story turns out to
be false.

As for my comments on left-wing ideology and its rejection of the essential
humanity of the theatre, I stand firm.

Andy White
Urbana, IL

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Wednesday, 11 Dec 1996 00:26:01 -0800
Subject: 7.0895  Re: Politics: Marxists, Elitism
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0895  Re: Politics: Marxists, Elitism

Andy White has a reading of "Farewell My Concubine"

> My experience with the elite is that far from making
> theater possible, they stifle the very creative impulses
> that brought us to the stage in the first place. . . .
> Perhaps if you took time to see (or see again, I should
> hope) the CHinese film "Farewell My Concubine", which
> details the impossible rigors of the performing arts, and
> teh ways in which the elite controls and perverts the
> artist -- maybe then you'd see the tragic results from
> the facile theories you use to dismiss what we try to do.

I read "Farewell My Concubine" just the opposite way. Isn't the whole point
that the kind of theatre portrayed in the film has fossilized into a compulsive
repetition of just one dramatic scene which actors are insanely expected to
waste half a lifetime learning to perfect? This surely is dead theatre which
has become entirely detached from living culture and which dooms itself to
irrelevance.

Gabriel Egan
 

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