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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: September ::
Re: Old Criticism; Non Angli; Nuttall's *Tragedy*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0686.  Sunday, 22 September 1996.

(1)     From:   Moray McConnachie <
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        Date:   Friday, 20 Sep 1996 22:24:27 +0100 (BST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0680 Re: Old Criticism and Madness Query

(2)     From:   Tom Bishop <
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        Date:   Friday, 20 Sep 1996 18:14:07 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0683  Re: Non Angli, sed Angeley.

(3)     From:   John Drakakis <
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        Date:   Saturday, 21 Sep 1996 00:38:00 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 7.0684 Q: Nuttall's _Why does Tragedy give Pleasure?_


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Moray McConnachie <
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Date:           Friday, 20 Sep 1996 22:24:27 +0100 (BST)
Subject: 7.0680 Re: Old Criticism and Madness Query
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0680 Re: Old Criticism and Madness Query

Perhaps one reason the scholarship of earlier generations is so often excluded
is simply a question of volume. There comes a point at which no one person
*can* have read and thoroughly absorbed the entire critical debate about
Spenser, say. But if critical debate ceases to take particular account of its
origins, then the old round can be trodden without the disappointing
realisation that others have thought what we think new and ours. Of course,
David Lindley is right, it is humbling to find one's predecessors ahead on
points. And that's exactly why, perhaps, some won't read them any more.

Moray McConnachie

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Bishop <
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Date:           Friday, 20 Sep 1996 18:14:07 -0400
Subject: 7.0683  Re: Non Angli, sed Angeley.
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0683  Re: Non Angli, sed Angeley.

In regard to Joanne Whalen's announcement of the RSC's intention to present
"Everyman" and "The Mysteries" in their next season, I can only applaud their
decision. (Is this Tony Harrison's text of the cycles that was so beautifully
done at the National Theater ten years ago, now available on videotape and well
worth the purchase?).

But what interested me about Rev. Angeley's production was that it was a new
text done with contemporary resources for and by a contemporary community of
believers, which cannot be said about either the regular Toronto offerings or
the RSC venture. That what I saw was terrible was, I felt, a reflection of the
overdeveloped reverence the whole thing showed towards the text (no Herod
raging "in the street also" alas), and of my own now-unavoidable sophistication
about anachronism and theatrical style. But to what extent might the surviving
Chester or York cycles have been held hokey and laughable by a perhaps more
sophisticated urban, increasingly humanist-educated audience, if they ever got
to see them? Does Pyramus and Thisbe figure at all in this question? (And
wasn't it Chaucer's hick Absalom who played Herod to impress the ladies?)

Tom

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <
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Date:           Saturday, 21 Sep 1996 00:38:00 +0100
Subject: 7.0684 Q: Nuttall's _Why does Tragedy give Pleasure?_
Comment:        RE: SHK 7.0684 Q: Nuttall's _Why does Tragedy give Pleasure?_

For Simon Mallach,

No, this is an authored book rather than a collection.  Nuttall begins with
some close textual analysis of Aristotle, and then proceeds to an analysis of
issues which will be familiar to students of Tragedy.  He ends with an account
of King Lear.

Nuttall's book is judicious rather than radical in its analysis.  He asks some
important questions but the answers he gives are less impressive than the
questions themselves.  It's a book that has the virtue of being short, and
pithy.  I think for anyone interested in Tragedy it is worth reading.

Much more interesting, and far more radical however, is Alternative
Shakespeares 2 edited by Terence Hawkes.  Reading this volume alongside Nuttall
will offer some indication of just how far radical Shakespeare Studies has
come.

Enjoy both.
John Drakakis
 

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