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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: June ::
Re: Jung; Flats; Shylock; What joke was that?
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0440.  Thursday, 13 June 1996.

(1)     From:   Rebecca C Totaro <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Jun 1996 07:55:38 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Jungian *Lear*

(2)     From:   Helen Ostovich <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Jun 1996 11:47:06 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0432 London Flats

(3)     From:   Rick Jones <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 12 Jun 1996 09:52:58 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Once more on Shylock

(4)     From:   Jane A Thompson <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Jun 1996 11:16:26 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   What joke was that?


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rebecca C Totaro <
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Date:           Tuesday, 11 Jun 1996 07:55:38 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Jungian *Lear*

Dear Ms. Mather--

You would do well to consider utilizing the knowledge of Charlotte Spivack,
Professor of English at U.Mass, Amherst.  Her specialty is Shakespeare and Jung
with a twist of sci-fi.  She knows her Shakespeare backwards and forwards and
often travels to Boston's Jung Center (or some such name), so she's mastered
both fields.  She taught "Shakespeare and Jung" a a graduate class with large
enrollment and is simply a delight to work with.  I am certain she'd respond
with good suggestions to any letter about Shakespeare/Jung sources.

You can reach her through U.Mass, Amherst
                          MA 01003

All the Best,
Rebecca Totaro

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Helen Ostovich <
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Date:           Tuesday, 11 Jun 1996 11:47:06 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 7.0432 London Flats
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0432 London Flats

Susanne,  Will you clarify for Canadians, for whom 1-800 numbers do not always
work?  Where is Britain Bound Travel located exactly?  And what prices have you
heard for a central London or North London flat?  Ads in Toronto say flats
start at $725 weekly, which I call pretty pricey! [That's $532 US.]

Helen Ostovich
Department of English / Editor, _REED Newsletter_
McMaster University

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rick Jones <
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Date:           Wednesday, 12 Jun 1996 09:52:58 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Once more on Shylock

What I find curious in the debate about Shylock's "motives" is the need to find
some positivist certainty.  I claim no special perspicacity, but perhaps a
different perspective, as one has has actually spoken the "feed fat the ancient
grudge" line on a stage.  At that moment, in *my* mind, Shylock has no
intention of doing Antonio bodily harm.  First, as others have pointed out, he
has no reason to believe Antonio will forfeit: he is, in effect, buying a
lottery ticket--great fun if he wins, but what, really, are the chances of
that?  Second, he suggests this bond instead of interest, which *I* took simply
as a means of confounding the Christians: nothing is more frightening than
someone who doesn't fulfill our preconceptions.  Third, Shylock operates in an
eye-for-an-eye world. Antonio has humiliated Shylock, who seeks an opportunity
for revenge *in kind*.  A legal sanction to (emotionally) abuse Antonio in
public seems very appealing indeed.  The thought of literally making good on
the "pound of flesh" needn't enter his head here... indeed, I played the
proposal of the bond as something that just popped into my head at the spur of
the moment, a throwaway.  Shylock, to my mind, is just plain *smarter* than
either A or B, and takes a certain pleasure in proving it. (Of course, later in
the play, he begins to be ruled by emotions rather than intellect, and THAT is
a major problem.)

*Can* Shylock mean sanctioned murder when he speaks of feeding fat the ancient
grudge?  Sure.  *Must* he?  I think not.  And that is precisely why the play is
still performed... isn't it?

Rick Jones

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(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jane A Thompson <
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Date:           Tuesday, 11 Jun 1996 11:16:26 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        What joke was that?

I must admit, I am not as a rule very good either at spotting practical jokes
or at laughing at them, so I will not venture to comment on whether Florence
Amit was in fact joking or not.  What I find a more interesting question anyway
is this:  By what means did readers decide to receive the postings as spoofs or
as arguments?

Please don't answer, "Common sense."  I think our postings here have
demonstrated that there is no sense that common.

If scholarship can be parodied, it must have not only surface conventions to
tie the parody to the parent genre, but other contentual conventions which the
parody importantly violates--or isn't that so?  What are these conventions in
Shakespeare scholarship?  (Or is it not worthwhile to speak as if Shakespeare
scholarship were a single genre?)
 

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