Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: February ::
Re: Ideology
Shakespeare Electronic Conference: SHK 8.0224. Sunday, 16 February 1997.

[1]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Saturday, 15 Feb 97 22:52:09 GMT
        Subj:   Re: Shakespeare's Transcendence

[2]     From:   Stephan B. Paragon <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Sunday, 16 Feb 1997 00:00:55 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0177 Re: Ideology (Various) 2nd Mailing

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Saturday, 15 Feb 97 22:52:09 GMT
Subject:        Re: Shakespeare's Transcendence

Paul Hawkins and I appear to be in complete agreement:

> Not being an absolutist in these matters, I would simply
> suggest that things become *less* transcendent or
> transcultural (and nothing can ever be so completely)
> as *more* instruction/initiation is required.

This is a relativist position because it refers to "more or less"
transculturalness. To assert that Shakespeare's works are very
transcultural is at least reasonable, whereas asserting that his works
absolutely transcend cultural difference is clearly not. One needs, for
example, a concept of 'kingship' to make sense of the histories.

It is possible, I suppose, that England of the late sixteenth century just
happened to produce the dramatist with the most transculturalness. One
might want to argue that the first capitalist economy offered the right
conditions to make the most transcultural dramatist. The recoverable
history of the construction of the National Poet indicates, however, that
Shakespeare's relatively large transculturalness was not simply lying
dormant waiting to be discovered, but was in fact part of the construction
of the cultural artifact 'Shakespeare'. That is, the transcendence of the
works was asserted as part of the colonialist project. Do thousands of
Indian students read Shakespeare because his works speak more cogently of
their experiences than do those of any Indian writer, or because Britain
colonized India?

Postcolonialist theory does not represent this process as one of simple
imposition of an alien culture on indigenous peoples, and does not suggest
that throwing off the colonialist yoke requires re-organization of the
canon to give local writers precedence over imported ones. But asserting
that Shakespeare's worldwide consumption is simply a consequence of his
excellence is to ignore the political, economic, and cultural processes by
which canonicity works.

Gabriel Egan

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephan B. Paragon <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Sunday, 16 Feb 1997 00:00:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0177 Re: Ideology (Various) 2nd Mailing
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0177 Re: Ideology (Various) 2nd Mailing

Shall he compare thee to nobody's summer?
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.