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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: February ::
Re: Harold Goddard
Shakespeare Electronic Conference: SHK 8.232. Tuesday, 18 February 1997.

[1]     From:   John Boni <
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        Date:   Monday, 17 Februray 1997
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0221 Re: Harold Goddard

[2]     From:   Dan Lowenstein <
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        Date:   Monday, 17 Februray 1997
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0221 Re: Harold Goddard

[3]     From:   Chris Stroffolino  <
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        Date:   Monday, 17 Februray 1997
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0221 Re: Harold Goddard


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Boni <
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Date:           Monday, 17 Februray 1997
Subject: 8.0221 Re: Harold Goddard
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0221 Re: Harold Goddard

In recalling my experience in reading Goddard's ideas on Shakespeare, I
think of T.S. Eliot's characterization of Samuel Johnson as "a dangerous
man to disagree with on the basis of facts" (hope I've recalled the gist
of that).  So it is with Goddard:  One may not agree with his arguments,
but was one is hard put merely to dismiss them.

John M. Boni

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dan Lowenstein <
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Date:           Monday, 17 Februray 1997
Subject: 8.0221 Re: Harold Goddard
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0221 Re: Harold Goddard

Professor Malloch asks for references to worthwhile writings of Harold
Goddard, other than the book, "Meaning of Shakespeare."  Goddard's essay
entitled "The Merchant of Venice" is very much worth reading.  Although
I do not agree with Goddard's defense of Shylock, his essay is the best
statement of the "antitraditionalist" position that I have seen.

Goddard's essay, which was originally published in the late 1940's, is
reprinted in Bloom's 1991 anthology, "Shylock."  Since I don't have that
work in front of me, it is possible that it had appeared as a chapter in
Goddard's book.  If so, I apologize for the redundant reference.

Best,
Dan Lowenstein

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Stroffolino  <
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Date:           Monday, 17 Februray 1997
Subject: 8.0221 Re: Harold Goddard
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0221 Re: Harold Goddard

Like John Velz and Mary Allen Todd, I have found Goddard
fascinating....I disagree with Mr. Velz, however, that "Goddard has no
axe to grind." One need only look at his intro chapters in which he
criticizes certain rival critical "schools" of his times-especially the
performance oriented and historical (old historical I guess you'd call
them now) critics as well as those who adhere to the biographical and/or
intentional fallacy....(also, his chapter in which he take the two sons
of Cymbeline and makes them into critical principles to prefer reading
Shakespeare as "poetry" rather than as "merely" a dramatist - as a
practicing poet, I have much admiration for Goddard's relatively wide
sense of poetry in a somewhat visionary poetry(which for him was
considered radical, subversive, leftist-whereas today, for many, such
kind of poetry, is often considered conservative.) and the way he is
able to quote poets like Dickinson and Stevens in his discussion of
Shakespeare (poets who at the time he wrote the book were hardly the
cultural ICONS they have become today...it is something I would like to
do if I ever publish a book on Shakespeare with more unknown poets like
Laura Riding, Carla Harryman, even John Ashbery, Bernadette Mayer,
etc-i.e.). Also, Goddard is one of those PERSONALITY critics that
doesn't come around too often. Even when I disagree with him, I am MOVED
to disagree in a way I am with say JANET ADELMAN or RENE GIRARD in a
more contemporary scene. I do think at times he gets a little too much
on a certain high horse and does not value wit or comedy enough, but
then we're all mortal. And for a book written in a very different era,
it ages better than many (though it is definitely of its time in its
liberal humanism and anti-ww2 sentiments....) Chris s.
 

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