Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: January ::
The Annual Meta-Discussion
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0016.  Saturday, 4 January 1997.

(1)     From:   Mike Field <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 3 Jan 1997 17:46:29 -0500
        Subj:   on-list discussion

(2)     From:   Steve Urkowitz <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 03 Jan 97 21:56:29 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 30 Dec 1996 to 2 Jan 1997

(3)     From:   Steve Neville <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Saturday, 4 Jan 1997 08:48:22 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Gabriel Egan


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Field <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 3 Jan 1997 17:46:29 -0500
Subject:        on-list discussion

I would like to suggest to Gabriel Egan and others frustrated by the level of
discourse that perhaps the LISTSERVE medium is simply inappropriate for the
model he desires. Rather than a journal-like discussion among peers, I think
SHAKSPER is (and ought to be) a sort of giant classroom, team-taught by an
amphorous pool of specialists.

Hardy points out that the SHAKSPER membership is over 1,200. If the means of
easy statistical analysis were available, it would be interesting to see who's
talking and who's listening. My guess is that it pretty much follows a typical
class: the majority never talk; of those who do, a substantial number talk only
once or twice per year; of those who talk regularly (i.e. more than twice a
year) the majority are the accredited professionals Gabriel Egan seeks, plus
some outstanding students with less formal knowledge but ready intellect and
keen insight. Like any class, there are some who have to have their say, even
if we wish they didn't. And like any class, a lot of what's said is of little
lasting value. I suspect a real-life transcript of Socrates' classroom had a
lot more klunkers than Plato let on.

Like any classroom, if the people who are doing the talking bore you or have
nothing else to give, it's probably time to move on.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Urkowitz <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 03 Jan 97 21:56:29 EST
Subject:        Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 30 Dec 1996 to 2 Jan 1997

"Shut up," he reasoned.

Gabriel Egan suggests that amateurs disqualify themselves for our conversations
'cause they aren't up to speed.  Well, lots of communities function that way,
always have.  Some of us may always have been slick, hip, _au courant_, and
some may have fought or studied to get there.  But as a dweller in the
margins, practically since the first moments I can remember, I'm here to cheer
for the amateurs, the newbies, and the naive.

When I came into the thorny world of the textual bibliographers, my naive
efforts were hooted at by the grumps.  "W.W.Greg solved this problem in 1922 or
1936 ."  But I kept talking, kept asking, and gained acceptance not from the
"authorities" in the field (who still assail my work as self-deluded
enthusiasm) but from the responsible amateurs, the non-bibliographers whose
interests and readings led them to follow into neighborhoods of common
experience.

Many authorities have been immensely generous.  G.Blakemore Evans for example
encouraged and supported my work.  David Bevington coaxed me along for years. I
owe much to them, and to the community.  Civil conversation with the
enthusiasts, with the naive, with even the untutored, pays back part of that
debt.

Hey, didn't that Stratford guy, what's-his-face, come into the playground
without an old-school-tie and with a crummy lunchbox?  (Psssst!  Let's not talk
to him.  He's not c-o-o-l.)

                       Ever,
                             Steve Uncoolowitz, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 

ps:  The great innovation of the Shakespeare Association of America annual
meetings has been the seminar system that allowed for the first time the
"unconnected" folk to enter into the conversation of the discipline. Lots of
sludge gets circulated, and a surprising amount of good stuff grows.  That
medium, as the e-mail extravagance as well, has enabled lots of folk to dance
into the light.  And if you want to not listen, don't.  Not a big deal.  But
don't sneer at our dancing; Tybalt turns the festive world sour for so little
gain.  Come.  Dance a little.

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Neville <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Saturday, 4 Jan 1997 08:48:22 -0500
Subject:        Re: Gabriel Egan

Gabriel Egan writes:

>I don't accept the argument that I can DELete messages I don't want, since I
>have to read them first.

The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and The Sunday Times are the three English
broadsheet newspapers which I read on a regular basis.

The Telegraph carries a weekly column by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. He recently
threatened to leave the country if the socialists win the next election. This
may send me to the polling booth for the first time in over twenty years.

The Guardian used to feature a column by David Mellor MP, whose rather sleazy
lifestyle was exposed a few years ago. It now has a column written by Alexander
Chancellor, whose views I also cannot abide.

The Sunday Times carries a restaurant review column by Michael Winner, a film
director who thinks that the best  restaurants are those that accept his rather
boorish behaviour, and woe betide any that fail to do so.

The first  point that I am seeking to make here is a relatively simple one. By
Mr. Egan's argument, I should simply stop reading these newspapers, if I find
so much to object to. Why don't I ? Because there is so much more in these
papers that I either like, or is of some use to me. My solution is that I
simply do not read those writers who I find so annoying.

The second point is that there are, though I find it difficult to believe,
people who actually like, and agree with,  the above mentioned writers. The
newspaper is not written simply for my benefit.

Finally, why did Mr Egan not simply write in and challenge what Porter Jamison
stated?  I am an undergraduate student whose knowledge of Shakespeare is
limited. I do not know which of the two are correct. If there is no debate, how
am I to find out? I recently had an assertation of mine challenged on another
list. I was shown to be wrong. I was quite happy about that, I learnt something
from it.

Mr. Egan, I hope you stay and contribute. But I hope you would show tolerance
to those not as advanced as yourself.

Steve Neville

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.