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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: January ::
Re: Price Check; Postmodernism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0017  Monday, 5 January 1998.

[1]     From:   Stephen Orgel <
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        Date:   Saturday, 3 Jan 1998 20:01:28 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.005  Qs: Price Check

[2]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Sunday, 4 Jan 1998 14:33:15 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Postmodernism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen Orgel <
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Date:           Saturday, 3 Jan 1998 20:01:28 -0700
Subject: 9.005  Qs: Price Check;
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.005  Qs: Price Check;

Addendum to the folio price check: Quaritch's latest catalogue has 3
plays extracted from the first folio for sale: MM 6500 pounds, R3 4800,
Cor 5500.  Now if you could put together the whole volume that way, at,
say, an average of 5500 per play, it would come out costing you only
about 200,000 pounds...of course you wouldn't have a titlepage or
prelims, but it's a bargain.

cheers, s.o.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Sunday, 4 Jan 1998 14:33:15 +0000 (GMT)
Subject:        Postmodernism

Paul S Rhodes wrote

> I believe that Bach is objectively better than, say, Journey or
> Alice Cooper or the Spice Girls.  I believe that Shakespeare's
> writing is objectively better than say the writing of, say,
> Andrea Dworkin.

[snip]

> Because the post-modernist denies the very possibilities of
> transcendent verities, he is attempting to rob humanity of
> hope.  For quite simply the one who denies transcendence
> condemns, whether he knows it or not, humanity to the prison of
> time with no hope of liberation.

Atheists and heretics might be likewise accused of promulgating ideas
which threaten to rob humanity of hope of a future paradise.  Such hopes
are, of course, terribly debilitating to sufferers of oppression who are
more apt to find, in textual works at least, calls to action.

A hierarchy of art which places Shakespeare over Dworkin and Bach over
the Spice Girls is ripe for deconstruction.  An age-old bugbear of
cultural elitism is the seeming preference of the masses for dross, but
Rhodes's hierarchy is ambivalently structured.  His `objectively better'
art is doubly burdened with having to surpass comparable works (other
music, other poetry, other drama) and unalike works such as feminist
theory.  Might I further Rhodes's line of argument?  What need have we
of particle physics and quantum theory when we know that

Time is like a fashionable host,
That slightly shakes his parting guest by th' hand
And, with his arms outstretched as he would fly,
Grasps in the comer.

Albert Einstein?  I wouldn't give him house-room.

Gabriel Egan
 

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