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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: January ::
Re: Postmodernism; RSC at BAM
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0072  Friday, 23 January 1998.

[1]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Thursday, 22 Jan 1998 09:38:41 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Postmodernism

[2]     From:   Tanya Gough <
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        Date:   Friday, 23 Jan 1998 09:37:19 -0500
        Subj:   RSC in NYC


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Thursday, 22 Jan 1998 09:38:41 -0500
Subject:        Re: Postmodernism

The spectacle of Bill Godshalk rummaging through my old book reviews
offers more than a hint of desperation. Poor soul. Can the next
Cincinnatti Shakespeare Festival already be so barren of ideas?
Meanwhile, the silliness of  Robin Headlam-Wells's suggestion that I
might somehow deny the material reality of historical 'certainties' such
as the Holocaust, the Falklands, the Gulf War, Serbia, and Rwanda has a
perfection rarely matched outside the academy. How can he fail to see
that 'representation' of these appalling events-inseparable from their
occurrence-carries a powerful political and moral charge so potent that
it is irresponsible to ignore it?  In the circumstances, their
'textuality' takes on such vital importance that the very names we use
to refer to them turn out to be crucially significant. For instance, the
term 'the Holocaust'  has come, over the years, to embody an enormous
and heroic effort somehow historically to speak to, even to begin to
assess and gain some necessary purchase on, an otherwise overwhelming
modern horror. On the other hand, the words 'the Falklands' deal
thoughtlessly and glibly in the shabby terminology of empire. Similar
issues obviously fester away inside the other names so casually strung
together, such as 'The Gulf War, 'Serbia' and 'Rwanda'. Of course these
dreadful events happened. But how we represent them-latent in what we
call them-certainly reflects and often determines what we think and do
about them. I cannot see that postmodernism hinders analysis of this
kind one jot. In my view, it promotes and fosters it. It isn't that
human beings are 'incapable of communicating with each other', Robin.
Quite the reverse. They often communicate with each other all too well.

T. Hawkes
Jensen Probationary Fellow

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tanya Gough <
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Date:           Friday, 23 Jan 1998 09:37:19 -0500
Subject:        RSC in NYC

Just in case you missed it, BAM (the Brooklyn Academy of Music) now has
complete listings for the RSC performances in New York in May.  The url
is:

http://www.bam.org

To find the listings, click on "What's Now", then on "Theatre".

Incidentally, for those of you who asked about the NY Shakespeare
Society I mentioned previously, they have just completed their press
packs, mission statement and compiling a comprehensive list of their
academic and artistic advisors.  I should have a copy soon, and I'll
post an official announcement when I do.

Yours,
Tanya Gough
 

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