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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: January ::
Re: Postmodernism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0074  Saturday, 24 January 1998.

[1]     From:   Norm Holland <
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        Date:   Friday, 23 Jan 98 14:42:54 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0072  Re: Postmodernism

[2]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Friday, 23 Jan 1998 15:11:27 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0072  Re: Postmodernism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Norm Holland <
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Date:           Friday, 23 Jan 98 14:42:54 EST
Subject: 9.0072  Re: Postmodernism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0072  Re: Postmodernism

If only Terence Hawkes were truly postmodern!  Notice his phrasing:
"representation . . . carries a powerful political and moral charge." He
is still stuck in the text-active model so favored by the New Critics
and structuralists.  Or, to put it another way, he doesn't realize he is
using the container metaphor for language that has been tellingly
analyzed (deconstructed?) by Lakoff and the other cognitive linguists.
A truly postmodern phrasing, Terry, would be: "today's audience reads
these representations as . . . "And that would open up the empirical
question, Do people actually read them as you say they do?  Surely not
me or thee nor many another in the SHAKSPER list.

--Best, Norm Holland

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Friday, 23 Jan 1998 15:11:27 -0500
Subject: 9.0072  Re: Postmodernism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0072  Re: Postmodernism

The old book review mentioned by Terence Hawkes was printed last month,
and, like Pandare, I hop ever behind. But in his detailed response to
Robin, Terence writes: "Similar issues obviously fester away inside the
other names so casually strung together, such as 'The Gulf War, 'Serbia'
and 'Rwanda'." And, well, no, it is quite obvious to me that "issues"
are not "obviously" festering away inside names. Actually, I've never
seen an issue fester, and I certainly have never seen an issue fester
inside a name.  But probably that's because I've never been able to see
inside a name.

Seriously, this kind of metaphor obscures rather than reveals. It's a
rhetorical tactic, not an attempt at genuine analysis. Are tragedies
really reaching out toward their own conclusions?  Are issues festering
inside words? No, of course, not.

Yours, Bill Godshalk
 

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