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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: January ::
Re: Postmodernism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0085  Wednesday, 28 January 1998.

[1]     From:   John Drakakis <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Jan 1998 15:52:36 -0000
        Subj:   RE: SHK 9.0079  Re: Postmodernism

[2]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Jan 1998 13:29:59 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0079  Re: Postmodernism

[3]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jan 1998 04:41:56 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Postmodernism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Jan 1998 15:52:36 -0000
Subject: 9.0079  Re: Postmodernism
Comment:        RE: SHK 9.0079  Re: Postmodernism

OK The Cincinatti Kid's got me dead to rights!

Since Lakoff and Johnson are now considered the "norm" so to speak, from
this time forth I never will SHAKSPER word (until I've read some of
their work). Meantime, as the Kid should know: he that's giddy thinks
the world turns round.  Or as Beckett puts it: don't blame on your boots
the faults of your feet.

I tried the zinfandel, Bill, it doesn't work for me, so it's back to the
diet coke- that's the stuff you snort through the nose, right?

I can still tell a hawk from a buzz-saw though, and I wonder if it might
be possible to avoid re-inventing the wheel every time the issue of
representation comes up.

The rest is silence.

John Drakakis

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Jan 1998 13:29:59 -0500
Subject: 9.0079  Re: Postmodernism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0079  Re: Postmodernism

>If language does not mean a thing,
>if words are not important, if, on the other hand, there is not a world
>outside the text, why on earth are we engaging in debates, why on earth
>do we teach (Shakespeare among other things)?

Of course, I think words are important, and I certainly believe that
there is a world outside the text. That, in fact, is my very point. The
word "this" without a referent means nothing to me.  "This" gains
meaning when you and I can point to something and say to each other,
"Look at this!"

My point about Hawkes's use of metaphor is that it seems to preclude
human agency; there's no one around to say, "Look at this." He seems to
suggest that words are some how hypostatized and can act or fester on
their own. I assume, correctly, I hope, that Hawkes does not believe
that words are active on their own, that they don't hop out of books at
night and play on the library floors.

Hawkes and Evett imply that we ALL have the same feelings about the same
words. I do not share that belief, and my take on the meaning of a word,
d.v., will not be theirs.

When I don't understand a word, I look it up in a dictionary. If a word
inherently carried its own denotations and connotations, why would I
need to look it up?

Will no one say "Amen"?

Yours, Bill Godshalk

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jan 1998 04:41:56 -0500
Subject:        Re: Postmodernism

Dear Bill Godshalk: You say 'I'm arguing for human agency in the use of
language.  We humans use language as a tool, a rather unique tool, but a
tool.' Admirable. But how does this differ from 'Words don't mean. WE
mean BY words'? Can 'Shakespeare doesn't mean, we mean by Shakespeare'
be far behind?  Beware. Probation looms.

T. Hawkes
 

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