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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: March ::
Re: SHAKSPER Description
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0270  Saturday, 28 March 1998.

[1]     From:   Bill Cain <
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        Date:   Friday, 27 Mar 1998 09:15:56 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0267  Re: SHAKSPER Description

[2]     From:   Andrew Walker White <
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        Date:   Friday, 27 Mar 1998 12:34:21 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Elitism, revisited

[3]     From:   Paul S. Rhodes <
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        Date:   Friday, 27 Mar 1998 12:47:10 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0267  Re: SHAKSPER Description

[4]     From:   John Robinson <
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        Date:   Friday, 27 Mar 1998 16:01:22 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0261  Re: SHAKSPER Description


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Cain <
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Date:           Friday, 27 Mar 1998 09:15:56 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 9.0267  Re: SHAKSPER Description
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0267  Re: SHAKSPER Description

RE: the Arden dismissal of SHAKSPER

I, too, was surprised by the Arden dismissal of the SHAKSPER list. The
interest and quality of the postings seem to me quite high, from
academics and non-academics, and from professional and non-professional
Shakespeareans. This list manages to avoid the two problems that (in my
view at least) mar so many lists: 1) requests from students for very
basic help with papers, and 2) very general, hurried requests from
teachers (e. g., "Hi! I'm teaching MIDDLEMARCH tomorrow-anyone have any
suggestions?").

Bill Cain

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Walker White <
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Date:           Friday, 27 Mar 1998 12:34:21 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Elitism, revisited

As for Mr. Egan's remarks, which happily do not represent those of
Ardennet, I am trying to remember if this is the same Egan with whom I
shared barbs, over the issue of elitism in the theatre.  If I remember
correctly, he made a categorical statement to the effect that theatre
was an elitist enterprise; as an actor and director, I took exception to
this statement, which to me smacks of vulgar Marxism.

The irony of his remarks about SHAKSPER is even clearer to me, as I
begin to make acquaintance with postmodern criticism.  How a scholar who
works in modern critical method can adopt such an explicitly elitist
position is beyond me.  I thought the whole point of postmodernism was
to attack this sort of elitist posturing, and to examine the ways in
which ideologies past and present have done us a disservice.
Substituting a new elitism for the old one certainly doesn't advance
scholarship in a field devoted to a playwright whose work explicitly
rejected elitist modes of dramaturgy.

Andrew White
Arlington, VA

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul S. Rhodes <
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Date:           Friday, 27 Mar 1998 12:47:10 -0600
Subject: 9.0267  Re: SHAKSPER Description
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0267  Re: SHAKSPER Description

I would think that Gabriel Egan has been sufficiently shamed for his
arrogance and smugness.  I don't think anything I write will add to his
ignominy.  Let me, then, just state the obvious for it does need
re-stating if only to remind post-modern academics such as Mr. Egan that
a whole world exists beyond their theories:  Shakespeare wrote for
everyone.  This has been shown time and again by performances in almost
every single language and in almost every conceivable culture.  One
touch of Shakespeare and the whole world is kin  This glorious universal
vision, I suggest, is what make Shakespeare so thrilling fun.  But this
vision has almost been blocked out by those academics who would like to
keep the Bard locked up in the tower-ivory, that is.  These academics
would like to allow in the tower only those with the proper credentials
in their transcendence-denying theories.  But the academics should know
that the Bard has never been locked up in their tower.  The Bard they
think they have is nothing but a straw man stuffed with insubstantial
air and inconstant wind.  Mr . Egan, the academia and all its theories
will crumble and be forgotten, but people of every stripe and class and
culture will still discuss the inspired poetry of Shakespeare.  That's
what disturbs you more than anything else, isn't it?

Paul S. Rhodes

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Robinson <
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Date:           Friday, 27 Mar 1998 16:01:22 EST
Subject: 9.0261  Re: SHAKSPER Description
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0261  Re: SHAKSPER Description

>Do other SHAKSPERians feel that the list should be reserved for
>"scholars" and the rest of us should at best be allowed to lurk on the
>sidelines observing the debate?  Or do we actually have something to say
>that can stimulate discussion even from those lofty "scholars" Ardenites
>seem to find the only worthy participants?

I quite agree. Enlightenment can come at the most unexpected times and
places. Someone, for example, might make a comment on this list that
another person may think is foolish-then again, in rebutting that
foolish comment or question you might start thinking about the subject
in a way that may never have occurred to you otherwise.

Don't forget... the lion lives on digested sheep.

John Robinson
 

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