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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: March ::
Re: SHAKSPER Description
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0282  Monday, 30 March 1998.

[1]     From:   Harry Hill <
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        Date:   Saturday, 28 Mar 1998 11:18:17 +0000 (HELP)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0270 Re: SHAKSPER Description

[2]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Saturday, 28 Mar 1998 18:40:11 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Re: SHAKSPER Description

[3]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Saturday, 28 Mar 1998 13:52:08 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 9.0270  Re: SHAKSPER Description


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <
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Date:           Saturday, 28 Mar 1998 11:18:17 +0000 (HELP)
Subject: 9.0270 Re: SHAKSPER Description
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0270 Re: SHAKSPER Description

Amateurs? Professionals? Scholars? Students? Some of us are all of
these, and some of us are dogs obeyed in office; some get the ironies in
which some others indulge, some are without the necessary wit or humour.
We seem [to me] to comprise, on SHAKSPER, what can with some accuracy be
described as a catholic community.

As I approach my last year of university teaching, having been granted
"early retirement" in order to return to the theatre and the studio
full-time, I feel like making a remark or two about the categories I
list at the beginning of this note.

I remain firmly of the opinion that each of the performances I have the
honour and opportunity to give, in the work of Shakespeare or any other
dramatist of excellence or repute, is at least the "scholarly"
equivalent in research, expertise and attention to clarity of form and
argument of a long article in a refereed academic journal. The enactment
of an interpretation, nightly before a critical public, is a
`dissemination of knowledge' tangible, audible and assimilable. The
disdain for the theatre felt for many years by sections of the academy
is of course founded in envy and fear, and in the need to promulgate the
joys of the study and fireside lipservice to real and imagined social
concerns in an attempt to justify a life of thought rather than
sensation which calls for no justification beyond itself if experienced
honestly and fully.

Often the `professional' is the true amateur in both main senses of that
unfortunate word.

As anyone can see, reading this, my thoughts on the matter are
themselves in need of research and rehearsal. I felt nonetheless a spur
of the moment thrust deep into my side and put fingertip to keyboard on
this Montreal Spring Saturday.

Harry Hill

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Saturday, 28 Mar 1998 18:40:11 +0000 (GMT)
Subject:        Re: SHAKSPER Description

The 'value of SHAKSPER' discussion seems destined to remain on
SHAKSPER.  We could get a thread going on ArdenNet, and to this end I
have replied on ArdenNet to Tad Davies's posting on ArdenNet about my
comments concerning SHAKSPER.

Unsurprisingly, the consensus on SHAKSPER is 'we are not trivial'. My
remit for ArdenNet was to consider the usefulness for research purposes
of a range of Internet-based resources.  I concluded that no
Internet-based resource was yet worth the cost of the computer needed to
access it.

Hardy Cook's 1996 paper for the Shakespeare Association of America
meeting recorded that several respondents to his questionnaire about
SHAKSPER mentioned that their research was aided by their membership of
the list.  I was one of those respondents, and since then I have once
more found SHAKSPER to be of research value. But twice in five years is
not a great hit ratio. In my ArdenNet piece I recorded my experience:
anybody doing Shakespeare research is not cutting themselves off from an
important resource if they forego SHAKSPER.

I'd be delighted to discuss the reasons why nobody likes to be called an
amateur Shakespearian even though might cheerfully admit to amateurism
concerning, say, physics. The vehemence of some responses to my comments
are highly illuminating about the deep-seated feeling people have about
academia and about populist Shakespeare.

I have never singled out a particular SHAKSPER thread for criticism
because I would consider this rude. Criticism of my ArdenNet piece which
cites also the perceived irrelevance of the 'postmodernism' thread
doesn't make me feel like I'm in a community of liberals.

Gabriel Egan

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Saturday, 28 Mar 1998 13:52:08 -0500
Subject: Re: SHAKSPER Description
Comment:        SHK 9.0270  Re: SHAKSPER Description

Gabriel Egan must speak for himself. But it's wholly unfair to use his
views on SHAKSPER as a stick with which to beat postmodernism.

T. Hawkes
 

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