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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: April ::
Assorted Remarks
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0395  Monday, 27 April 1998.

[1]     From:   Ben Schneider <
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        Date:   Thursday, 23 Apr 1998 11:36:26 +0000
        Subj:   Jessica and Seneca

[2]     From:   Mike Sirofchuck <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 22 Apr 1998 16:53:45 -0900
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0383  In Tribute to Maragaret Demorest

[3]     From:   H. R. Greenberg <
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        Date:   Friday, 24 Apr 1998 09:16:35 EDT
        Subj:   MOTs  was Re: SHK 9.0386  LION: "tribes"

[4]     From:   Cynthia Dessen <
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        Date:   Thursday, 23 Apr 1998 15:08:21 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   ACTER open week

[5]     From:   Tanya Gough <
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        Date:   Friday, 24 Apr 1998 13:31:33 -0400
        Subj:   BBC Petition revisited

[6]     From:   Steve Urkowitz <
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        Date:   Sunday, 26 Apr 1998 23:12:43 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0381  Re: Ye Merrie Materialities


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ben Schneider <
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Date:           Thursday, 23 Apr 1998 11:36:26 +0000
Subject:        Jessica and Seneca

Dear SHAKSPEReans,

Off list Larry Weiss has wondered why I bridled at his joking about my
equating monkeys and lawyers.

I'm a bit sensitive because I continually post challenging messages but
nobody seems to take them seriously.  Am I some kind of a nut, or what?

Actually I have been collecting evidence that Shakespeare was a Stoic
for the last 15 years.  So I am a nut with a lot of facts.  Sidney and
Spenser were Stoics, and so were Dryden, Swift, and Pope.  If the
culture was Stoic before and after, why not in between?  When you
consider that the major Stoic works were extremely popular and available
to Shakespeare in English translations, would it be surprising if
someone found Stoic fingerprints all over his plays?  That's what I'm on
about, in case you are wondering.

In my opinion Jessica's and Bassanio's behavior is Stoic as in Seneca's
De Beneficiis, translated 1578. If you don't agree please argue with me.
I joined the list to test my ideas in the crucible of the forum.  But
for some time now the silence has been deafening.

Yours truly,
BEN SCHNEIDER

In case you've forgotten what I said, it was this:

'Bassiano's giving away Portia's ring to pay back "the lawyer" is an
analog of Jessica's giving away Leah's ring to buy a monkey.  The
episodes have more in common than is at first evident. When Shylock took
Leah's ring from his finger and put it in his strong box it immediately
lost any sentimental patina it might have had and became cash.  When
Jessica spends at a rate of fourscore ducats per sitting, as if there
were no tomorrow, she commits an act of magnificence. It is Shylock who
takes thought for the morrow; he has no interest in today.  Likewise,
Bassanio flouts the sentimental significance of Portia's ring when he
takes it off his finger and gives it to "the lawyer." He does it for his
friend Antonio, who was ready to die for him, because Antonio is deeply
indebted to "the lawyer" for having saved his life.  Here we have an act
of magnificence parallelling Jessica's, but on a heroic level, because
the ring is the most valuable thing Bassanio owns, he having given an
oath to protect it with his life.  This way it becomes much more than
cash, because it magnificently requites a friend, and the lawyer to whom
the friend is very much obliged.'

B. R. Schneider, Jr
English/Emeritus
Lawrence University
Appleton, WI 54912

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Sirofchuck <
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Date:           Wednesday, 22 Apr 1998 16:53:45 -0900
Subject: 9.0383  In Tribute to Maragaret Demorest
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0383  In Tribute to Maragaret Demorest

Maragaret Demorest was kind enough to send me a complimentary copy of
her book on the Sonnets for my students' use and research; I also had
the pleasure of corresponding with her electronically.  I am not enough
of a scholar to judge her scholarship, but she helped me understand more
about the Sonnets and it was very clear that she had a deep and abiding
love for them.  May she rest in peace.

Mike Sirofchuck
Kodiak High School

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           H. R. Greenberg <
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Date:           Friday, 24 Apr 1998 09:16:35 EDT
Subject: Re: SHK 9.0386  LION: "tribes"
Comment:        MOTs  was Re: SHK 9.0386  LION: "tribes"

For what this is worth, my generation of Jews used to refer to
themselves regularly and humorously as MOTs  (members of the tribe). (I
am 62)

I have not heard this expression in America currently, and when I have
occasionally used it with younger folk, they are mystified.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Cynthia Dessen <
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Date:           Thursday, 23 Apr 1998 15:08:21 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        ACTER open week

ACTER would like to find two schools in the West or in California who
could share a residency of the S98 Merchant of Venice during the period
March 22-April 1 for a substantial discount(or one school for the whole
period).Contact me ASAP if you are interested.

Cynthia Dessen, General Manager, ACTER

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919-967-4265 (phone/fax)
ACTER website: http://www.unc.edu/depts/acter/
Mail to: 1100 Willow Drive, Chapel Hill NC 27514

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tanya Gough <
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Date:           Friday, 24 Apr 1998 13:31:33 -0400
Subject:        BBC Petition revisited

Apologies for not posting sooner with information about my last trip to
meet with the BBC.  we're gearing up for the Stratford Festival season,
which starts in 2 weeks, and I've been updating my website, too.

Bottom line is that things do not look good.  The Beeb is still very
interested in releasing their Shakespeare titles to home video, but
opposition still remains in the Hollywood/distribution camp.  Basically,
the BBC sent them a list of titles and primary players, to which Fox
replied, "John Cleese?  Not bad.  Patrick Stewart?  Good.  Derek
Jacobi?  Who?"  So you can see what we are up against.  So it looks like
it's back to the old drawing board for me.  I'll be re-sending all the
e-mails I have received to the head of Fox's video department in charge
of the BBC titles.  If anyone out there has any ideas on how to make
this more palatable (read: financially enticing) for Fox, please let me
know.

I'll keep you posted as always.

Tanya

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Urkowitz <
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Date:           Sunday, 26 Apr 1998 23:12:43 EDT
Subject: 9.0381  Re: Ye Merrie Materialities
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0381  Re: Ye Merrie Materialities

On the fluidities of material texts and how we know them:

Wouldn't want to leave any impression of there being  some "good"
serious texts and "unspeakably other" pop-corny hack-worked frivolous
jokey texts. For the smoke-and-mirrors thinking that led to such
dichotomies, see Laurie Maguire. SHAKESPEAREAN SUSPECT TEXTS: THE BAD
QUARTOS AND THEIR CONTEXTS (1996).  For the who and when and why and how
of FAUSTUS versions, see Eric Rasmussen, A TEXTUAL COMPANION TO DOCTOR
FAUSTUS , The Revels Plays Companion Series (1993)   and his essay and
others in John Cox and David Kastan, A NEW HISTORY OF EARLY ENGLISH
DRAMA (1997).  If you haven't been watching the eruptions, biological
evolutions and continental drifting of textual studies recently, you'll
be surprised about the new shape of that formerly dismal island.

My own essay that chews through textual differences in WIVES  (and R&J)
is subtitled, "An Invitation to the Pleasures of Textual/Sexual
Di(Per)versity." In R.B.Parker and S.P.Zitner, eds., ELIZABETHAN
THEATER: ESSAYS IN HONOR OF S.SCHOENBAUM (1996?).  (See also Meredith
Skura's essay in the same volume.)

(About hack-work comic passages:  WIVES particularly has radically
different kinds of jokes in Q and F.  Don Foster's analysis of rare-word
vocabulary suggests that WIVES Quarto is anomalous in the canon.  It
seems to be a script mostly written by someone else and then essentially
pirated by Shakespeare, "tarted up" by him somewhat into the form we see
in in Q, and then later revised into F. )

Ever,
Steve Ur-Quartowitz
 

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