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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: November ::
Re: Clocks; Maps; Presentism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1173  Thursday, 19 November 1998.

[1]     From:   Peter Hyland <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Nov 1998 11:14:55 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1166  Re: Presentism and Maps

[2]     From:   Ray Lischner <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Nov 1998 16:36:19 GMT
        Subj:   Re: Maps

[3]     From:   Dale Lyles <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Nov 1998 12:51:44 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1141  Re: Maps

[4]     From:   Anatole Fourmantchouk <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Nov 1998 13:48:51 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1166  Re: Presentism and Maps

[5]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Nov 1998 16:17:21 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1166  Re: Presentism and Maps

[6]     From:   David Lindley <
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        Date:   Thu, 19 Nov 1998 09:11:59 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1166 Re: Presentism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Hyland <
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Date:           Wednesday, 18 Nov 1998 11:14:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 9.1166  Re: Presentism and Maps
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1166  Re: Presentism and Maps

Robin Hamilton, who worries about the anachronistic clock in JULIUS
CAESAR, will perhaps be interested in a paper by Sigurd Burckhardt
published in THE CENTENNIAL REVIEW, 11. 2 (1967). Burckhardt presents a
very interesting argument about the meditation on time and time-telling
that follows if we assume that Shakespeare's striking clock was placed
there intentionally.

Peter Hyland

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ray Lischner <
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Date:           Wednesday, 18 Nov 1998 16:36:19 GMT
Subject:        Re: Maps

I've read with great interest the many replies to my request for maps. I
agree completely that true geography is not important for understanding
a specific play. On the other hand, the passion that many of you feel on
this point makes it clear that geography is important to understanding
Shakespeare. The best way to learn about Shakespeare's geographic
inaccuracies is to sit down with a play and a map and see for ourselves.

Ray Lischner, Oregon State University
(http://www.cs.orst.edu/~lischner/)

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dale Lyles <
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Date:           Wednesday, 18 Nov 1998 12:51:44 EST
Subject: 9.1141  Re: Maps
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1141  Re: Maps

Is it not possible that Shakespeare, even if he knew there were no
clocks in Rome, didn't care?  All these intents and purposes and
concerns for accuracy are ours, not his.  He just wrote plays for his
audiences.

Dale Lyles
Newnan Community Theatre Company

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Anatole Fourmantchouk <
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Date:           Wednesday, 18 Nov 1998 13:48:51 -0500
Subject: 9.1166  Re: Presentism and Maps
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1166  Re: Presentism and Maps

Time and space - two major features of the theatre performance. So' I
believe, we shouldn't separate written text from the 'text' of a
performance- combination of real and relative time and real space- a
delicate balance.

New York Art Theatre (I'm the Art. Dir.) has been creating a company
similar to that one  that Shakespeare was running. This is not a
recreation of any kind. We can rebuild The Globe, which is nice &
important, but only as a sort of museum, because we can't revive the
performances of the time. They were done for the audience of the time.
What we do can -  rebirth that way of performing - the inner structure
of theatre performance - the unique  theatre convention which resembles
Greek, Japanese, Slavic etc. theater. The rotation in the plays, the
signs and symbols in costumes and makeup, the two hours running time
(full text) - requires pretty special acting style and, I'm sorry,
skills. We need professionals  and another Queen Elisabeth.  New York
Art Theatre has a lot to share with you. If this is of any interest,
please, tell me what address shall we send messages regarding this
matter. We are craving to bring academic and theatre efforts together.

Respectfully.
Anatole Fourmantchouk

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Wednesday, 18 Nov 1998 16:17:21 -0500
Subject: 9.1166  Re: Presentism and Maps
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1166  Re: Presentism and Maps

T. Hawkes,  Presentist Pursuivant:

>I'm astonished to learn from Bill Godshalk that there are still
>historians -huddled together for warmth in Missouri it seems- who
>continue to believe that it's possible to obtain an undistorted view of
>the past. Poor souls.  Could we not arrange to drop them a few crates of
>E. H. Carr's 'What is History'?  It sounds as if they've eaten all their
>copies of Fowler's 'English Usage'.

I assumed from T. Hawkes's earlier use of "presentism" that he was agin
it. Now, I gather that he heralds it. Of course, we cannot divorce
ourselves from our historical moment, can we? But we can try not to
judge dead white guys using anachronistic values. For example, we do not
fault Shakespeare because he did not use twentieth century grammatical
constructions, or do we?

As to "different from" and "different than," may I refer T. Hawkes to
D.  Hacker, <italic>A Wrioter's Reference</italic> (2nd ed.), Glossary
of Usage, s.v. different from, different than?  We presentists no longer
refer to Fowler.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <
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Date:           Thu, 19 Nov 1998 09:11:59 GMT
Subject: 9.1166 Re: Presentism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1166 Re: Presentism

Haven't we been round this 'presentist' argument before (about a couple
of years ago, I seem to remember)?  To argue that we can never escape
our present as we look back at and reconstruct the past is, it seems to
me, a truism.  But, pace Terry Hawkes, I do not believe that we cannot
therefore escape from that present in any way.  I have to believe that
as I annote the edition I am working on, and I have to believe that by
intensive exposure to the traces of the past I can raise questions which
reveal, and therefore interrogate, the distance that separates me in the
present from the past that I study.  I argue to students that this,
indeed, is one of the main defences of the study of English as an
academic discipline - that their simple-minded 'presentism' ('is this
text "relevant" to me, and therefore worth my time') misses the
essential point that the past can challenge us in the present.

David Lindley
School of English
University of Leeds
 

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