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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: October ::
Re: Othello and O.J. with Editor's Note
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0963  Thursday, 8 October 1998.

[1]     From:   Hugh H. Davis <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 7 Oct 1998 15:35:48 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0953 Q: Othello and O.J.

[2]     From:   David Kathman <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 07 Oct 1998 16:10:43 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0953  Q: Othello and O.J.


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hugh H. Davis <
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Date:           Wednesday, 7 Oct 1998 15:35:48 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.0953 Q: Othello and O.J.
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0953 Q: Othello and O.J.

Don Ulin asked about OJ and Othello.  I don't have the Time article, but
I do recall that the first I heard this comparison was the weekend of
the double murder, and it was made by cultural paragon Pat Robertson.  I
caught his editorial on the 700 Club, and even before charges were filed
against Simpson, he was declaring that Shakespeare had foreseen this
tragedy.  On a similar note, over a year later, I remember a monologue
at the Emmys about the "truth in fiction," which used Shakespeare for OJ
as well.  Perhaps another list member can help me recall, but I think a
(former) journalist did this, maybe John Newman?

Good luck,
Hugh Davis

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Kathman <
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Date:           Wednesday, 07 Oct 1998 16:10:43 -0500
Subject: 9.0953  Q: Othello and O.J.
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0953  Q: Othello and O.J.

Don Ulin wrote:

>My apologies if this has been discussed into the ground, but I was just
>told that Time Magazine did some kind of a comparison of O.J. Simpson
>and Othello back when O.J. was the hot topic.  I had just been trying
>with only limited success to get my students to understand the problems
>of presenting Othello to a contemporary American audience steeped in the
>myth of the black threat to white womanhood.  The American response to
>O.J. was my example, but they said that wasn't about race.
>(Courageously, if not surprisingly, my one black student differed.)
>
>Anyway, I thought perhaps someone noticed and clipped that item when it
>came out.  I'd love to get a citation to keep in the
>pop-culture/Shakespeare file.

Actually, we had quite an extensive discussion of the O.J./Othello issue
here on SHAKSPER back in 1994 in the weeks after the murders.  It got
somewhat heated, as I recall (having been one of the participants), and
you might find it interesting.  I know all that stuff is archived, but I
couldn't tell you off the top of my head how to retrieve it.  (Hardy?)

Dave Kathman

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[Editor's Note:

To find anything in the SHAKSPER archives, use the SEARCH FUNCTION. For
instructions, send the command "GET SEARCH FUNCTION" to

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 .

The basic method for searching the archives is to send to

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  the following command (filling in the KEYWORD
you wish without the square brackets):

Search SHAKSPER [Keyword]

You can also search using the BOOLEAN operators AND, OR, NOT, or you can
limit your search by DATES.

SEARCH SHAKSPER O.J. AND OTHELLO generates 14 "hits", while SEARCH
SHAKSPER O.J. turns up 18 matches. To help you to decide what items to
request, listserv generates a "hit list" followed by a KeyWordInContext
listings of the matches. To order any of these postings, send the
command "GETPOST SHAKSPER [item number/s]" to

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 .

Here are the "hits" from "search shaksper o.j." without the KWIC
listings (NOTE: keywords are not case sensitive):

Item #   Date   Time  Recs   Subject
------   ----   ----  ----   -------
002411 94/06/20 11:46   72   SHK 5.0544 Re: Similarities
002420 94/06/21 11:20  134   SHK 5.0552 Re: Similarities
002422 94/06/22 14:15   49   SHK 5.0557 Re: Similarities
002427 94/06/22 14:01  125   SHK 5.0556 Re: Suicides
002429 94/06/23 12:10  109   SHK 5.0562 Re: Similarities
002433 94/06/24 14:50  108   SHK 5.0567 Re: Similarities
002438 94/06/25 13:41   80   SHK 5.0571 Re: Similarities
002443 94/06/27 10:08  165   SHK 5.0575 Re: Groups; Similarities;
Stratford; Deaths
002447 94/06/28 13:42  174   SHK 5.0579 Re: Similarities (Life and Art)
002458 94/07/03 10:49  112   SHK 5.0590 Re: Art and Life, Character,
Similarities
002461 94/07/05 12:17  136   SHK 5.0592 Re: Life and Art, Character, and
Similarities
002784 94/11/11 10:38   48   SHK 5.0913 Q: *Hamlet*: Stage History
002827 94/11/27 15:02   94   SHK 5.0958 Qs: *Ham*: Stage History/Dumb
Show; Icarus
003565 95/09/04 08:21   97   SHK 6.0663 Re: Teaching Shakespeare to
Undergraduates
004824 97/01/15 10:19  121   SHK 8.0061 Re: Mousetrap; Daughters;
Richard 3; Astronomy
005462 97/06/20 10:52   47   SHK 8.0692 Re: O.J. and Othello
005952 97/11/20 08:51  186   SHK 8.1181 Drama Scholar Helps Police
006993 98/10/07 15:09   33   SHK 9.0953 Q: Othello and O.J.

To order a copy of these postings, send the following command:

GETPOST SHAKSPER 2411 2420 2422 2427 2429 2433 2438 2443 2447 2458 2461
2784 2827 3565 4824 5462 5952 6993

There may, in fact, be other postings related to this thread. To locate
them, you might use the command "SEARCH SHAKSPER OJ from 94/06/20 to
94/08/01" (WARNING: this command will generate a list of all occurrences
of the letters "o" and "j" next to each other between June 6, 1994, and
August 1, 1994.). Another strategy would be to order files from the list
above and look in the "Re:" line to see if a postings is a response to
another that did not appear on the list.

[Excuse me if I got carried away here, but I do teach two courses in
"Research Methods and Humanities Computing" in our graduate program.]

Hardy]
 

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