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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: August ::
Re: Discussion of Adult Spin-offs
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0750  Tuesday, 11 August 1998.

[1]     From:   Ethan Wells <
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        Date:   Monday, 10 Aug 1998 12:47:14 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: Porn

[2]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Monday, 10 Aug 1998 13:38:14 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0748  Re: Porn

[3]     From:   Markus Marti <
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        Date:   Monday, 10 Aug 1998 21:06:33 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0748  Re: Porn

[4]     From:   Ed Peschko <epeschko@den-mdev1>
        Date:   Monday, 10 Aug 1998 17:50:48 -0600 (MDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0748  Re: Porn


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ethan Wells <
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Date:           Monday, 10 Aug 1998 12:47:14 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Re: Porn

Paul Rhodes writes:

>Of course, Sade refers to the notorious Marquis.  I decided to use the
>name in my addy after I was in a production of Marat/Sade, one of the
>great dramas of this century and hardly pornography.  I would like to
>add that Sade's writings include more than simply porn.  And even his
>pornographic writings are not simply porn.  They show the philosophic
>implications of porn, which is La Mettre's mechanistic materialism,
>which is a dead end.

One of the points I tried to hint at in my last posting is that one
man's porn might be another man's philosophy.  It is not at all clear
where to draw the line.  Is Sade a great writer?  I reserve judgement.
But if he is, what is it that separates his works from the most brutal
pornography that now exists?  What makes his works "not simply porn?"
The passage I cited in my earlier posting ends with a woman being
brutally raped in both orifices, which are then sewed shut by her
fifteen-year-old daughter.  Quite true that this is not "simply" porn.
It goes well beyond "simply" porn.  The question, then, is whether
through this "going beyond," Sade's writings approach the
philosophical.  Does the philosophical merit of Sade's works consist in
extremism?  That is, does his philosophy come to light by shining
against the darkest foil imaginable?  If so, how can we summarily
dismiss pornographic films that too provide the blackest of foils?

And yet, we must be careful not to confuse our devils with our gods.  Is
this what we are doing when we discover philosophy hidden within the
darkest pornography?  Is this what we are doing when we elevate Sade to
such heights that he shares company with Shakespeare?  This too is a
question we must ask.

I fear, however, that I am guilty of straying from the avowed subject of
this listserv.  I will stray no further.  But if anyone is interested in
continuing this discussion off-list, please feel free to contact me.

Ethan Wells

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Monday, 10 Aug 1998 13:38:14 -0400
Subject: 9.0748  Re: Porn
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0748  Re: Porn

Paul S. Rhodes wrote:

> Romeo and Juliet is a play about Romantic (I do not use this adjective
> in the 19th Century's distortion of the word) Love.  Romantic Love has
> both physical and spiritual
> components, and both must be understood inseparably if this Love is to
> be understood.

I agree, for the most part.  But in my view of the play, it is the
physical aspects of the relationship-the characters' impatient lust for
each other-that overwhelms all else and brings about their downfall.
Lust may be said to be their tragic flaw, as ambition is Macbeth's,
vanity is Brutus's, etc.  While it is a perversion of the play to
portray R & J as perpetually concupiscent, that may be a better reading
than showing them as mooning over each other because of their need for
companionship.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Markus Marti <
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Date:           Monday, 10 Aug 1998 21:06:33 +0000
Subject: 9.0748  Re: Porn
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0748  Re: Porn

I there anything more interesting than "porn"?

Some like it xxx, some like it yyy, some zzz.

Those who "like" it aaa do not know that they like it, but they do.

Markus Marti

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Peschko <epeschko@den-mdev1>
Date:           Monday, 10 Aug 1998 17:50:48 -0600 (MDT)
Subject: 9.0748  Re: Porn
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0748  Re: Porn

> A few points:  I did not presume to speak for the entire list when I
> urged Mr. Cook to exercise better discretion.
>
> Pornographic films cannot add to our appreciation of Shakespeare.  It
> can only pervert it.  For example, Romeo and Juliet is a play about
> Romantic (I do not use this adjective in the 19th Century's distortion
> of the word) Love.  Romantic Love has both physical and spiritual
> components, and both must be understood inseparably if this Love is to
> be understood.  Porn treats only of the physical component of amorous
> desire and, therefore, has nothing to tell us about what Romeo & Juliet
> shared.  Now, I suppose one could argue that porn could supply us with a
> contrast to Romantic Love and, thus, make us understand the latter
> better by putting it in high relief.  Yes, but I think the Nurse and
> Mercutio's bawdry do this adequately enough to render porn redundant in
> this regard.  Of course, some may need visual aids, but I would think
> that these do not read Shakespeare at all.

Well, I don't know about you, but I sorta want to see 'Tromeo and
Juliet', just to see Juliet turn into a mutated uber-beast at the end...

Ed

'Two households, different as dried plums and pears;
In fair Manhattan where we lay our scene."
 

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