The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2063 Tuesday, 23 November 1999.
From: Terence Hawkes <
Date: Monday, 22 Nov 1999 13:18:16 -0500
Subject: Re: Age of Awareness
Comment: SHK 10.2046 Re: Age of Awareness
Reg Grouse writes,
'the seductive beauty of his verse . . . that musical, abstract quality
which needs no intellectual but only an emotional response'
It's precisely the distinction you presuppose between an 'intellectual'
and an 'emotional response' that strikes me as dangerous as well as
mistaken. Language is not music. It has a vital discursive dimension in
which the intellect is intricately and irrevocably involved. 'Sound
patterns' may aid and abet that dimension, but they can scarcely be
separated from or substituted for it. Nor are they in themselves
admirable. They occur randomly in the telephone directory as readily as
in the works of the Bard. Something which is 'only an emotional
response' to language is not an adequate response at all, and we have no
business encouraging it in children. Pop songs will do that for us. I