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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: June ::
Re: Various Hamlet Postings
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0924  Tuesday, 1 June 1999.

[1]     From:   Carol Barton <
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        Date:   Monday, 31 May 1999 12:18:17 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0919 Various Hamlet Postings

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Monday, 31 May 1999 21:43:59 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0919 Various Hamlet Postings


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carol Barton <
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Date:           Monday, 31 May 1999 12:18:17 EDT
Subject: 10.0919 Various Hamlet Postings
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0919 Various Hamlet Postings

>>I wonder if anyone has any information about the period when the
>>tradition of using red and black ink to signify debits and credits
>>respectively arose.
>
>Were black and red ink used to distinguish between debits and credits?
>I thought it was positive and negative numbers, which is not the same
>thing.

To that much, Larry, I can say yes, on no authority but custom-this is
the basis for the tradition which still survives that one does not pen
correspondence in red ink (it's considered an insult), and where we get
the expression "being in the red" (owing more to one's creditors than
one has to his or her credit).

Best,
Carol Barton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Monday, 31 May 1999 21:43:59 +0000
Subject: 10.0919 Various Hamlet Postings
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0919 Various Hamlet Postings

Lucia writes:

>Really this is the crux. Because historical and philosophical world (the
>world of deeds and thoughts in their complex relations, and also of
>ethics, which seems to me to be a sort of 'genius loci')is crossed by
>the claim of the other in a most scandalous way, I think. In this sense,
>the Crux is a most pregnant symbol, which causes our reason some keen
>trouble.

It also caused Luther some difficulty, incidentally.  According to
Alister McGrath, it was the central question of his career.

I suppose that whether the other "crosses" (to continue your metaphor)
the philosophical, or the ethical, depends on what sort of philosophical
or ethical we're thinking about.  The question is whether our ethics
begins with recognizing the alterity of the other, as a command, or
whether it serves to efface the alterity of the other.  Similarly, a
philosophy can, at least theoretically, begin with a recognition of the
claim of the other.

>[Claudius] knows just that God is incorruptible; but he seems to think
>that, if he  follows the right logic order of acts, he could enter into
>negotiations with God (as with a dreadful king).  Also when he mentions
>babe's attitude, probably he is thinking of a formal act of subjection
>(like a feudal homage).

The issue is whether this subjection is half of an exchange, quid pro
quo, or an absolute surrender, a loss of the privileged position of the
self over and against the Other.  Both of us, of course, think it's an
effort at exchange.  Claudius is trying to draw God into negotiation.
On the other hand, a real surrender could look very similar.

On the same thread, Larry Weiss ponders:

>Were black and red ink used to distinguish between debits and credits?
>I thought it was positive and negative numbers, which is not the same
>thing.

I wonder if a better metaphor might be the difference between rubrics
and the rest of the text in the Book of Common Prayer.

Cheers,
Se

 

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