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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: April ::
Re: The Topic
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0686  Tuesday, 4 April 2000.

[1]     From:   John Lee <
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        Date:   Monday, 3 Apr 2000 14:13:30 +0100 (GMT Daylight Time)
        Subj:   SHK 11.0662 Re: The Topic

[2]     From:   Ed Taft <
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        Date:   Monday, 03 Apr 2000 09:25:42 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   The Topic, etc.

[3]     From:   L. Swilley <
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        Date:   Monday, 3 Apr 2000 10:42:39 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0662 Re: The Topic

[4]     From:   Tom Reedy <
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        Date:   Monday, 3 Apr 2000 13:00:17 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0662 Re: The Topic

[5]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Monday, 03 Apr 2000 11:15:01 -0700
        Subj:   SHK 11.0662 Re: The Topic

[6]     From:   Allan Blackman <
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        Date:   Monday, 3 Apr 2000 22:06:25 -0400
        Subj:   Reply to Egan


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Lee <
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Date:           Monday, 3 Apr 2000 14:13:30 +0100 (GMT Daylight Time)
Subject: Re: The Topic
Comment:        SHK 11.0662 Re: The Topic

> The liberal defence of free speech as an absolute (based on a false
> distinction between saying and doing) betrays a failure to grasp
> post-Saussurian linguistics' principle that language is not an innocent
> window on the world; it is itself performative.
>
> Gabriel Egan

Oh go on then, I'll take the bait and angelic teasing again, and ask why
on earth Saussure is quoted to prove (the principle) that language isn't
an innocent window (or even an evil window) but is instead performative.

John Lee

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Taft <
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Date:           Monday, 03 Apr 2000 09:25:42 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        The Topic, etc.

Judy, you write that it was common knowlegde that Romano's pornographic
drawings were the "subtext" of WT. I mean this question earnestly: What
does this subtext mean?

--Ed Taft

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           L. Swilley <
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Date:           Monday, 3 Apr 2000 10:42:39 -0500
Subject: 11.0662 Re: The Topic
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0662 Re: The Topic

Gabriel Egan wrote,

"I'd be surprised if SHAKSPERians defended a listmember's right to
assert that the Nazis didn't murder millions of Jews, communists,
gypsies, and others."

This listmember would certainly defend such a right, and view such a
ridiculous assertion with equal parts of amazed disbelief and heartfelt
pity for the insane poster who asserted such, that reaction being the
best and quickest way to destroy the "argument" ab ovum, since the
poster would have unhorsed himself and his position by presenting
himself as a damned fool.  I hope that would be the reaction of all
posters here, who seem to have the intelligence to protect themselves
against such colossal nonsense.  (On the other hand, if this site were
for children, whose unformed minds may be  prey to such idiocy, I would
censor such remarks.)

L. Swilley

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Reedy <
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Date:           Monday, 3 Apr 2000 13:00:17 -0500
Subject: 11.0662 Re: The Topic
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0662 Re: The Topic

Gabriel Egan <
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 > wrote:

<snip>

> I'd be surprised if SHAKSPERians
> defended a listmember's right to assert that the Nazis didn't murder
> millions of Jews, communists, gypsies, and others.

You would be surprised indeed.  All people, listmembers and
nonlistmembers alike, have the right to espouse any idiocy they please
to any adult audience who will listen.  I fail to see how your example
would apply to a Shakespeare-related list, though, and I would support
the suppression of such material on SHAKSPER.  Hardy already suppresses
a similar denial of history on the list, the denial that Shakespeare
wrote his works.

> The liberal defence of free speech as an absolute (based on a false
> distinction between saying and doing) betrays a failure to grasp
> post-Saussurian linguistics' principle that language is not an innocent
> window on the world; it is itself performative.
>
> Gabriel Egan

What, then, is the true distinction between saying and doing?  Or do you
make any distinction at all?  No one claims that language is neutral,
but it is a long way from being all there is.  Saying I will murder a
person is not the same as actually murdering a person.

And before you protest the ridiculousness of my example, keep in mind
that it is as relevant to the topic as your example of holocaust denial
is to the topic of Shakespearean allusions in the popular culture.
(Somehow I know I could have written that last sentence clearer.)

Tom Reedy

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Monday, 03 Apr 2000 11:15:01 -0700
Subject: Re: The Topic
Comment:        SHK 11.0662 Re: The Topic

I decided not to comment further, but since Ms. Craig, despite my
sympathetic attempt to help her, has chosen to make personal and
insulting comments about me, I shall.  I prefer not to let her get away
with that unchallenged:

> I guess we can then decide that all critical effort in Shakespeare
> studies is meaningless since the author is dead and that any stab anyone
> makes at interpreting Shakespeare is as good as any other.

> For some reason-maybe it is age and irritability-I cannot accept your
> muddleheadness on this issue.  I think Shakespeare can be known fairly
> and convincingly; good and talented minds have been working on this
> problem for a long time with fruitful results.  Personally, I hate
>seeing a man of character and literary ability maligned just because
> certain of us are too weak-willed and lazy to defend him.

As to your first paragraph, Ms. Craig, I did not say that.  You have, as
you have done so many times on this list, put words into another's mouth
and insulted them for those words.

It is difficult to come up with a definitive statement about what
Shakespeare believed.  It is a simple fact that much of the excellent
criticism you accuse me of slighting, attributes a wide variety of
opinion to the Bard.  Many opinions on the same issue are found in his
writing.  Shakespeare saw many sides of many issues.

Some things are discernable.  I'm fairly confident he thought revenge
was bad, and had unusually enlightened racial attitudes for his time, to
give two examples.  Other attitudes are  difficult to figure out.  The
example I cited, and you ignored because it demonstrates you are wrong,
addressed his political views.  "Critical effort" has led some to
conclude that Shakespeare was a royalist, and others to conclude he was
subversive.  Both have good reasons for their conclusions.

Unlike you, Ms. Criag, I have learned from scholars on both sides, and
find certain plays illuminated by their comments.  However, they do
emphasize my point that his opinions can be difficult to pin down.

You call me muddleheaded, weak-willed, and lazy.  You imply that I do
not have a good or talented mind.  All that may be true, but why blow my
cover?

May I suggest that the person who understands the complexity of these
issues is a clearer thinker, stronger-willed, more persistent, and by
implication has a better and more talented mind that one who does not
understand the complexity of the debate and settles for easy answers?
Based on your many comments on this list, I'll be happy to measure my
mind or my moral character against yours anytime.

Play nice, or I'll tell your Mommy what kind of person you turned out to
be.

Mike Jensen

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Allan Blackman <
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Date:           Monday, 3 Apr 2000 22:06:25 -0400
Subject:        Reply to Egan

In reply to Gabriel Egan's challenge, I would have no difficulty
supporting the right of racists or Holocaust deniers to express their
views on this list.  However, this list belongs to Hardy, whose First
Amendment right to control who speaks in his forum takes precedence.  A
similar issue comes up every year in New York City when the organizers
of the St. Patrick's Day parade deny the application of a homosexual
Catholic group to march under its own banner.  The courts have
consistently upheld that denial.  As the parade organizers determine who
can march in THEIR parade, so Hardy decides who can post on HIS list.

On the other hand, one might argue that any kind of censorship is
inconsistent with academic pursuits and that this list SHOULD be open to
all postings.

An alternative is to have an unmoderated list.  Some may be aghast as
this suggestion, but I can say, as one who has been a member of many
Internet groups over the years, that although there are occasional
discussions of irrelevant topics and some foul language on unmoderated
lists, these are minor annoyances.  More than 99% of the postings turn
out to be unobjectionable by anyone's standards.  And the best way to
deal with "inappropriate" postings is to ignore them. Anyway, I keep my
mouse pointer poised over Delete, with my finger caressing the left
mouse button.  Postings of no interest are disposed of in nanoseconds!

This list is clearly a labor of love for Hardy, but it is unreasonable
to expect him to spend three hours a day editing responses.  I say: Free
Hardy!  Make this list unmoderated.

Allan Blackman
 

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