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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: April ::
Re: Milton
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0816  Monday, 17 April 2000.

[1]     From:   Edward Pixley <
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        Date:   Friday, 14 Apr 2000 10:42:30 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0791 Re: Language and Creation

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Friday, 14 Apr 2000 09:16:15 -0700
        Subj:   SHK 11.0798 Re: Milton

[3]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Saturday, 15 Apr 2000 17:24:37 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0791 Re: Milton


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edward Pixley <
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Date:           Friday, 14 Apr 2000 10:42:30 -0400
Subject: 11.0791 Re: Language and Creation
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0791 Re: Language and Creation

I haven't been following this thread, so pardon me if the following
example of language and creation has already been used: Gospel of John,
I:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into
being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.  What
has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all
people.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not
overcome it.

Ed Pixley

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Friday, 14 Apr 2000 09:16:15 -0700
Subject: Re: Milton
Comment:        SHK 11.0798 Re: Milton

As so often happens, I think both sides have valid points when
discussing this issue, the issue being the power of words to construct
reality, or at least identity, if my feeble mind grasps it.  (Different
contributors seem to mean subtly different things, if I understand
everyone, so that statement may not be true for all.)

I mean, come on, Gabriel is right that it is a modern and trendy idea,
not taken seriously in the West for a very long time.  Others are right,
in that language was given power in antiquity that most are not even
aware of today.  For one brief glimpse into this, check out
http://members.aol.com/prfsheldon/Diss_Summary.html

It is the summary of the doc dis by my friend Sheldon Greaves, Ph.D. in
Near Eastern Studies, 1996, U.C. Berleley.  It is exactly about "the
magico-religious dynamics of the spoken word in Antiquity."  It focuses
"on the use of words and speech in acts of Creation from ancient Near
Eastern myths. By researching powerful words, in this context, I hope to
clarify the ancient Near Eastern understanding of speech, language,
words, and their inherent power."

Best,
Mike Jensen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Saturday, 15 Apr 2000 17:24:37 -0400
Subject: 11.0791 Re: Milton
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0791 Re: Milton

>Isn't the point of the genesis stories that these speech acts are
>special because they originate everything? Surely it's modern to think
>that language can now do these things.
>
>Gabriel Egan

Adam is our father and archetype, and his speech acts are only special
because their depiction involves a literalization of a metaphor
representing the power of our own speech acts.  What is modern is
focusing (and in this sense valorizing) the creative power of human
speech acts without need of reference to the much more important and
ultimately determinate fiat of God.

Clifford
 

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