Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: November ::
Re: Fops
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2121  Monday, 20 November 2000.

[1]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 17 Nov 2000 09:17:40 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2111 Re: Fops

[2]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 17 Nov 2000 12:56:29 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2111 Re: Fops

[3]     From:   Werner Broennimann <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 20 Nov 2000 10:58:03 +0000
        Subj:   Fops


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 17 Nov 2000 09:17:40 -0800
Subject: 11.2111 Re: Fops
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2111 Re: Fops

Bill writes:

>And I think that Sean is misusing the word "claim."  When I make a
>claim, I actively make a claim. I work with my students helping them to
>word their claims more precisely and carefully.

Not necessarily.  To say that all claims have to be made actively, by a
self with volition (and, I might add, will) is to over-simplify.
Someone can make a claim on our caring without actually wanting to do
so, not even subconsciously.

>I think Sean means something like "sympathize" or "empathize."  We and
>"those around her" may sympathize with Lavinia's plight -- raped and
>mutilated.  Or some of us may laugh -- one of the recorded responses to
>a performance.  In any case, Lavinia cannot actively step from the pages
>of the script and actively make any claim upon ME.  You, maybe, but not
>me.

This is to make the imperative entirely into an internal matter of how I
choose to respond, what I read into a person in literature, or a
'real-world' person understood (as Clifford has pointed out)
literarily.  Phenomenologically, however, it seems clear to me that the
imperative always comes from without.  One might even compare it to the
voice of God.

Of course, we can then choose to ignore the imperative, just as we can
ignore Lavinia, or a horse being beaten in the streets, or, Biblically,
a Divine command, as Jonah does.  None of this makes it any the less
external to us (in the case of God, radically external), or any the less
of a compulsion, coming from without.

This is also, by the way, the supplement I would wish to add to
Clifford's long but by no means long-winded treatment of the question.
No, we cannot know the content of another mind; such is the existential
distinction between self and Other.  On the other hand, this distinction
is also what makes the Other external, like an imperative, unchosen.  Of
course, which others we decide to treat as 'Other' in the strong sense
I'm using here becomes in many ways a social or political question.
Perhaps, as Levinas says somewhere, society exists not to limit
brutality but to limit generosity.  But none of this really detracts
from the radical externality of the Other, coming as a rupture in the
Same.

Cheers,
Se

 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.