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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: September ::
Re: Authentic Performance
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1749  Monday, 18 September 2000.

[1]     From:   Florence Amit <
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        Date:   Friday, 15 Sep 2000 23:24:57 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1733 Re: Authentic Performance

[2]     From:   Florence Amit <
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        Date:   Sunday, 17 Sep 2000 13:07:49 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1733 Re: Authentic Performance


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Florence Amit <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 15 Sep 2000 23:24:57 -0700
Subject: 11.1733 Re: Authentic Performance
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1733 Re: Authentic Performance

To Harry Hill: My encounter with Shakespeare's Hebrew is prodigious. In
names it is particularly helpful to see how he tagged characters. Why
for a Jewish character German would  be employed I do not know, except
that perhaps some  members of this forum would find it more convenient.
If German is shown to be as present as Hebrew is, I would suggest that
everyone who loves Shakespeare should study German.

To Peter Groves: Years ago I answered you saying that Shakespeare might
not have behaved in the way that you would have liked or conceded that
he could have. It is your problem.

The poetic ear I dared to exercise with my speculation about a hard,
sarcastic  K -  a k like in "more kin than kind". If you do not agree
with me - your privilege. But like it or not the Hebrew is there and it
will not disappear for you.

Florence Amit

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Florence Amit <
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 >
Date:           Sunday, 17 Sep 2000 13:07:49 -0700
Subject: 11.1733 Re: Authentic Performance
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1733 Re: Authentic Performance

My answers were perhaps too reactive after recalling past wise guy
encounters. In regard to the Hebrew language one perhaps must be a poet
and a translator to know how enticing the inclusion of the skeletal
formations of another kind may be to build an amazingly original
rhetoric. I am not erudite enough to show this well.  Regarding Hebrew
culture,  I now calmly ask the questioners if they have considered that
the Renaissance mind might have been inclined to examine a culture that
though it was only occasionally hellenistic,  was immensely fertile and
could be taught by near by refugees of high caliber? The answer is clear
- and the Reformation (as well as the inquisition) is there to show it.
Artists besides Shakespeare inquired deeply into Jewish sources and when
Spencer writes, at the end of the "Faerie Queene " O that great Sabbaoth
God, graunt me that Sabaoth sight" it is after he had delved deeply into
the Kabbalah.

Here are a few books that will help readers to reach a balanced
understanding of that influence and give them a background for studying
"The Merchant of Venice".  Also,  in reference to the "Faerie Queene",
"The Hebrew Goddess" by  Rafael Patai and Robert Graves and any book of
Gershom Scholem on the Kabbalah will be useful as they are for an
understanding of Portia and her Belmont. Regarding Kabbalah and "TMOV"
books by Daniel Banes are very detailed. For books on Jewish law there
is the Encyclopedia Judaica. For Jewish lore there is a wide choice of
lessons from the "Genesis" Internet  program. To read about the satires
and lessons from an Italian Jewish dramatist find translations of Leon
Sommo. It is also relative to study the history of the printing of
Jewish books and their burning. Relating to the Jewish presence in
England, besides the Encyclopedia Judaica,  there is H.P. Stokes, "The
Jews of England, Studies of Anglo-Jewish History", Edinburgh, 1913. The
fairly recent examinations by Rowse in regard to Aemilai Bassano Lanier
and her relatives lead to a more detailed examination by David Lasocki
and Roger Prior: "The Bassanos, Venetian Musicians and Instrument Makers
in England, 1531-1665".  To understand the condition of Venetian Jews
there are several books by Cecil Roth. His books on the Nasi family are
relevant to the disappearance of Antonio's ships and much more. For a
general picture I particularly recommend "Trading Nations, Jews and
Venetians in the Early Modern Eastern Mediterranean" by Benjamin Arbel,
pub. E.J. Brill. To know that the beautification of Venice had to be
purchased with hard found moneys, read "Venice and the Renaissance" by
Manfredo Tafuri, MIT press. To understand the social and psychological
picture of Jews in regard to the inquisition read "The Jews of Europe
and the Inquisition of Venice 1550-1670", by Brian Pullan, Barnes and
Nobel. It is a stringent, objective book that is painful to read.  For
the history of Jew baiting nothing can match Joshua Trachtenberg's "The
Devil and the Jews", Meridian. Anyone interested in this topic must read
the documents of Vatican Two. Books on the reign of Sullieman the
Magnificant and Salim II are historically relevent, as the presence of a
'Chus' (Turkish messenger) in the play  indicates.

All this will show a ferment and not its absence, of Jewish influences
upon Europeans - sometimes truthfully portrayed, more often distorted
and European influences upon Jews that caused them to make hard
decisions about their survival. But only in art will there be the sweet
representations that reach beyond politics.

Florence Amit
 

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