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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: June ::
Re: Shakespeare as Bible
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1331  Friday, 30 June 2000.

[1]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Thursday, 29 Jun 2000 10:14:19 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1312 Re: Shakespeare as Bible

[2]     From:   Edmund M. Taft <
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        Date:   Thursday, 29 Jun 2000 22:57:21 +0000
        Subj:   Shakespeare as Bible

[3]     From:   Sophie Masson <
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        Date:   Friday, 30 Jun 2000 08:27:55 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1312 Re: Shakespeare as Bible


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Thursday, 29 Jun 2000 10:14:19 -0700
Subject: 11.1312 Re: Shakespeare as Bible
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1312 Re: Shakespeare as Bible

Hi, Mike.

I share your frustrations, expressed below:

>I can't escape the feeling this issue is being considered backwards,
>from the conclusion that Shakespeare's works are "special," and not from
>the beginning, i. e. how they came to be regarded as special.

I'm worried, though, that your suggested solution would tend towards
Anglocentrism, where the reason that Shakespeare becomes 'special' to
(say) the nineteenth-century English Romantics is universalized into a
reason that he's seen to be important generally.

More to the point, I'm worried about the tendency to reduce all
causation to 'effective' causation, as an Aristotelian might say, or to
what we might call 'historical explanations':  why, historically or
socially, something just happens to have come about.  To perhaps turn
historicity on itself, we might ask not "how [these works] came to be
regarded as special", but why and how have we lost the ability to
discuss big questions, about why they're special in the first place.

I recognize the risks in the procedure I'm advocating:  it often seems
that talking about why Shakespeare's works have power has a way of
degenerating into na

 

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