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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: January ::
Re: Johnson's Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0065  Monday, 15 January 2001

[1]     From:   Chuck Costello <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 10 Jan 2001 10:58:05 -0700
        Subj:   SHK 12.0051 Re: Johnson's Shakespeare

[2]     From:   Chee-Seng Lim <
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        Date:   Thursday, 11 Jan 2001 07:17:49 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Johnson's Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

>From:Don Bloom <
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As to the lack of understanding of character and dialogue before
Shakespeare's writing, is Terence suggesting that his work did not
represent a significance advance in development of character and writing
of dialogue, or that Johnson is exaggerating too much when he equates a
lesser skill in these with a complete lack of understanding?

>From:Jack Lynch <
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"What a curious vanity it is of the present to expect the past to suck
up to it.  The present looks back at some great figure of an earlier
century and wonders, Was he on our side?  Was he a goodie?  What a lack
of self-confidence this implies" (Julian Barnes, Flaubert's Parrot,
p.130).

That presumption of past-sucking seems to cling to Shakespeare, who was
a good playwright (with respect to a particular kind of drama), better
than many before, during and after his time (with respect to drama in
general), but will never have his boots cleaned with the spit of any of
the majestic drama of 14th-15th c. England (or any other time).

Respectfully,
Charles Costello PhD

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chee-Seng Lim <
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Date:           Thursday, 11 Jan 2001 07:17:49 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Johnson's Shakespeare

>From: Moira Russell <
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>Not to mention Johnson's profound insight that
>oatmeal was something fed to horses in Britain but
>which sustained the population in the Hebrides.

Actually he defined OATS as "A grain, which in England is generally
given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people." It was no doubt a
Scotsman who replied that this is the reason why there are such fine
horses in England and such fine men in Scotland.

In spite of his quirks Johnson still merits careful reading. This is
more than we can say for some who have written practically only
yesterday.

C.S. Lim
University of Malaya
 

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