2001

Editorial Cartoon

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0067  Monday, 15 January 2001

From:           Tanya Gough <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 10 Jan 2001 19:10:38 -0500
Subject:        Editorial Cartoon

Recently, a 16 year old boy was arrested here in Ontario for writing a
fictional story (at his teacher's behest) in which a bullied child blows
up his school and all who bullied him.

A Shakespeare-related editorial cartoon appeared in today's
Toronto-based newspaper, The Globe and Mail.

You can find it on-line at
http://globeandmail.com/series/cartoon/10wededcar.html

Tanya Gough
Poor Yorick
www.bardcentral.com

Re: Orlando

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0066  Monday, 15 January 2001

From:           Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 10 Jan 2001 13:07:42 -0600
Subject: 12.0054 Re: Orlando
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0054 Re: Orlando

Edmund Taft writes:

>When Orlando and Charles first enter they are naked from the waist up
>(or they soon take off their shirts and show their pecs).  Orlando shows
>courage and then performs right in front of Rosalind and defeats
>Charles, all the while his muscles gleaming with sweat.  Rosalind thinks
>of Hercules before his victory, and after, she exclaims, "O excellent
>young man!"
>
>Now, Don, you can intellectualize this if you must, but the initial
>basis for Rosalind's attraction is clear!  It's the same as when an
>eighteen-year-old male goes to the beach and sees a girl in a bikini
>play volleyball: "Va-va voom!"

Sorry, Ed, but I remain unpersuaded. I don't think women are motivated
as much by physique as we are (note that I said *as much*), and that
kind of Va-va-voom motivation has only incidentally to do with love
anyway. Many fall in love where the Va-va-voom factor is negligible.

In fact, the first motivation that Shakespeare shows is the maternal:
for the two girls, and the jester, as well, find pitiable Le Beau"s
story of Charles giving apparently mortal injuries to all three sons of
the old man.  Similarly, when the two wrestlers enter, the girls react
with fear for him -- for his youth and lesser size compared to the
"strong fellow" Charles. At what point the two wrestlers take their
shirts off is not indicated in the text, but it seems quite clear from
the dissuasions of the girls that Orlando appears notably smaller in
size than the professional. It is when Orlando-despite his youth and
disadvantage in bulk-answers them in naturally gracious terms, goes
ahead with his challenge despite their pleas, and shows prowess, as well
as courage and coutliness, that Rosalind falls in love with him.

Actually, the fault I have to guard against is a propensity for
romanticizing, not intellectualizing, Shakespeare, especially plays like
this one. I have been half in love with Rosalind now for more decades
than I like to count.

Cheers,
don

Re: Thesis Problem

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0064  Monday, 15 January 2001

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 10 Jan 2001 09:13:26 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 12.0052 Re: Thesis Problem

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Jan 2001 22:54:50 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0052 Re: Thesis Problem


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 10 Jan 2001 09:13:26 -0800
Subject: Re: Thesis Problem
Comment:        SHK 12.0052 Re: Thesis Problem

T. Hawkes writes:

> Dear Mike Jensen,

> Judy should certainly not read the article. That would only encourage
> its author and might even incite further effusions.  Breezy dismissal is
> the answer, a stratagem favoured in similar circumstances by Coleridge.
> Beyond that, perhaps your 'friend' has a more deeply seated sense of
> personal unworthiness that needs to be confronted. What pressures have
> impelled 'her' to speak with your voice?  Clamant urgings concerning the
> level of discourse are often a symptom in such cases.

Was there something clever about this I failed to grasp?  Andrew and
Moira, thank you for your helpful answers.  I forwarded them to Judy who
expressed her gratitude.

Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 11 Jan 2001 22:54:50 -0800
Subject: 12.0052 Re: Thesis Problem
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0052 Re: Thesis Problem

Terence Hawkes writes:

>Judy should certainly not read the article. That would only encourage
>its author and might even incite further effusions.  Breezy dismissal is
>the answer, a stratagem favoured in similar circumstances by Coleridge.

And by you, referring to Johnson or most other topics, it would seem.

>Beyond that, perhaps your 'friend' has a more deeply seated sense of
>personal unworthiness that needs to be confronted. What pressures have
>impelled 'her' to speak with your voice?  Clamant urgings concerning the
>level of discourse are often a symptom in such cases.

And painstakingly avoiding a substantive engagement in real issue in
order to make weak jokes at someone else's expense seems a symptom of
something altogether more disturbing, though I must confess that I'm not
sure what.

Cheers,
Se


Re: Johnson's Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0065  Monday, 15 January 2001

[1]     From:   Chuck Costello <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 10 Jan 2001 10:58:05 -0700
        Subj:   SHK 12.0051 Re: Johnson's Shakespeare

[2]     From:   Chee-Seng Lim <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 11 Jan 2001 07:17:49 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Johnson's Shakespeare


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

>From:Don Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

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 <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

"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 <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 11 Jan 2001 07:17:49 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Johnson's Shakespeare

>From: Moira Russell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

>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

A Plea from the Editor: "Can't we all just get

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0063  Monday, 15 January 2001

From:           Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, January 15, 2001
Subject:        A Plea from the Editor: "Can't we all just get along?"

Dear SHAKSPEReans,

I have very much enjoyed the past few weeks. My self-imposed exile from
my office and my administrative duties has enabled me to concentrate on
my scholarship, something that I have not been able to pursue since July
because of my inordinate workload, which has been driving me crazy, and
because of a family matter, which has taken me on an emotional roller
coaster for the past fourteen weeks with no resolution in sight. Now, I
am having so much fun that I would like to continue this life forever.
To do so, however, could seemingly only be accomplished by my retiring,
yet I doubt that at fifty-three retirement is a plausible option. So,
for the time being, I imagine I will have to continue doing the work of
two full-time people and getting to my scholarly interests far less
frequently than I would like. Now, to the purpose of this message.

Some of the exchanges on SHAKSPER during the past few months have been
rather hostile, acrimonious, and downright unkind. They have been "not
generous, not gentle, not humble." I have received private messages from
members, the substance of which is well put in the following statement
from a long-time and well-respected member of this conference:

"I'm not one of those 'write to the editor' types, but I'm writing to
ask if you might think about re-posting your note about counting to ten
before posting.  I've been disturbed lately by the intermittent
nastiness and cruelty of some of the SHAKSPER posts, which have made me
think more than once about un-subscribing.  (Dealing with face-to-face
incivility in the academy is bad enough without subjecting yourself to
e-mail incivility.)"

This suggestion appears to me an eminently sensible one, so I have
decided to comply with three of my postings from last year.

[1] SHK 11.0704  Counting to Ten: A Clarification

[2] SHK 11.0808  Counting to Ten

[3] SHK 11.2272  Common Threads

Thanks for listening,
Hardy

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0704  Wednesday, 5 April 2000.

From:           Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, April 05, 2000
Subject:        Counting to Ten: A Clarification

Dear SHAKSPEReans:

From some of the responses I have gotten to my "A Few Matters Regarding
SHAKSPER" posting of a few days ago, I feel a need to make a bit of a
clarification.

No one ever need apologize for adding to the work I do with SHAKSPER.
This work is, as Alan Blackman pointed out yesterday, a labor of love,
and I assure everyone that there is no way that while I am its
editor/moderator/owner that SHAKSPER will be anything but edited.

I will return to the matter of moderation in a moment, but now some
words about editing SHAKSPER.

I do indeed love bringing SHAKSPER to the members of this list. The time
that I spend on it is almost the most fun I have when the sun is up. I
also love working on my edition of Shakespeare's POEMS for the Internet
Shakespeare Editions and reading and writing in the Folger Library, and
I am greatly disappointed that my current situation does not allow more
time to direct to these efforts. However, when it comes to SHAKSPER, all
of the time that I spend is much more enjoyable and rewarding than
making budgets, listening to student and faculty complaints, visiting
classrooms, evaluating faculty performance, writing retention reports,
writing assessment reports, writing annual reports, writing any report -
you get the idea. I do love teaching, and I love editing SHAKSPER just
as much, but I do not love the administrative side of my current
position.

Now, when I requested that members count to ten before hitting the reply
key, what I had in mind was that members would initiate a kind of
self-regulation: self-moderation if you will. Is there really a need to
reply to seven out of the ten digests under discussion on a particular
day or to reply four times to the same digest? I strive to maintain
SHAKSPER as an academic discussion list. My preference is for a somewhat
elevated level of discourse without, of course, ruling out occasional
humor or just plain silliness.  My point is that I believe that the
membership has as much responsibility as I do in moderating SHAKSPER. At
one time or another, it has been suggested to me that members be allowed
only to post once a day or that postings should not exceed one or two
computer screens. I am not willing to moderate SHAKSPER in this way, but
I do believe that some submissions are frivolous or are not really
necessary or productive. I attribute this attitude to the fact that I am
not a very touchy-feely, warm and cuddly kind of guy.

That's my clarification. I was and am making a plea for self-moderation
on SHAKSPER. That's it. Nothing more.

Now to editing today's digests and packing for Montreal.

Hardy

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0808  Monday, 17 April 2000.

From:           Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, April 17, 2000
Subject:        Counting to Ten

I have received a number of public and private notes to the effect that
a handful of people seem to be dominating the discussions on SHAKSPER
with contributions whose value is questionable. In the past, I have not
discouraged contributions from anyone, even if I may have considered
them a bit off-the-wall; however, when it gets to the point long-time,
loyal, members of this conference are considering unsubscribing, then I
am compelled to make yet another plea for self-regulation.

I have worked very hard over the years to make SHAKSPER what it is
today. I do not want it to become unregulated nor do I want to lose the
academic focus of the list. My hope is that members will heed my pleas
for self-moderation so that the Advisory Board and I will not need to
develop guidelines about postings.

Hardy

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2272  Friday, 8 December 2000

From:           Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, December 08, 2000
Subject:        Common Threads

Dear SHAKSPEReans,

Some members in the past three digests that I have just posted have
expressed concerns about what is proper and improper on SHAKSPER.

Excepting the "authorship" question, I generally err toward the
inclusive. However, my ideal is to keep SHAKSPER as scholarly as
possible with occasional flights of whimsy. The membership is indeed
varied, and its variety contributes to the liveliness of many
discussions.

When I admonished members "to count to ten," I was in fact trying to
encourage self-restraint. At the time I made this plea, a member sent me
the membership guidelines for a philosophy list. The guidelines
contained excellent suggestions and could be well-adapted to SHAKSPER.
However, for the time being, I would like to continue with primarily
self-moderation and my ongoing behind the scenes minimal moderation.

SHAKSPER is fortunate not to suffer with as many "flame wars" as some
lists. I would like the list to remain that way, so I would encourage
"counting to ten" before flaming and ask that responses that could be
consider flames be sent off-list.

In your debt and service,
Hardy

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