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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: April ::
Re: Bard Bade Goodbye
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0862  Tuesday, 17 April 2001

[1]     From:   Ian Munro <
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        Date:   Monday, 16 Apr 2001 11:47:35 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0850 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye

[2]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Monday, 16 Apr 2001 15:32:10 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0850 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye

[3]     From:   Hugh Grady <
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        Date:   Monday, 16 Apr 2001 16:21:44 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 12.0850 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye

[4]     From:   Karen Peterson-Kranz <
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        Date:   Monday, 16 Apr 2001 20:30:38 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0850 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ian Munro <
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Date:           Monday, 16 Apr 2001 11:47:35 -0700
Subject: 12.0850 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0850 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye

Syd Kasten wrote:

>As for the chemical metaphors "corrosive" and "pollution", read
>"Fashionable Nonsense, Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science" by
>Sokal and Bricmont, whose title speaks for itself.  Since we are dealing
>with culture I would prefer to use a biological metaphor such as
>"cross-pollination".

Life is too short to read any more Sokal, but if he thinks "pollution"
is a chemical metaphor he should buy a better dictionary.  As for
"corrosive," the figurative use of the term dates to 1581, which to my
mind makes it particularly apt for a discussion of Shakespeare.

Ian Munro

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Monday, 16 Apr 2001 15:32:10 -0400
Subject: 12.0850 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0850 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye

>The embattled French at times seem still to be fighting the Seven Years
>War.  I think it was the American baseball manager Casey Stengel who
>observed that it was "deja vu all over again"

That's generous.  I think they still haven't gotten over the Hundred
Years War.  And it was Yogi Berra, not Casey Stengel.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hugh Grady <
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Date:           Monday, 16 Apr 2001 16:21:44 -0400
Subject: 12.0850 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye
Comment:        RE: SHK 12.0850 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye

No, it was Yogi Berra.

Excellent getting to know you a bit in Miami.

Best wishes,
Hugh Grady

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karen Peterson-Kranz <
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Date:           Monday, 16 Apr 2001 20:30:38 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 12.0850 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0850 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye

Sean Lawrence wrote last week that

> >................................... Kurosawa was
> denounced by French
> >intellectuals (I don't know of what school) as "not
> Japanese enough".

Syd Kasten in turn denounced French and Quebecoise language policy, and
the cultural metaphor of "pollution."  To this I wanted to add a couple
of (I hope) clarifying points.  Perhaps they might even relate back to
early modern Europe, if not Shakespeare.

French intellectuals aren't the only people who saw Kurosawa as "not
Japanese."  Japanese intellectuals, and in fact, a pretty fair number of
ordinary Japanese movie-goers, had and have the same perception.

Similarly, the idea of "pollution" is not exclusively, or even
particularly, French.  It is, actually, an important concept in some
aspects of Japanese culture.  For example, Shinto, the Japanese
indigenous traditional spiritual practice, revolves NOT around ideas of
sin and redemption but rather around ideas of pollution and
purification.  This is why one must wash one's hands and rinse one's
mouth before visiting a Shinto shrine.  This is also why Sumo athletes
throw salt into the ring before a bout.

The pollution metaphor is not unique to Japan, of course.  It informs
much early modern medical theory, and also may be detected in the
discourse of the (threatened?) aristocracy in England.  And, most
notably, the pollution/purification motif seems to appear in many
nationalist ideologies.  The French and French Canadian manifestations
that Syd Kasten cited would be in this latter category, but the
manipulation of the idea of cultural pollution is certainly not just a
French notion.  The English were doing it very well indeed in
Shakespeare's time, and before.

For what it's worth.

Cheers,
Karen Peterson

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