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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: May ::
Re: Shakespeare the Taoist
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1190  Wednesday, 23 May 2001

[1]     From:   Robert Peters <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 22 May 2001 21:29:38 +0200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1167 Re: Shakespeare the Taoist

[2]     From:   Takashi Kozuka <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 22 May 2001 22:14:39
        Subj:   Re: Shakespeare the Taoist


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert Peters <
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Date:           Tuesday, 22 May 2001 21:29:38 +0200
Subject: 12.1167 Re: Shakespeare the Taoist
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1167 Re: Shakespeare the Taoist

Well, when I asked if Shakespeare in dealing with his "brain children"
was a Taoist I used "Taoist" as metaphor (but this tantric sex stuff
Karen Peterson-Kranz mentioned is very interesting indeed).

Heminges and Condell write in their preface to the Folio: "It had been a
thing, we confess, worthy to have been wished that the author himself
had lived to have set forth and overseen his own writings." Does that
indicate that Shakespeare planned to publish his plays like Jonson
published his? And why didn't he? There was time enough, I think. - Then
again Heminges and Condell write that their editorship was to do "an
office to the dead, to procure his orphans guardians". Doesn't that
indicate that Shakespeare himself didn't think of collecting his plays
and save them from being forgotten? This doesn't stop to puzzle me.

John Benson writes in "Shakespeare's Poems" about Shakespeare's plays as
"ever-living works". But it is true that a lot of his plays survive only
in the Folio, among them such masterpieces as Julius Caesar, As You Like
It, Measure For Measure, All's Well That Ends Well, Macbeth, Antony and
Cleopatra, The Winter's Tale and The Tempest. There is no good reason to
think that Shakespeare didn't know how extraordinarily good these plays
were - but without the Folio they would be lost forever. Didn't
Shakespeare care about that? He died in 1616, the Folio was published in
1623. Why this delay?

(I wrote somewhat mockingly about the esoteric scholarly lore about
publication. Well, I really think that this is a wearisome craft and I
could do without it. I am very happy that there are writers where we
don't have to care about foul papers, bad quartos and the like. Having
studied German medieval literature, I am somewhat fed up with all this
editorial questions that sometimes seem to me like a job-creating
measure for eggheads. Sorry if this sounds harsh but universities have
become very dubious places for me. - Nevertheless, I commit that I
unashamedly profit from the eggheads' work.)

Robert Peters

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[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Takashi Kozuka <
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Date:           Tuesday, 22 May 2001 22:14:39
Subject:        Re: Shakespeare the Taoist

>So was Shakespeare actually a Taoist?

Fr. Peter Milward said at a conference a couple of years ago that,
having lived in Japan for many years, he started to believe that
Shakespeare was Japanese :D

Takashi Kozuka

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