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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: September ::
Regarding Editor's Decision
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2193  Monday, 17 September 2001

From:           Paul Swanson <
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Date:           Mon, 17 Sep 2001 09:06:31 -0500
Subject: Re: September 11, 2001
Comment:        SHK 12.2170 Re: September 11, 2001

I wanted to respond to the decision that Dr. Cook made regarding the
events of September 11. Please understand that the purpose of my post is
neither to criticize nor undermine the decision that Dr. Cook has made.
He is the moderator of our list, and I am confident that his decision
was made in what he perceives is the best interest of this group.

What does strike me as notable about this is the inherent revelations
this decision, as well as some other issues regarding what will and what
won't be discussed, makes about what is and is not "taboo" on this list.
List members will remember, of course, a passionate debate of not so
long ago regarding the propriety of Richard Burt's posts on pornographic
and other cultural references to WS. Some members felt that these posts
were improper and offensive. In the end, of course, Mr. Burt's posts
remained on this listserv, after a lengthy debate about the parameters
of academic freedom.

It also goes without saying that the authorship question has been
strictly forbidden from discussion on this list.

Perhaps what these editorial decisions manifest is an assumptions that
as academics and thinkers, we are more comfortable with (or maybe the
better phrase is "less threatened by") discussions about personal
morality than we are societal or governmental or military morality. What
are we to make of this?

Titus Andronicus comes to mind here. As gruesome as the play is, it is
an extremely underrated play because of its commentary on the
suppression of talking and ideas. Time after time, we see in that play
horrible violence that is preceded by lines like "I'll stop your mouth"
(2.3.184), or "Let them not speak a word, their guilt is plain..."
(2.3.301). There is a danger to the suppression of words, but I also
understand that there very well may be a danger in allowing them to
poison the ear.

I again want to emphasize that I am not in any way criticizing Dr. Cook
or any editorial policy of this academic listserv. What I am pointing
out is that these policies, when looked at as a whole, perhaps represent
academic and societal attitudes towards what is appropriate to discuss
and what is not, and to me, this is fascinating.

Respectfully,
Paul Swanson

>>> "Hardy M. Cook" <
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 > 09/14/01 09:37AM >>>
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2170  Friday, 14 September 2001

From:           Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:           Friday, September 14, 2001
Subject:        Re: September 11, 2001

Dear SHAKSPEReans:

We are an international conference of approximately 1,400 members from
more than fifty nations with different attitudes and beliefs. I, myself,
am a pacifist and have been since I was seventeen years old. As your
editor and in the interests of keeping peace on this small corner of the
world's stage, I have decided not to post any further comments regarding
the events of September 11. I hope you will all respect this decision
and see it as my act of regard for what happened on that day.

Hardy M. Cook
Editor

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
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