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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: June ::
Re: Why Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1356  Monday, 4 June 2001

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Sunday, 03 Jun 2001 15:40:20 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1333 Re: Why Shakespeare

[2]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Monday, 4 Jun 2001 11:52:10 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1333 Re: Why Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Sunday, 03 Jun 2001 15:40:20 -0700
Subject: 12.1333 Re: Why Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1333 Re: Why Shakespeare

Sam Small wonders:

>How else can great poetry be created if not
>by a certain purity of thought?

Don't know. You should ask Lord Byron.

He also wrote:

>Rather than being so nit-pickingly pedantic about my humble remarks
>Gabriel Egan might fully address my point that many modern authors, due
>to their political bias, such as Dostoyevsky, haven't a hope in hell of
>achieving the universal regard of Shakespeare.

Poor John Milton.  Not a hope in hell.

Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Monday, 4 Jun 2001 11:52:10 +0100
Subject: 12.1333 Re: Why Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1333 Re: Why Shakespeare

Sean Lawrence wrote

>. . . politics seems to be precisely that field in which
> torturing people to death (or anything else, for that
> matter) becomes justifiable in the name of ultimate
> victory.  Insofar as politics is involved in the empirical
> domain, it isn't terribly philosophical, and insofar as it
> isn't so involved, it would seem to rely on credos.

Politics which tortures people to death does, I agree, approach religion
in its deferral of gratification. The workers' paradise is much like the
city of god in that extraordinary cruelty along the way towards it is
excused in the name of the final outcome. Such aberrations aside,
politics is primarily "of the finite", as Sartre put it: the next
improvement in working conditions, the next monopoly broken up.
Religion, however, is primarily concerned with patient acceptance of
present and forthcoming misery in the name of the final outcome
(Valhalla, nirvana, heaven).

Sam Small wrote

> The piece you quote from the aforementioned writer
> [Dostoyevsky's _The Brothers Karamazov_] left me
> at a loss as to who was being supported.  Christians,
> Communists, Moslems, Jews, Atheists et al have all
> "tortured the baby to death" in the blind hope that
> "men would be happy".  Or was that the ambiguity to
> which you were referring?

You claimed that "an adherent of any particular political credo or
religious philosophy would not write a play where the cherished school
of thought is proved wrong/bad/indefensible/immoral/stupid". I provided
an example where an adherent of Christianity wrote a novel in which his
cherished school of thought is proved indefensible.

Your claim is thus shown, mutatis mutandis, to be wrong, unless you were
referring specifically to plays above other art forms.

Gabriel Egan

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