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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: June ::
Re: Tragic Hero
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1414  Thursday, 7 June 2001

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 06 Jun 2001 17:32:55 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1387 Re: Tragic Hero

[2]     From:   Florence Amit <
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        Date:   Thursday, 7 Jun 2001 03:17:13 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1387 Re: Tragic Hero

From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Wednesday, 06 Jun 2001 17:32:55 -0700
Subject: 12.1387 Re: Tragic Hero
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1387 Re: Tragic Hero

First, I would like to correct some factual errors by Ms. Amit.

>What does this destructive person, Jensen, have regarding
>Hebrew? Just what I have given him. That is what he will
>show his "Rabbi". Last time when it was a PhD. student

He was not a Ph.D student last time.  He was well along in his career
then, as he is now.  I did mention that his Ph.D was from the University
of California in Berkeley, because it is a prestigious school, with a
prestigious program.  Perhaps that is why you made the mistake?  He went
there in order to study with Jacob Milgram.  Possibly you know Rabbi
Milgram's commentary on Leviticus?  If so, you know how painstaking his
method is.  My friend went to Berkeley to learn Milgram's method.
Please do not try to mar the character of my friends.

>Previously I thought that Shakespeare's' Hebrew  would be obscured under a
>storm cloud of misinformation through Jensen - that I would do future
>investigators more harm than good to let that happen  So I asked Prof. Cook
>to stop it and I left.
>But one cannot appease a tyrant.

Misinformation is right.

Ms. Amit is portraying herself as being somehow victimized by me.  Ms.
Amit, I am one of many who believes you have failed to answer the
problems with your ideas pointed out by Thomas Larque and others.  What
you are experiencing is exactly what you experienced a year ago, nothing
more.  Several people have noticed, and some of them have written the
list about it.  Stop acting as if I am personally persecuting you, and
realize that what you are experiencing is a group of good scholars who
respond when someone fails to address their comments.  Be better than

Yes, you did say that you were tired of being abused on this list last
year, and voluntarily pulled out, but check the archives.  The same day,
Hardy added that a few people had written expressing dismay at your
comments about Hebrew, Shakespeare and the fact that you had not
honestly addressed the problems pointed out to you.  He only posted one
representative comment that last day, and it wasn't even mine.  It is
ironic that you treated me as your persecutor in Wednesday's post, the
very day this appeared in my message:

>Since I don't have the heart to pick on Ms. Amit further, I'll let it go at

And indeed, last year I mentioned two list members who approach I didn't
respect, but declined to name them because I felt both had been picked
on enough by several people, including myself.  I guess you realized
that I had you in mind as one of them, because you wrote the next day
complaining of my constant attacks on you, and that message where I
didn't name you was your example!

I won't do, Ms. Amit, it really won't do.

I have attacked your ideas.  I have attacked your methodology.  When you
did not acknowledge those comments, or those made by others, I called
you on that as well.  Others also called you on that, both now and a
year ago.  Yes, you and I have exchanged a couple of angry messages off
list, and that is the extent of my personal hostility.  Additionally you
have used very indelicate words about me in private messages to other
list members.  What, didn't you think they would tell me?

I am tired of your sniping, and I am tired of you playing the victim
when you give better than you get.  You miss the point, which is that I
am one of many who realize you have not answered the problems pointed
out about your ideas.  Stop changing the subject, and answer those
issues Thomas Larque has raised.

You did an admirable job in realizing that *MOV* may not have been
suppressed.  Had you answered Larque's other comments with the same
attitude, none of this would have happened.

David Linton, I admire you for your concerns, even if you did take a
shot in my direction, and that of the admirable Thomas Larque. I really
think you should give Thomas more credit.  He did exactly what you
suggested, and did it very well.  About me, you wrote:

>And what are we to make of Mike Jensen's use of psychoanalytic and
>moralizing expressions in the interest of scholarship?  He says, "I would
>like to condemn Ms. Amit in the strongest terms possible. . . ."  Well,
>let's leave that to keepers of the faith.  The references to "passive
>aggressive" behavior are clever rhetorical turns, but do they advance any

I attribute this to an innocent mistake on your part.  You missed the
point.  Ms. Amit is the one who failed to advance an argument, as my
post Tuesday made clear.  Since I really don't want to argue the Amit
issue further, let switch to a hypothetical.

Let's pretend I advance the theory that Shakespeare was a space
traveler.  My evidence?  All those references to the stars, star crossed
lovers, zodiac signs, et. al.

One might reasonably answer me by pointing out that if such evidence
were taken at face value, we would have to conclude that nearly every
writer of the era was a space traveler.  It is a better explanation that
Shakespeare shared a common heritage with the other writes, and these
references were motifs in common use.  Besides, the first rocket didn't
go up until the late 1950s.  I should then be told I would be wise to
come up with better proof, or abandon the idea.

Let's further say that I ignore this suggestion.  Completely.  Don't
even address it, but write the next week saying that the reference to
"God's candles are all out." in *Othello* is further proof that
Shakespeare was a space traveler.  Everyone dutifully makes all the same
replies to me.  I ignore them again, and a week later...

You get the idea.

The situation is that everyone has had their say, but I have not met
them half way.  I have passive aggressively tried to make it OK for me
to practice my silly scholarship in the midst of people who deserve more
respect.  Possibly, David, you feel that everyone should let me, and not
mention the fact that I have not played by the scholarly rules?  That is
what you assert in correcting me.

I believe that some critical lapses are matters of differing, but valid
opinions, based on solid scholarship.  On the other hand, thankfully
rarely, some times someone does not present solid scholarship, as I
failed to do in my example.

I further believe that were I guilty of this, it would be fair for
someone to point out this unscholarly pattern of mine.  1) Maybe I would
get the message and improve myself, and 2) List lurkers would have good
criteria when judging my messages.

You may disagree with the propriety of this, and that's OK, but I'm
inclined to still practice it as a last resort.

Mike Jensen

From:           Florence Amit <
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Date:           Thursday, 7 Jun 2001 03:17:13 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 12.1387 Re: Tragic Hero
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1387 Re: Tragic Hero

I do not know how much I can answer before the posting dead line. Thomas
Larque's messages I answer at very latest, over the week end.
Respectfully I answer the Rabbi at once.

The Rabbi cited by M. Jensen says nothing that I do not agree with.. The
importance of Consonants in Hebrew I  recently expressed in a letter I
wrote to a scholar after he gave me a well known alternative to my name
of Chus being that of a Turkish messenger.

This is the discussion's conclusion: 'You answered me about the Chus,
quoting many sources that may be summed up with ".Cham four sons had
him:---  Chus, Phut, Chanan, and Mephaim." Now these words in Hebrew,
even when we transliterate them,  are different. We say that . The
descendants of Ham are Cush (the peoples of the southern shore of the
Red Sea), Mitzraim (Egypt), Put (location uncertain, probably Cyrene),
and Canaan. The Cushites are African- The transliteration conventions
that your sources use is the source of the problem. One is allowed a
lee-way with vowels in Hebrew but NOT Consonants. They belong to the
stem of a word. Using a Hebrew source one would not have confused chuS
with CuSH: Two different and signified kinds of S. Cush is African hence
the references to the darkness of "Chus" in your sources. However the
Turks are supposed to have descended from Yepheth (Yephet). So my
sources and yours have also this to divide them. Whether the Turks are
to be considered dark is an interesting question that seems to be
referred to by Othello when he speaks of a "malignant and turbaned Turk"
that he kills in Aleppo. I think that it was  Othello himself that he
had killed by his assimilation into a Christianity. (and he kills once
more- physically ) So was Othello a son of Shem being a moor? - a son of
Ham being black? - or a son of Yephet being a Turk?  I agree that
Shakespeare could hardly have overlooked the names of the sons of Noah.
And if he accepted those awful transliterations he would have ironically
taken note that the son of Ham would be a Hamite and not a Shemite - not
a son of Abraham.  The name of Chus could hardly have become normative
for a Jewish child; (although Chanan is, with an entirely different
meaning that is NOT Canaan - another name . However a person can be
referred to as Cushi  meaning black.  (There are also non-normative
associations to chus -like rushing). It is a coincidence that a Turkish
name can also be a weak biblical transliteration.

Therefore I am perfectly aware of the lesson that the Rabbi teaches and
I agree. However there is a
difference between a sentence mumbled and a name written,  not with
standing. Besides the rules of languages there are also the rules of
phonetics and those incidences cannot be interpreted without an intimacy
with the text. the situation, and the originator. A great deal of
finesse is needed as well as a knowledge of the rules

Florence Amit

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