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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: June ::
Re: Why Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1457  Tuesday, 12 June 2001

[1]     From:   Peterson-Kranz Karen <
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        Date:   Monday, 11 Jun 2001 06:04:37 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1452 Re: Why Shakespeare

[2]     From:   Takashi Kozuka <
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 >
        Date:   Monday, 11 Jun 2001 22:05:46
        Subj:   Re: Why Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peterson-Kranz Karen <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 11 Jun 2001 06:04:37 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 12.1452 Re: Why Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1452 Re: Why Shakespeare

> As every writer knows there is no such thing as a
> fictional character.
> All characters penned by such writers as Dostoyevsky
> and Shakespeare
> were amalgums of people they had met.

I admire Sam Small for having such courage in his convictions that he is
able to express them so absolutely.

But..."Every writer knows"?  If you find just one obscure writer who can
demonstrate that s/he does NOT build characters from life sources, and
the argument collapses.

Also, if we are discussing "fictional" characters, we first need to nail
down what we mean in this context by "fiction," and "fictional."  Even
if we provisionally accept the premise that all (successful?) characters
are constructed from bits and pieces of others, the resulting amalgam
would not be found in nature, or the "real world" or the material world,
or whatever you want to call it.  By default, then, would not such a
composite be "fictional" or "imaginary"?  (If I'm missing something
here, please tell me!)

That all characters were/are amalgams of people met by authors MAY be
true.  It is, however, quite impossible to prove one way or the other.
Thus it seems risky to attempt to deduce anything about the nature of
Shakespeare's profundity based on this premise.

Cheers,
Karen Peterson

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Takashi Kozuka <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 11 Jun 2001 22:05:46
Subject:        Re: Why Shakespeare

Sam Small <
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 > writes:

>As every writer knows there is no such thing as a fictional character.
>All characters penned by such writers as Dostoyevsky and Shakespeare
>were amalgums of people they had met.

Is even Ariel an "amalgum (sic) of PEOPLE" Shakespeare "MET"? (emphasis
added) Isn't an "amalgum" (sic) a "fictional character" by definition,
if we mean "invented" by "fictional"?

>Shakespeare was a more profound writer than Dostoyevsky because he saw
>the universal human conflict that operates in all ages, creeds, races,
>religions, classes and all manner of petty philosophies.

I never thought that I would hear in Shakespeare/literary studies again
the phrase "the UNIVERSAL human conflict that operates in ALL ages,
creeds, races, religions, classes..." (emphasis added)

Takashi Kozuka

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