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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: June ::
Re: Why Shakespeare Conflicts
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1560  Wednesday, 20 June 2001

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Jun 2001 09:11:06 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1557 Re: Why Shakespeare

[2]     From:   Sam Small <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Jun 2001 20:25:17 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1510 Re: Why Shakespeare

[3]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 19 Jun 2001 21:27:56 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1549 Re: Conflicts

[4]     From:   Richard Burt <
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        Date:   Tue, 19 Jun 2001 11:25:06 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1549 Re: Conflicts

[5]     From:   Takashi Kozuka <
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        Date:   Tue, 19 Jun 2001 21:05:04
        Subj:   Re: Conflicts


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Tuesday, 19 Jun 2001 09:11:06 -0700
Subject: 12.1557 Re: Why Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1557 Re: Why Shakespeare

My friend Robin Hamilton teases me by writing:

>-- Gabriel is, indeed, traditionally assigned to the second-lowest rung of
>the hierarchy, as an Archangel.  However, as this subdivision of
>immaterial creatures is severely post-biblical (stemming from the work of
>Pseudo-Dionysius in the Twelfth Century), the +biblical+ Gabriel (as
>Mike Jensen notes, correcting himself) is strictly a generic angel, pure
>and simple.

Yeah, sure, that's what I meant.  Thanks, Robin, for giving me a whopper
of a rationalization!  The depth of your knowledge continues to impress.

All the best,
Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sam Small <
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Date:           Tuesday, 19 Jun 2001 20:25:17 +0100
Subject: 12.1510 Re: Why Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1510 Re: Why Shakespeare

We should be clear when using such an important word that we agree on
its meaning.  "Universal: Of, belonging to, done, or used by all persons
in the world. - OED"  It seems peculiar, strange even, that
Shakespeare's emotional conflict material of love, hate, betrayal,
sexual longing, jealousy, pride, life, death, power, corruption,
revenge, etc., are not seen by Robin Hamilton as having any part of the
culture of "China, Africa, India . . . and . . . the Middle East."  The
last time I looked those regions were displaying all those human traits
in spades and on TV.  Take any of the above humanities - betrayal, for
instance.  Shakespeare was a great poet before all else and understood
the poetry of betrayal.  Add to this his acute sense of conflict and
drama and you have a literary tract that will translate to any culture
on the planet and will be instantly understood.  Mike Jensen, as usual,
giggles with " Where can I worship and bow down?"  I do not adore Mr
Shakespeare as a Godlike genius who can write no wrong, rather he is the
best writer I have read.  I say this because he writes about the
darkest, filthiest and sometimes the highest and most wonderful emotions
of humanity whilst setting them in a glittering panorama of Kings,
Queens and courtiers.  I thank Don Bloom for his understanding of the
topic and will try to be less "posturing".   I less understand Terence
Hawks' accusation that I "airily" presented Shakespeare's writing as
"soppy and transcendental".  I am at a loss.  To try and understand him
- love: hate: we've ALL felt it. Correct?  Even Terrence Hawks.  How is
that "soppy and transcendental"?  Perhaps it was the "abstract"
separation that Mr Hawkes mistakenly believes that Shakespeare considers
emotions.

The unconscious part of our mind is something that writers especially
unconsciously employ.  It is said that the traffic from the unconscious
to the conscious mind is a one way, twelve lane freeway; the opposite
direction, a difficult, barely discernible path.  All the experiences,
memories, adventures, fears, longings, modified instincts, prejudices
and sexual longings abide there.  When we think of a universal word such
as "child" or "mother" then all manner of images come clattering down
that freeway. But the images are from our own experience, now long
forgot from our conscious memory.  If we ask why, access to that mighty
cavern of terrifying treasures is all but denied.  We do not incessantly
dream of living in a 6th century Bolivian village because we have no
experience of it.  But of course, the unconscious treats stage, film and
TV characters as unconscious experience.  That is why the "suspension of
disbelief" works in acted drama.  So, I say to Thomas Larque that his
unconscious has absorbed many people that he has since consciously
forgotten.  He invents nothing except plot.  Even when we consciously
try to make up non-human characters we are, of course are re-creating
human characters.  Karen Peterson-Kranz's example of HAL is of course
human.  There is no talking, emoting computer to base it on.  HAL is
what Clark thought a human would be like if it were a computer.  Not the
other way round.  In other words HAL is an endearing piece of nonsense.
Shakespeare's Ariel, Caliban, Puck and all the fairies are unconscious
fragments of humanity that fits the dramatic bill.  I think Sophie
Masson understands perfectly when she says that writing is a "happy mix"
of our experience and invention.  Shakespeare was, in my view, the
master exponent of the universal act.

SAM SMALL
Project site: http://www.passioninpieces.co.uk

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Tuesday, 19 Jun 2001 21:27:56 +0100
Subject: 12.1549 Re: Conflicts
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1549 Re: Conflicts

Abigail Quart wrote

> No, honey, it doesn't work that way. The trick of writing
> universally (pay close attention) is to be as specific as
> possible. <i>The more specific you are, the more
> universal you become.</i>

One can intrigue a reader by opening a new line of argument with an
apparent paradox. However, if it isn't followed by an explanation, the
paradox just sounds daft. Would you care to add anything to make good
this shortcoming?

Oh, and please drop the 'honey'; my wife reads this list. Failure to
comply will result in my distributing copies of your account of what
would have happened if Laura had told Petrarch to come to bed.

Mari Bonomi wrote

> Without getting into a political discussion about Zionism, let
> me just say that there are at least two very different takes on
> the Palestinian/Israeli question, in terms of who moved whom
> and why.

On a list of this size there is no doubt a contributor willing to argue
that Israel was created in a pocket of land nobody had noticed going
spare.  (Which explanation is at least preferable to the "there just
isn't enough love to go around in the world" theory of postcolonial
syndrome.) Fortunately even in Israel academic freedom allows serious
historians to expose such nonsense.

> Perhaps we can keep such hotbutton topics out of these
> discussions if only to avoid losing sight of the key elements
> in the fog of political passions?

I was hoping to dispel the fog of apolitical passions with warming rays
of controversy in order to keep sight of the key elements, but chacun 

 

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