Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: June ::
Re: Why Shakespeare Conflicts
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1574  Thursday, 22 June 2001

[1]     From:   Thomas Larque <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Jun 2001 13:43:20 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1560 Re: Why Shakespeare Conflicts

[2]     From:   Don Bloom <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Jun 2001 09:24:13 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1527 Re: Why Shakespeare

[3]     From:   Mike Jensen <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Jun 2001 09:05:21 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1560 Re: Why Shakespeare Conflicts

[4]     From:   Andrew W. White <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Jun 2001 13:56:34 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1560 Re: Why Shakespeare Conflicts

[5]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Jun 2001 21:49:09 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1560 Re: Why Shakespeare Conflicts

[6]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Jun 2001 00:47:48 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1560 Re: Why Shakespeare Conflicts

[7]     From:   Sophie Masson <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 22 Jun 2001 08:04:52 +1000
        Subj:   Universal or Specif

[8]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 21 Jun 2001 21:17:50 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1560 Re: Why Shakespeare Conflicts


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Larque <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 20 Jun 2001 13:43:20 +0100
Subject: 12.1560 Re: Why Shakespeare Conflicts
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1560 Re: Why Shakespeare Conflicts

>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.

I might almost agree with Sam Small's statement that as a child fiction
writer I "invent[ed] nothing except plot", but I suspect that he is
disagreeing with me about my use of fictional characters as opposed to
real people as inspiration for my fiction.  It seems obvious to me,
however, that much of what entered my stories was based on the
experiences of people other than myself.  Since I have never written
fiction since adolescence, but originally started telling stories as a
very small child, I can assure him that my unconscious had not, at the
age of five, absorbed more people than I remembered.  My acquaintances
at the time, pre-school, were barely more than could be counted on my
fingers and like most children I wrote about characters that I had quite
definitely never met in anything other than other people's fiction.

I tended to tell science fiction stories, with heroes who fought evil
creatures and humans.  I have never in my life met anybody who fought
anything (with the exception of my Grandparents with their experience of
the Second World War, experiences which were not related to me as a very
small, pre-school, child).  These fictional soldiers may have had some
characteristics drawn from myself, my family and my very small friends -
in fact in most of my really early stories the hero was me, name and all
- but major aspects of the characteristics and behaviour of these
characters (the things that define their characterisation) were more
often drawn from Flash Gordon and Blake's Seven than from life.  The
character I named as me did not behave in anything like the way that I
did in real life.

One of the major purposes of fiction and stories, and I believe the
original evolutionary benefit and biological purpose of fictionalised
story-telling, is to impart experiences and introduce characters to
people who have never had these experiences or met these characters in
real life, and to test out probable reactions to possible events in the
safety of imagination (if X happened, and I did Y, would Z happen?).  We
tell children about monsters so that they don't feel overly safe in a
dangerous world (the moral of the story is often, for instance, that a
child should not willingly go into the woods on their own, or should not
trust an apparently kind stranger who might have dubious motives) and
the subtle aim of the story seems to be to give them some experience of
these dangers in their imagination despite the fact that they, and we,
have not necessarily met these dangers or anything like them in real
life.

There may, at the very heart of Red Riding Hood, have been a Wolf-like
real person who posed a genuine threat to little girls (perhaps related
to psychological interpretations of the story as a "rape myth") but this
real person must now be lost in the mists of time, and any subsequent
teller of the story, or other stories related to it, draws on the
fictional character - a clich

 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.