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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: April ::
Re: Shakespeare and Monkeys
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1194  Tuesday, 30 April 2002

[1]     From:   Martin Steward <
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        Date:   Monday, 29 Apr 2002 17:57:48 +0100
        Subj:   SHK 13.1170 Shakespeare and Monkeys

[2]     From:   Howard Toshack <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Apr 2002 07:23:36 +0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1170 Re: Shakespeare and Monkeys

[3]     From:   Charles Edelman <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Apr 2002 08:34:15 +8/00
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1170 Re: Shakespeare and Monkeys


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <
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Date:           Monday, 29 Apr 2002 17:57:48 +0100
Subject: Shakespeare and Monkeys
Comment:        SHK 13.1170 Shakespeare and Monkeys

>Reporter; Do you think this idea that the monkeys could type the works
>of Shakespeare is possible?
>
>Dorothy Parker : (At the time, not in love with Hemingway) Why not?
>They've already produced 'A Farewell to Arms'.

Intriguing, as it suggests that Parker thought that Hemingway was some
sort of monkey, but also that "A Farewell to Arms" was somehow
comparable to "the works of Shakespeare". Which of the two assumptions
made her fall in love with him?

I couldn't give a monkey.

m

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Howard Toshack <
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Date:           Tuesday, 30 Apr 2002 07:23:36 +0700
Subject: 13.1170 Re: Shakespeare and Monkeys
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1170 Re: Shakespeare and Monkeys

I find I've used a metamorphosed version of the same idea in 'Macbeth: A
Study Commentary' (English Literature Study Guides,
http://www.litworks.com) as part o

" 'Then the liars...hang up them' (lines 55-56): The logic of the
innocent. Note the pert rhythm of the last three words.

"It's been claimed that if you give six chimpanzees a typewriter each
and leave them long enough they'll come up with the Complete Works of
Shakespeare. That says much more about the laws of chance than about the
quality of Shakespeare's plays; but this particular 'poor monkey' (line
57) has delivered one truth at least, randomly or not."

So perhaps the idea originated with Shakespeare himself...

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Charles Edelman <
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Date:           Tuesday, 30 Apr 2002 08:34:15 +8/00
Subject: 13.1170 Re: Shakespeare and Monkeys
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1170 Re: Shakespeare and Monkeys

Sorry to disappoint everyone, but the question of how many monkeys and
how many typewriters might be needed to produce the works of Shakespeare
is moot.  The simian hand is without an articulated, opposable thumb.
Monkeys can't type.

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