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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: October ::
Re: Authorial Intention
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2048  Thursday, 10 October 2002

[1]     From:   Claude Caspar <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Oct 2002 10:17:13 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2044 Re: Authorial Intention

[2]     From:   R. A. Cantrell <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 09 Oct 2002 09:51:45 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2044 Re: Authorial Intention

[3]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Oct 2002 21:03:38 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2044 Re: Authorial Intention


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Claude Caspar <
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Date:           Wednesday, 9 Oct 2002 10:17:13 -0400
Subject: 13.2044 Re: Authorial Intention
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2044 Re: Authorial Intention

>>notions of personal identity: "I am I because my little dog knows me."
>
>The dog smells, but, as Johnson would say, the example stinks.
>
>     Roger

Perhaps, but Isaiah Berlin has commented that modern philosophies
failure to answer Hume's devastating critique of the notion of Personal
Identity is "...the scandal of modern philosophy." James' origination of
the I/me relation as a feature of modern consciousness is a development
in this tradition.  Of course, GS was a student of James, whom he called
his "best."  In discussions on Authors & intentions I am haunted by the
wisdom of remembering that persons are not their identities.  Now, what
makes this interesting here is that Shakespeare's sense of self is at
the heart of this.  Isn't it central to Shakespeare studies that so many
have found characteristic of his unique nature his lack of definition,
of fixity, of, dare I say, personal identity?  The other James' famous
crystal without imperfection.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R. A. Cantrell <
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Date:           Wednesday, 09 Oct 2002 09:51:45 -0500
Subject: 13.2044 Re: Authorial Intention
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2044 Re: Authorial Intention

Tony Burton <
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 > writes,

>For the benefit of those of us not initiated into the language of the
>ongoing discussion over "un/recoverable" authorial intentions, let me
>ask

Alan Bloom is good person to ask this sort question. His Fashionable
Nonsense and his website are very informative.

>(a) what is meant by "non-contingent authorial intentions"?  I can't
>conceive of any "intention" (beyond the mere desire to blurt out words)
>that isn't contingent on,

You've suss'd this out well enough without help. "Non-contingent
authorial intentions" is null/void. It is a disingenuous rhetorical
move.

>I dismiss in advance as trivial the possibility that this is
>the literary equivalent of the uncertainty principle, that one cannot
>know FOR SURE, ALL about the object of one's attention because the
>observer is always to some extent a participant in the event (discourse,
>etc.) under inquiry.

A good deal of current literary theory, including the 'authorial intent'
blather, is indeed based on a specious importation of principles from
the physical sciences. A. Bloom devastates this process and is very
amusing and entertaining in the process.

All the best,
R.A. Cantrell
<
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[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Wednesday, 9 Oct 2002 21:03:38 -0400
Subject: 13.2044 Re: Authorial Intention
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2044 Re: Authorial Intention

Tony:

>And also (b) as to "transcendental understanding," whether there is any
>"understanding" that is not also necessarily "transcendental" with
>respect to the object of inquiry (since it occurs outside that object,
>in the mind of the observer), unless we are talking about pure
>self-generated and self-sustaining fantasy.

This is the point of deconstruction if there is one. Outside does not
equal transcendent. Transcendence implies a hierarchy. Pace Plato,
understanding isn't above; it's just deferant.

Clifford Stetner
CUNY
http://phoenixandturtle.net

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