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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: April ::
Re: Critical Encounters of the Negative Kind
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0625  Tuesday, 1 April 2003

[1]     From:   Ted Dykstra <
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        Date:   Monday, 31 Mar 2003 14:04:15 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0613 Re: Critical Encounters of the Negative Kind

[2]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 1 Apr 2003 01:47:37 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0613 Re: Critical Encounters of the Negative Kind

[3]     From:   Brian Willis <
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        Date:   Monday, 31 Mar 2003 17:32:01 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0613 Re: Critical Encounters of the Negative Kind


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ted Dykstra <
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Date:           Monday, 31 Mar 2003 14:04:15 EST
Subject: 14.0613 Re: Critical Encounters of the Negative Kind
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0613 Re: Critical Encounters of the Negative Kind

Sam Small:

>There are only 6 things of earthy importance.  Love, sex, water, food,
>shelter and storytelling.  Shakespeare re-told ancient stories that were
>already part of the cultural organics.  Stories that warned of the evil
>and gloried in the good.  That good should always triumph over the evil
>one is what people need to see in order to maintain an optimistic bias
>for suffering the slings and arrows of life.  That Shakespeare's stories
>are told with high poetry and high literary skill is interesting,
>thrilling, intellectually taxing and entertaining - but in the end mere
>vanity.  The story's the thing and always will be.

Good thinking, Sam. And while we're at it, here's one that really gets
my goat: all this nonsense about Beethoven being such a big deal and he
just used the same twelve notes everybody else used. The scale's the
thing and always will be. Power to the uninspired! Long live the roots
of genius and shame on the geniuses - vain, glory seeking selfish people
that they are!  Those stories and scales are enough for me and Sam.

Ted Dykstra

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Tuesday, 1 Apr 2003 01:47:37 +0100
Subject: 14.0613 Re: Critical Encounters of the Negative Kind
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0613 Re: Critical Encounters of the Negative Kind

Sam Small writes:

>There are only 6 things of earthy importance.  Love, sex, water, food,
>shelter and storytelling.

What about death?  And didn't someone (Yeats?) collapse this to simply
sex and death shouted through a megaphone?

(Or was that Beckett?)

Robin Hamilton

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <
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Date:           Monday, 31 Mar 2003 17:32:01 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 14.0613 Re: Critical Encounters of the Negative Kind
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0613 Re: Critical Encounters of the Negative Kind

An interesting and, indeed sometimes, an unanswerable question. But I
like David Evett's observations and especially his example of Keats. He
was a poet that never received any particular critical instruction but
learned his art from observance and from imitation. Of course, Leigh
Hunt and Haydon encouraged him. But the critics, the intellectual elite
of their day, abhorred him and lumped him into what they called "the
Cockney school" of poetry, due to his humble and liberal origins. When
Keats met Wordsworth, he was disappointed to learn how removed he had
become from his initial revolutionary stirrings and the smug disdain he
used to describe his poetry.  In other words, the establishment always
discourages the new and the innovatory. Wordsworth was at one time the
innovator; he became the establishment. With few exceptions, this is the
case. The same happened with Shakespeare himself. Was he not accused
early in his career of wearing other poet's feathers and thinking
himself the only Shake-scene in the country? If we apply the criteria
that what is perceived as mediocre should be banned to oblivion, then
the establishment wins, art becomes product, and nothing innovatory ever
happens. We would not have Keats (we very nearly didn't have him).

Of course, the wonderful thing about art is that whatever people say
about it or what they qualify it as, one thing remains true: it is
resilient. It is resilient because it is the truth told from a certain
point of view. And that is what Keats would have called beauty.

Brian Willis

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