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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: April ::
Re: Critical Encounters of the Negative Kind
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0683  Tuesday, 8 April 2003

From:           Ted Dykstra <
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Date:           Monday, 7 Apr 2003 11:15:00 EDT
Subject: 14.0673 Re: Critical Encounters of the Negative Kind
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0673 Re: Critical Encounters of the Negative Kind

>Scales are boring to listen to.  Stories are not.
>
>There is, in truth, only one story.  Everyman is attacked by the dark
>forces of antagonism and by some human quality that he raises from his
>soul, wins the day.

That's a pretty boring story all on its own Sam.

>The Well Tempered Clavier is not a series of scales but series of
>musical works to demonstrate that music can be written and played in all
>of the 12 major and minor keys irrespective of the error called the
>"comma" which Bach distributed across the 12 notes in each scale.  What
>we hear is wonderful music - not boring scales.  Stories are totally
>different.

My point, which I think should be very clear to most, is that without
the artist (writer, painter, scientist, whatever the field) interpreting
the story, the story is just the same old story you posted. Same for the
scales.  EXACTLY the same. "The" story is a foundation that, by itself,
never interpreted or expanded upon, would be very forgettable after one
listening.  But it has in it an infinite store of possibilities.
Likewise the scale.  They are both exciting because of their
possibilities. By retelling, reconfiguring, "practising" if you will, we
acquire a technique and sophistication; one, however, that would not be
possible without the much less inspiring original building block. As
Hamlet is to your original story, so is The Well Tempered Clavier to
scales.

My agitation regarding your original post sprung from your rather
cavalier dismissal of Shakespeare's originality as a storyteller,
suggesting he was not "original". And yet you now state that there is no
such thing as an original story, while at the same time expounding the
virtues of others who tell stories in bars and on streetcorners, thereby
suggesting that they are somehow to be lauded for doing so. Perhaps you
frequent an amazing bar, with stories so rich  and exciting that
Shakespeare pales. I haven't found that bar or laundromat or street
corner where I live.

Ted

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