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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: April ::
"this vulgar noun"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0802  Monday, 28 April 2003

From:           Erica Hateley <
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Date:           Sunday, 27 Apr 2003 00:54:40 +1000
Subject:        "this vulgar noun"

A bizarre instance of Shakespeare as cultural authority showed up in
today's edition of "The Weekend Australian" (April 26-27, 2003 p.R24):

Luke Slattery, in a discussion of international classification decisions
on Ken Loach's new film "Sweet Sixteen" moves - by way of Eric
Partridge's "Shakespeare's Bawdy" & the Chatterley Trial - from Hamlet's
"country matters" comment to a simultaneous justification of Loach's
apparently frequent use of a "vulgar noun" in his film and to posit that
"Obscenity lies right at the heart of the canon of great and morally
improving literary works".

That Slattery appears to have no 'issue' with the concept of "morally
improving literary works" should indicate his position on the issue, but
I thought it worth noting that "Hamlet" is yet again, albeit implicitly,
used as the QED of any argument about cultural value and/or legitimacy.

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