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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: October ::
Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2013  Thursday, 16 October 2003

[1]     From:   D Bloom <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Oct 2003 07:42:43 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.2004 Hamlet

[2]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Oct 2003 18:13:35 +0100
        Subj:   Noir Hamlet. #1 (Runyon) Horatio as Narrator. Cut 1

[3]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Oct 2003 18:38:43 +0100
        Subj:   Noir Hamlet. #2 (Conan Doyle) Watson as Narrator. Cut 1

[4]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Oct 2003 07:52:20 +0100
        Subj:   Noir Hamlet. #3 The Continental Op (Hamlet as Narrator) Cut 1


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <
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Date:           Wednesday, 15 Oct 2003 07:42:43 -0500
Subject: 14.2004 Hamlet
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.2004 Hamlet

Edmund Taft writes

"I don't think that Occam's razor supports Don's theory very well,
especially since there IS a memory of Fortinbras's shared with the
audience early on by means of Hortatio's report."

And that's why I cited it, quoting the whole passage.

Jay Feldman responds to my suggesting that Old Norway is a mere satrap
by noting "Norway's relative autonomy, wealth, and authority."

I would agree, if Horatio (who seems to be in a position to know) hadn't
told me something else. He says that Old Fortinbras lost the whole ball
of wax (plus his life) in losing to Old Hamlet.

My appeal to Occam was not based on the idea that I have some great
insight into the text or access to facts unavailable to others, but
simply that my suggestion (that the royal houses of Denmark and Norway
are fairly close kin) "saved the appearances" and had the virtue of
simplicity. It is logical that they would be, and the idea fits with the
evidence of the text -- the defeat of Old Fortinbras, the effort of
Young Fortinbras to recover Norway from Danish overlordship, and the
rightness of the latter's being duly elected king of both countries when
Hamlet's family is annihilated.

Ain't no big thing. I just see the alternatives as too complex or too
vague to be satisfactory.

Cheers,
 don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Wednesday, 15 Oct 2003 18:13:35 +0100
Subject:        Noir Hamlet. #1 (Runyon) Horatio as Narrator. Cut 1

I am sitting quietly in this bar in Lower 42nd Street, Wittenberg,
sinking them with Faust and Luther, when in wanders Hamlet the Hoarse.

"Gotta go home," he says gruffly, neatly fielding the inkpot Luther is
in the process of throwing at Faust, "Dad's dead and Mummy seems to be
about to remarry, and wants me there as Best Boy."

"Also," says Hamlet, "I get the idea something's not entirely on the
straight.  So maybe I ought to check it out. You want to come?  Dear
Dead Dad may not have been the Ideal Father Figure, but he's the only
one I had, so I figure I sorta owe him."

"Sure," I say, "Why not? You'll need someone to talk to."  (Hamlet for
all his build being a quite restrained guy, who tends to bottle it up.)

"Right," says the Hoarse, "meet you there soonest," and off he wanders
out of the bar, leaving Luther and Faust to carry-on throwing the
inkbottle back and forth, and arguing transubstantiation.

When I reach Elsinore, natch I connect up to the local muscle, a couple
of heavies called Marcellus and Bernardo.

And do they have a tale to tell.  Sounds to me like they've been
snorting the white stuff, but hey, who knows?

So the three of us foregather on the battlements.

Bye'n'bye, sure nuff, up turns this Figure ...

<2 B continued ...>

Robin Hamilton

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Wednesday, 15 Oct 2003 18:38:43 +0100
Subject:        Noir Hamlet. #2 (Conan Doyle) Watson as Narrator. Cut 1

I gazed at my friend with admiration.

"Simply, Horatio," he said, "when what has been eliminated as
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

        "The dog which +didn't+ bark in the night ..."

What a noble mind was there o'er thrown.  If he'd only been able to
steer clear of the 7% solution ...

"What we have established, my dear Horatio, is the the Figure, whatever
it is, isn't a simple Phantasm ...  Which leaves us few alternatives."

"Hobgoblin, Demon-from-Hell, Dear Dead Dad ... "

        What a mind he had!

"Horatio!" he said, suddenly springing to life, "there is a simple way
to test this!  If the Figure (Ghost) is Telling the Truth, it is a Good
Ghost. Otherwise ...

    ("Gettier Cases," I thought to myself, anachronistically ...)

"Yes!" said Hamlet, "and as we're paying for these rooms, do we care
what Mrs. Hudson thinks?" and began to pick-out the outline of Dear
Queen Gertrude's face on the wall with carefully-placed musket-balls ...

<anon>

Professor Challenger

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Oct 2003 07:52:20 +0100
Subject:        Noir Hamlet. #3 The Continental Op (Hamlet as Narrator) Cut 1

I knew it was bad when the Old Man called me in.

"Look, son, I know you won't like this, but you've the background.
Simply go down and see what's happening.  Check it out."

As if.

Watching him roll a cigar around his teeth, I was tempted to ram it down
his throat.

He smiled.  "No problem.  A Wedding Party.  Simple look and refer.  Make
sure no one snatches the goods.  You've been there before, haven't you?
And we do have the Elsinore Contract."

Yes.  I'd been there before.  It just so happened it was my mother's
wedding and it was my father who was dead.  As the Man perfectly well
knew.

"Oh, and by the way, you can have the kid as a backstop."

Horatio.

*All* I need.

Comes with the territory.

I sighed.  "K, Chief.  I'll see what I can do."

"But," I said, "I think this one might be messy.  Better have some
body-bags ready."

The Old Man looked mildly taken aback for a moment.  "Surely not?"

I plucked the cigar from his mouth and stubbed it out in a nearby
ash-tray.

"You ever so wish."

Teach me to finance my way through college by working background for the
Pinks.

(Pass me a Senator McCarthy, I'm a hungry man ...)

Lillian Baylis

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