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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: September ::
Re: Tillyard (Again)
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1758  Tuesday, 9 September 2003

[1]     From:   D Bloom <
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        Date:   Monday, 8 Sep 2003 07:49:04 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1751 Re: Tillyard (Again)

[2]     From:   Marcus Dahl <
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        Date:   Monday, 8 Sep 2003 13:52:33 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.1751 Re: Tillyard (Again)

[3]     From:   Holger Schott <
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        Date:   Monday, 8 Sep 2003 14:38:45 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1751 Re: Tillyard (Again)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <
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Date:           Monday, 8 Sep 2003 07:49:04 -0500
Subject: 14.1751 Re: Tillyard (Again)
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1751 Re: Tillyard (Again)

 Gabriel Egan, responding to my query about the "capitalist lie," writes

>In the expression "capitalist lie", capitalist is being used as an
>adjective. Equally, one might want to refer to the 'Nazi lie' that
>international Jewry was conspiring to sap the German people of their
>natural vigour. That lie would be 'Nazi' in the sense of supporting the
>aims of that movement and would be repeated by members of it and, quite
>possibly, by people who began to think it true even though they weren't
>members.

Yes, yes, quite. But where can I find this lie propounded? I can look up
*Mein Kampf* or, with more difficulty, the collected works of Josef
Goebbels. But where can I find this capitalist lie? Who speaks for
capitalism, in so far as it is an economic theory and / or philosophy?
If it is merely some Marxist straw man, some mythological construct out
of "that which is going on that is found to be obnoxious and
threatening," then it is really only of anthropological interest to me.

(Similarly, you can go to many churches and hear preachers railing
against the world, and its threat to the souls of the believers, and
especially to those of their children. I know what they mean, and I have
my own concerns about my children, but I also know that,
philosophically, what they're saying is junk. The phrase "the world" is
religious cant, a code word for whatever they and their congregation
dislike and feel threatened by.)

Now, there are a large number of professors of economics out there, and
other highly trained scholars of economics. I am aware that a number of
them are supporters of capitalism. They could speak with some authority
on the philosophical underpinnings of capitalism, and could then be
accused of propounding this capitalist lie, if it exists. I would find
this interesting and worth considering. But straw men bore me, as do
duelling ideologies.

Cheers,
 don

(ps. I read Clifford Stetner's reply and would have much the same
response.  These are very thoughtful people, but they are generalizing
too much to suit me.)

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marcus Dahl <
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Date:           Monday, 8 Sep 2003 13:52:33 +0100
Subject: 14.1751 Re: Tillyard (Again)
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.1751 Re: Tillyard (Again)

Dear All

Gosh I am surprised to hear this kind of rhetoric still exists (from
Gabriel but reflecting presumably Clifford's views):

>Capitalism is bound to do these
>bad things and a fully transformed    >future can only be built on its
>entire overthrow.

I know that it was fashionable to throw around such phrases in 1968
Paris but De Gaulle is dead and never to return and the vagaries of the
term 'capitalist' being thrown around in such abandon by Gabriel and
Clifford truly surprises me.

Do Gabriel et al. *really* want to 'destroy' capitalism? I have to
confess I don't know where one would start. The idea that we all go
around not buying McDonalds and bartering for our free-range
biodegradable morally co-efficient non-'products' of the new world order
strikes me as absurd.

Does he really see the dictatorship of the proletariat as a satisfactory
option until the beginning of a new unfetishised uncommodified economic
order?

Make mine a slave built Skoda please or a fantastic quality Zil. Oh
please let me join the queues of starving peasants for a loaf of bread.
I can't wait for the piped Muzak played from hospital wall to military
camp while I cycle home on my identikit bicycle to my Zamayatin-style
glass house where I can read the words of our great Leader - e.g. Mao's
great truths ' It never rains but it poors' / or my favourite 'Change
Must Come From The Barrel of A Gun'. Oh the joy of community exercise
and sex not in the city but in a test tube for the factory prepared
youth (but don't talk in front of them as they will no doubt report you
to their superiors). Oh yes please.

To those who would walk among the prophets and eschatologists I
recommend the Eric Fletcher Waters Home for Incurable Tyrants as a
pleasant and non refundable retirement home (cf. The Final Cut).

And For Your Reading: Solzhenitsyn, Zamaytin, Bulgahov, Babel,
Skvorecky, Kundera, Hrabal, Holub etc etc. Just some of those who so
enjoyed the pleasantries of Marx's endearing students.

Please also - no more of the Bollingbrook *is* Essex arguments. If
Shakespeare was writing in so *direct* a way and this was indeed his
explicit intention (remember characters are not authors) do we not think
Elizabeth would have seen poor Will's head roll?

Another thing: didactic art is bad art. See for yourselves the terrible
novels of Sadaam Hussein or Kim Jong or the kind of rubbish which always
appears at the time of official literatures. See also how slippery
Shakespeare is compared with his fellow writers who *were* imprisoned
(Nashe, even Jonson) because they were seen as transgressors. Though of
course even early modern writers who are often called 'didactic' or
simplistic today such as Greene for example are notoriously hard to pin
down to an actual political or religious view. Witness Shakespeare on
this too of course.

anyway anon and all the best to thee from gentle England,
Marcus 'Alack the death of good sense with Johnson' Dahl

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Holger Schott <
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Date:           Monday, 8 Sep 2003 14:38:45 -0400
Subject: 14.1751 Re: Tillyard (Again)
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1751 Re: Tillyard (Again)

Clifford Stetner wrote:

"Surely the long list of imprisoned, tortured, maimed, and executed
artists among Shakespeare's contemporaries was not the consequence of
their bad taste?"

It's one thing to argue that Elizabethan literature participated in
political discourse, quite another to claim that writers were widely
persecuted. Who exactly is on that "long list"? Kyd? We don't know
exactly what happened to him in the Tower, and in any case he wasn't
locked up for anything he had written. John Stubbes? He lost his hand
for a political polemic, not for a work of literature (if you'll allow
that distinction for heuristic purposes). Jonson? Branded for killing
Gabriel Spencer, imprisoned for _Eastward Ho_, together with Chapman,
but only briefly. Who else? I don't know of any writers that were
executed -- certainly not as a consequence of their literary efforts
(otherwise Surrey and Chidiock Tichbourne would qualify, I suppose).
Cinna the poet -- torn to pieces for his bad verses -- has no real-life
equivalent in Elizabethan England.

Holger

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