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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: July ::
Re: A Fifth Grader's View of Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1435  Friday, 11 July 2003

[1]     From:   Michael LoMonico <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jul 2003 11:00:44 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.1427 Re: A Fifth Grader's View of Shakespeare

[2]     From:   Sam Small <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Jul 2003 16:11:27 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1427 Re: A Fifth Grader's View of Shakespeare

[3]     From:   Carol Morley <
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        Date:   Friday, 11 Jul 2003 10:22:31 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1427 Re: A Fifth Grader's View of Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael LoMonico <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Jul 2003 11:00:44 -0400
Subject: 14.1427 Re: A Fifth Grader's View of Shakespeare
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.1427 Re: A Fifth Grader's View of Shakespeare

Jeff Myers wrote:  Yes, that Lederer is offensive.  I can't find
anything funny about malapropisms and can only think that Shakespeare
was being deeply ironic when he created the otherwise unavoidably
offensive Dogberry and Elbow. Clearly these characters need our sympathy
and perhaps remediation (if, indeed, even these responses aren't too
linguistically imperial); they do not need to be made fun of.  I'm glad
you brought this injustice to our attention.

There's a slight difference between laughing at a pompous character who
uses malapropisms while trying to sound intelligent and laughing at a
10-year old child who simply makes a mistake.

Michael LoMonico, Editor
Shakespeare Magazine

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sam Small <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Jul 2003 16:11:27 +0100
Subject: 14.1427 Re: A Fifth Grader's View of Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1427 Re: A Fifth Grader's View of Shakespeare

Is this a new spat of political correctness from Jeffrey Myers and
Michael LoMonico in the name of dear Shakespeare?  I haven't read
Lederer's book and probably won't - but cannot brook the idea of it
being censored by the carping insistence of it being "offensive".  What
on earth does "offensive" mean, may I ask?  It is not an insult, because
the above posters would have said so.  It actually means that it is an
opinion or taste which they do not subscribe to.  It is a social and
academic tyranny which should have been cast aside centuries ago.  Myers
even admits to being "offended" by Shakespearean characters.  We might
as well include Richard III, Aaron, Edmund Autolycus and Iago - all very
"offensive" persons.  Perhaps the anti-Semitism in MofV, or the racism
in Othello or the toilet humour littered throughout the plays would be
similarly shunned by Messers Myers and LoMonico.  But perhaps the real
reason is that those two gentleman prefer "offensiveness" if it's in
high poetry - but not in low prose.

SAM SMALL

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carol Morley <
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Date:           Friday, 11 Jul 2003 10:22:31 +0000
Subject: 14.1427 Re: A Fifth Grader's View of Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1427 Re: A Fifth Grader's View of Shakespeare

Or in UK terms, a Sixth-former's view:

We note not just the appalling taste of Shakespeare's Dogberryisms as
discussed, but the further deplorable attempts at humour instituted by
Sellars and Yateman in '1066 and All That'. Their puerile attempts at
wit have, together with Shakespeare, had me on the floor howling with
mirth these 25 years and being told it's un-pc to get their jokes
somehow isn't going to stop me now. I forwarded the correspondence so
far to my cousin, deep in GCSE marking right now. Her favourite new
coining to appear in this year's batch of scripts so far is a passing
reference to 'David Lynch's "Hobson's Choice"'. OK it's a slow-burning
provocation to whimper, rather than a knee-jerk snigger, but as she
said, once uttered, cannot easily be dismissed without running its
bizarre course, however reluctantly, through the hindbrain.

[PS thanks to all colleagues who'd contacted me direct with Michael
Wood-friendly comments]

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