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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: June ::
Re: This might not be fit for the list...
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1102  Thursday, 5 June 2003

[1]     From:   C. David Frankel <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 4 Jun 2003 11:37:09 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.1085 Re: This might not be fit for the list...

[2]     From:   Brian Willis <
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        Date:   Wed, 4 Jun 2003 09:56:13 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1085 Re: This might not be fit for the list...


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           C. David Frankel <
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Date:           Wednesday, 4 Jun 2003 11:37:09 -0400
Subject: 14.1085 Re: This might not be fit for the list...
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.1085 Re: This might not be fit for the list...

L. Swilley replied to Michael Luskin's query

>What is deconstruction?

by saying:

The belief that words have so many different meanings for each and
everyone that communication is virtually impossible. (Logically, then,
the deconstructionist's statement of this belief is itself
incomprehensible, as is this, my judgement of it.) With the Knight in
"Alice in Wonderland," the deconstructionist says, "Words mean what I
want them to mean..."

This may or may not be comprehensible, but it is Humpty-Dumpty (in
_Through the Looking-Glass_ who says "When _I_ usa a word. . . it means
just what I choose it to mean--neither more nor less.

cdf

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brian Willis <
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Date:           Wed, 4 Jun 2003 09:56:13 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 14.1085 Re: This might not be fit for the list...
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1085 Re: This might not be fit for the list...

>>What is existentialism?

L. Swilley replied:

>The belief that life is essentially absurd, and the
>choice to continue
>to live or to die is absolutely arbitrary.  If one
>chooses to live, he
>makes his life by building it with choices and
>consequent acts that
>insure his greatest freedom to choose.  His choices
>announce to others
>his intentions regarding them and hopefully create a
>society around him
>that insures his safety.  Inevitably this leads to
>"Do unto others," and
>those "inalienable rights" - but without the
>religious convictions on
>which those are predicated.

With this definition, the "to be" speech a declaration of
existentialism? Isn't the speech then - in Hamlet's honesty with the
speech and not the argument that it is said for the benefit of Claudius,
et al. - Hamlet's own declaration of the absurdity of life, his choice
finally (for the moment) that he chooses to live but that the freedom of
choice regarding that life is unfortunately balanced against him? That
he lives in a society where he lacks advancement, that those who make
less profitable choices regarding their lives and their society are in
control of his, making that life absurd, and worst of all, that the
ghost's edict not to forget and to avenge his murder have taken away
that freedom to choose? In other words, Hamlet feels that there is no
real choice. If he chooses to die, he cannot control his journey to the
undiscovered country. If he lives, he must live the remainder of a life
that has seemingly been preordained for him.

Brian Willis

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