Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: January ::
Family Shakespeare Redux
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0248  Thursday, 29 January 2004

[1]     From:   Charlotte Pressler <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jan 2004 11:51:39 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0226 Family Shakespeare Redux

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jan 2004 16:28:17 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0226 Family Shakespeare Redux

[3]     From:   Andrew Murphy <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 29 Jan 2004 11:31:13 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0226 Family Shakespeare Redux


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Charlotte Pressler <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jan 2004 11:51:39 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
Subject: 15.0226 Family Shakespeare Redux
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0226 Family Shakespeare Redux

 ><snip> The suspicions that Bloom and Pressler have about the publisher
of the
 >Bowdlerized Hamlet are bourn out by a Google search showing the
 >publisher has also released "George W. Bush on God and Country." It
 >looks like the Hamlet is going to be marketed for use by home-schooling
 >families.
 ><snip>
 >From my observation, the
 >efforts at Bowdlerizing life itself is failing on the upcoming
 >generation of those raised in "Christian" homes. They won't be embracing
 >a safe Hamlet.

Jack, thanks for that very interesting message in reply. Just to
clarify, I didn't have only "fundamentalists" in mind when I spoke of
"Victorians." I was thinking of Sir Walter Scott's famous story about
the elderly lady who was surprised to find herself too shocked to read,
even in private, the same passages from Aphra Behn she'd heard read
aloud, without a blush, to mixed company 40 years earlier.

Sounds like your students are lucky to have you.

Bests,
Charlotte Pressler

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jan 2004 16:28:17 -0800
Subject: 15.0226 Family Shakespeare Redux
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0226 Family Shakespeare Redux

Jack Heller notes the distinction between the extremes of the Christian
right and Christianity in general, and mentions that

 >It looks like the Hamlet is going to be marketed for use by
 >home-schooling
 >families.

I was recently told, by a clergyman in my parish, that the latest
movement is towards "home-churching".  I should think that this
dramatizes the distinction between the extreme wing of right-wing
fundamentalism and the mainstream churches.

Yours truly,
Sean Lawrence.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Murphy <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 29 Jan 2004 11:31:13 +0000
Subject: 15.0226 Family Shakespeare Redux
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0226 Family Shakespeare Redux

While I agree, of course, that bowdlerised texts are utterly lamentable,
our tendency to dump on poor old Harriet and Thomas from a great height
seems a bit unfair. It's important to remember, I think, the culture of
family home reading that formed a central part of C19th middle-class
domestic life. Rather than viewing the Bowdler project in the light of
modern scholarly editions, we might more usefully think of it in terms
of contemporary television. In the UK, you are not permitted to say the
word 'fuck' on any of the major networks until after 9:00 pm. You can
say fuck after 9:00 pm, provided you don't say it too many times
(Channel 4 were recently criticised by the Broadcasting Standards
Authority on precisely these grounds). Even after 9:00 pm, programmes
like _The Sopranos_ are generally introduced with a warning such as
'This programme contains strong language and scenes of a sexual nature
from the beginning and throughout'. Movies shown on TV are, of course,
subjected to various cuts to make them 'appropriate' for a TV audience
(when movies are shown on planes it is even worse -- Baz Luhrmann speaks
about this on, I think, the _Moulin Rouge_ DVD). And, on the subject of
language again, Ken Loach complained bitterly about the fact that _Sweet
Sixteen_ was given an 18 certificate in the UK simply on the grounds of
the language used in the film. Loach argues very strongly that this was
totally illegitimate, since this is the language that real working class
kids acutally use.

All of this is not by way particularly of defending the Bowdlers, but
just to say that we should be a bit more wary of so gleefully casting
the first stones at them. They were inoffensive enough in their own way
-- and Thomas (briefly) attended the University of St. Andrews!

Cheers,
Andrew

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.