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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: January ::
The Shrew and British Feminism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0250  Thursday, 29 January 2004

[1]     From:   L. Swilley <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jan 2004 07:22:59 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0234 The Shrew and British Feminism

[2]     From:   Dan Smith <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jan 2004 14:39:58 -0000
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0234 The Shrew and British Feminism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           L. Swilley <
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Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jan 2004 07:22:59 -0600
Subject: 15.0234 The Shrew and British Feminism
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0234 The Shrew and British Feminism

 >"It is a great illusion of literary analysis that we are writing about
 >the work more than about ourselves," writes Don Bloom. One might add -
 >"... or our cultural and economic contexts, etc, etc." But he continues,
 >"This is so grotesquely apparent in certain cranks, who feel obliged to
 >cram every work into the box of their own obsession, that we normal ones
 >(well, more or less) feel a spurious smugness. But the difference is
 >only one of degree."
 >
 >If the difference is only one of degree (and I wholeheartedly agree with
 >him on this), then surely the "cranks" are the ones who are
 >acknowledging most honestly that their literary-critical readings can be
 >little more than articulations of their own psychological/ sexual/
 >gender/ economic/ cultural/ racial predilections, inasmuch as they don't
 >pretend to achieve the kind of universal judgements that "normal"
 >critics reflexively yearn for?

Who on earth among those "normal critics" would deny - could deny - that
their literary-critical readings are *other than* "articulations of
their own psychological/ etc. predilections"?  On the other hand, if the
evidence is there to show that a reading - from whatever inspiration -
is indeed present in the work, who can say these critics nay? In our
isolation from on another because of our individual calculus of unique
experiences, we yet attempt to communicate with one another, bring
ourselves to one mind with them,  by "arguing our case" before our
neighbors, about everything.  Each of us is like a prophet determined to
convince his countrymen of his "view" of all things.

Is this not what each of us is doing on this Shakespeare.net?

L. Swilley

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dan Smith <
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Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jan 2004 14:39:58 -0000
Subject: 15.0234 The Shrew and British Feminism
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0234 The Shrew and British Feminism

I think a core issue with the Shrew is whether the spirit of the shrew
is truly broken. I feel that there is a lot of insight into the methods
that humans use to break, torture, and dominate others (one reason it is
precious). I also feel that it is possible for people to torture others
whilst feeling that they love their victim (as possibly Petruchio does)
or that it is in their best interests ("This will hurt me more than it
hurts you"). The inclusion of the induction rounds out the play and
shows another group (the wealthy) manipulating and dominating (the poor
- Sly) - a conclusion to the induction might have settled this...

I feel that the current RSC production backs away from these concepts
(e.g. cutting the induction, signalling some collaboration between the
principles during the betting) to the detriment of the play but allowing
it to fit with the much less dangerous Tamer Tamed - but then perhaps I
too am  cramming every work into the box of my own obsession

Dan Smith

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