2004

Shakespeare et al. and the New "Science"

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0207  Tuesday, 27 January 2004

[1]     From:   Martin Steward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 26 Jan 2004 15:22:46 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0197 Shakespeare et al. and the New "Science"

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 26 Jan 2004 12:22:56 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0197 Shakespeare et al. and the New "Science"

[3]     From:   Al Magary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 26 Jan 2004 19:33:05 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0197 Shakespeare et al. and the New "Science"


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 26 Jan 2004 15:22:46 -0000
Subject: 15.0197 Shakespeare et al. and the New "Science"
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0197 Shakespeare et al. and the New "Science"

"You've hit upon a happy phrase "New Science.""

Hmmmm... rings a bell somewhere...?

I guess all phrases come around again after a certain amount of time, in
a commodius vicus of recirculation...

m

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 26 Jan 2004 12:22:56 -0800
Subject: 15.0197 Shakespeare et al. and the New "Science"
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0197 Shakespeare et al. and the New "Science"

Ward Elliot makes an interesting suggestion:

 >... our pilot study still seems to us an impressive

performance by undergraduates and an impressive clue as to what might be
done with more and better panelists.  What if, instead of a dozen
undergraduates, it were every interested SHAKSPERian?  Or every
interested SHAKSPERian who scores above a certain level on a
standardized Golden-Ear test, whichever produces the best combination of
aggregation and selection?

Isn't there a certain problem with using experts?  I can recognize most
Shakespeare, at least from the more famous plays.  Maybe I have an ear
for the stuff, but maybe I'm just recalling earlier readings.

How do we separate the function of a golden ear from that of a good memory?

Yours truly,
Sean Lawrence.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Al Magary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 26 Jan 2004 19:33:05 -0800
Subject: 15.0197 Shakespeare et al. and the New "Science"
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0197 Shakespeare et al. and the New "Science"

R.A. Cantrell wrote:

 >... It may be a few years
 >coming, but Stephen Wolfram's "New Kind of Science," will, I
 >think, have a staggering impact on stylometrics and other
 >quantitative analytical approaches to Shakespeare (inter

alia).

This is the kind of overreaching prediction that made me instantly
skeptical of Wolfram when his book was published, accompanied with far
too much self-hype.  Now, I wish to tackle Wolfram but listmember
Cantrell is standing too near, so....

Wolfram's theory, as a non-scientist like me understands it, would
easily fail in application to even the quantitative aspects of literary
study because it gives too much credit to repeatability, very little
credit to the idea of creation (originality), and no credit to the
concept of continuing creativity.  In a few years someone might show
that Wolfram's big idea applies precisely to, say, the predictable
"Marmaduke" or "Family Circus" cartoons, but I don't believe it will
ever be seen to apply in any interesting way to even the worst hackwork
of the Renaissance.

And certainly not to Shakespeare.

*Even if* one were to argue successfully that Shakespeare deals with
some eternal themes, uses some common story formulas, a few stock
characters, and common stage routines, adapts someone else's historical
narrative or story, and, indeed, writes plays that develop in a
numerical fashion from Act I through II, III, and IV to Act V, one
would--should immediately--realize that Shakespeare's art does not
develop via "cellular automata," iteration, repeatable patterns, little
steps, building blocks, or anything like that.  Shakespeare is
constantly original; like the best artists, he constantly "jumps" in a
way that Wolfram's replicating objects based on simple algorithms just
can't.  Shakespeare's art is just not reducible to mechanical routines
in some "computational universe."

Or as another big thinker in Wolfram's league, Ray Kurzweil, put it,
"One could run these automata for trillions or even trillions of
trillions of iterations, and the image would remain at the same limited
level of complexity. They do not evolve into, say, insects, or humans,
or Chopin preludes."
(http://www.kurzweilai.net/articles/art0464.html?printable=1)

Or even Two Gentlemen of Verona or Titus Andronicus.

Wolfram's theory is essentially reductionism.  It is much, much less
than it was trumpeted to be, but, it seems, is being modestly applied by
researchers in such fields as physical structures, biological evolution,
urban growth, and economics (see bibliography at
http://www.wolframscience.com/reference/bibliography.html), but in the
humanities only by graphic artists overly fascinated by what computers
do best:  follow rigid rules and produce rote work without complaint.
That's not our man or his students in this century.

Al Magary

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Shakespeare for Kids

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0206  Tuesday, 27 January 2004

From:           Bill Arnold <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 26 Jan 2004 07:00:39 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 15.0199 Shakespeare for Kids
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0199 Shakespeare for Kids

Peter Groves writes, "Don Bloom is right to object to the botched
metrics of the execrable couplet:

'Meanwhile King Claudius was still uptight:
The cause of Hamlet's madness had not come to light.'

OK: forget the mumbo-jumbo about "botched metrics" and concentrate on
the inane content.  Kids are not getting the play Will S wrote in it,
not at all.  Not only is it nursery-rhyme bunk, it is wrong on what the
play Hamlet is all about.  Murderous Claudius was more than "uptight"
inasmuch as he suspected his evil deed would be discovered and his
spirit turned into a ghost for eternity, and Prince Hamlet was not mad
but calculatingly figuring out the best moment to dispatch the S.O.B.!

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email 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.

Oh, those delicious, lost Shakespeare plays!

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0204  Tuesday, 27 January 2004

From:           Philip Eagle <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 26 Jan 2004 09:56:16 -0500
Subject: 15.0188 Oh, those delicious, lost Shakespeare plays!
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0188 Oh, those delicious, lost Shakespeare plays!

In addition, "Love's Labours Won" was also the McGuffin of Edmund
Crispin's 1948 detective novel "Love Lies Bleeding".

Philip Eagle

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email 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
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Shakespeare Blacks and Jews

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0205  Tuesday, 27 January 2004

[1]     From:   Alberto Cacicedo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 26 Jan 2004 10:52:04 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0193 Shakespeare Blacks and Jews

[2]     From:   D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Mon, 26 Jan 2004 10:46:05 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0193 Shakespeare Blacks and Jews


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alberto Cacicedo <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 26 Jan 2004 10:52:04 -0500
Subject: 15.0193 Shakespeare Blacks and Jews
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0193 Shakespeare Blacks and Jews

An old but interesting book on the subject of "Moors" in Shakespeare's
England is Samuel Chew's _The Crescent and the Rose: Islam and England
During the Renaissance_ (Oxford, 1937). Chew distinguishes among "white
Moors," "tawny Moors," and "black Moors." As I recall, he also affirms
that there are records of purchases made by a theatrical company for
costumes that distinguish among the three varieties of Moor.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Mon, 26 Jan 2004 10:46:05 -0600
Subject: 15.0193 Shakespeare Blacks and Jews
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0193 Shakespeare Blacks and Jews

Colin Cox writes,

"Moro indeed refers to Arab or Berber and thus 'black' Moro refers to
central Africa around the old Congo."

Sorry, but I need a little more scholarly authority here. "Black" would
not necessarily mean black-skinned. Much more likely, it would refer to
someone black-haired -- as the number of people surnamed Black and Blake
indicates. The black Irish are not of Central African origin. And I
remember a line from an old ballad that goes, "Some say he's black but I
say he's bonny, my handsome, winsome Johnny." Or again, to take one of
many,

SHALLOW By the mass, I was called any thing; and I would
        have done any thing indeed too, and roundly too.
        There was I, and little John Doit of Staffordshire,
        and black George Barnes, and Francis Pickbone, and
        Will Squele, a Cotswold man; you had not four such
        swinge-bucklers in all the inns o' court again:

It seems to me that with the term "black moor "we're talking about a
redundancy used for emphasis, not something to give greater geographical
precision.

Cheers,
don

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email 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
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Girl collapses and dies at school

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0203  Tuesday, 27 January 2004

From:           Michael LoMonico <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 26 Jan 2004 09:51:00 -0500
Subject: 15.0192 Girl collapses and dies at school
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0192 Girl collapses and dies at school

Sorry, but the text of this article seems to be already archived so here
is the start of it with the link below.

Girl collapses and dies at school

January 24, 2004 06:40

A BRILLIANT schoolgirl was being mourned yesterday after she collapsed
and died during an English lesson at an Essex school.

Emma Hurlbut, who had previously been fit and healthy, slumped forward
on to her desk while learning about Shakespeare.

The 12-year-old was rushed to hospital where medics battled in vain to
revive her but she never regained consciousness.

A post mortem proved to be inconclusive and more tests will be needed
before the cause of death is known.

http://www.eadt.co.uk/content/search/nfdetail.asp?Brand=eadonline&Category=News&ItemId=IPED23+Jan+2004+22%3A40%3A13%3A333&archive=0

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email 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.

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