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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: May ::
Basch Threads
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0948  Thursday, 19 May 2005

[1]     From:   Bill Arnold <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 18 May 2005 08:45:01 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0937 Basch Threads

[2]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 18 May 2005 18:20:14 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0937 Basch Threads

[3]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 18 May 2005 16:01:21 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0937 Basch Threads


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <
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Date:           Wednesday, 18 May 2005 08:45:01 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 16.0937 Basch Threads
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0937 Basch Threads

Michael B. Luskin writes, "I recently read Caroline Spurgeon's book on
Shakespeare's imagery. She points out that...Shakespeare's rather meager
use of Biblical allusion was confined to the most well known stories and
people.  I can't remember for certain, but I think she said that he
draws equally on the old and new testaments...What is a Biblical
reference? We have to be careful in what we consider a genuine Biblical
quote or reference or only a parallel idea."

Hi, Michael.  I would suggest you read the companion thread I developed
and which is running under the subject heading Shakespeare's Biblical
References.  It seems evident from the works I cited that Shakespeare
did borrow equally from Old and New Testament.  And Shakespearean
scholar Shaheen demonstrates that your assumption is correct, because he
isolates genuine Biblical quotes from borrowings from other works, even
citing the works of Holinshed and Boccaccio as examples of the latter
which Shakespeare is known to have alluded to.

As to Basch's claims I have no comment other than to say that there
should be a distinction drawn in your mind, and SHAKSPERean minds, that
to quote from the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, is different
than saying that someone was a Talmudic scholar and quoted only from the
Talmud, and ipso facto would lead to conclusions other than that Will
Shakespeare was a son of the Judaic-Christian culture of England, circa
1600.

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

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Wednesday, 18 May 2005 18:20:14 +0100
Subject: 16.0937 Basch Threads
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0937 Basch Threads

Michael B. Luskin wrote

 >Basch is doing pilpul.  But he is smarter than I am,
 >a better writer than most of us, and a more decent,
 >tolerant, and patient person than almost all of us.

Really? What if he's the same David Basch who wrote the following:

"The Arabs, products of their culture, do not have the temperamental
capacity to willingly give Israel peace any more than the jackal can
abandon his blood lust for the sheep."
(http://www.freeman.org/m_online/nov97/basch1.htm)

I'd say the writer of this is a racist. (And one with a hallow knowledge
of the rhetoric of historical anti-semitism, which of course his own
words eerily parrot.)

Those wishing to see how Basch's weak grasp of Shakespeare gets used in
his racist writings should see his unintentionally funny account of
Hamlet (= the Israeli Labor Party) deciding not to kill Claudius (= the
PLO in Tunisia). It's at:

http://www.freeman.org/m_online/jun98/basch.htm

The humour, I should add, is in Basch's limited dramatic sense; the
bigotry and hatred are all too clearly serious.

Gabriel Egan

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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 >
Date:           Wednesday, 18 May 2005 16:01:21 -0400
Subject: 16.0937 Basch Threads
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0937 Basch Threads

 >I was fascinated by the person who, among other things, wrote that the
 >Song of Songs demonstrates the love between God and his church.  He's
 >nuttier than Basch, if he was serious.

Of course I was being facetious.  I expected that every educated member
of the List would immediately grasp the allusion to the headnotes in KJV
without the need for an explanatory gloss.  Alas!

While Mr. Luskin's point that a statistical analysis would further
demonstrate the absurdity of Basch's thesis is welcome, I am afraid it
would fall on as barren ground as my ridicule has.  What's more, it
might tend to dignify his argument by addressing it on Basch's own
basis.  Surely, we don't want to get involved in a mathematical analysis
of the syllables in the Canon.  It is enough that external evidence and
the absence of supporting evidence make the fundamental notion
ridiculous.  The proper response to a ridiculous argument is ridicule.

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