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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: September ::
What Happens in "Hamlet"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1454  Saturday, 3 September 2005

[1] 	From: 	Jim Blackie <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 1 Sep 2005 12:03:08 -0400 (EDT)
	Subj: 	RE: What Happens in Hamlet

[2] 	From: 	Bill Arnold <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 1 Sep 2005 12:47:58 -0700 (PDT)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 16.1443 What Happens in "Hamlet"


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Jim Blackie <
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Date: 		Thursday, 1 Sep 2005 12:03:08 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 	RE: What Happens in Hamlet

     Terence Hawkes sayeth:

     "It would be a shame if, in his enthusiasm for the writings of Dover
     Wilson, Jim Blackie did not see that they offer a far from neutral
     account of what happens in Hamlet or anything else. Literary criticism
     does not take place in a political, moral or historical vacuum, nor 
does
     our reading of it. Wilson's essay argues a distinct political case from
     a particular political position. That in no way detracts from its
     persuasiveness. But it's as well to get a grip on what he's being
     persuasive about."

Thanks to Mr. Hawkes who reminds me to consider everything written as a 
product of the historical and political clime of that time. I agree; it 
is important and, ironically, stands as one of Wilson's very own tenets 
when reading/viewing WS's work. I am aware of the time period in which 
Wilson's work was written (1931-ish) and the impact that the "war to end 
all wars" had on his comparisons and metaphors used to clarify his points.

I did not, however, uncover any overt political leaning that colored his 
analysis - an analysis that I found refreshing, intuitive and almost 
faultless. (No one is perfect)

If Terence Hawkes would be good enough to elucidate on the meaning of 
his own comments concerning "What Happens in Hamlet," I'd be most 
appreciative. As the message above stands, it seems indicate that Wilson 
is trying to get at "something" without explaining what that something 
might be. Well, to my poor senses, anyway. Most especially the curious 
statement "[b]ut it's as well to get a grip on what he's being 
persuasive about." This has me puzzled. Am I to get a grip on what 
Wilson is saying, or was Wilson to get a grip on what he is saying? I 
need help parsing this out.

Thanks again,
Jim Blackie

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Bill Arnold <
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Date: 		Thursday, 1 Sep 2005 12:47:58 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 16.1443 What Happens in "Hamlet"
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.1443 What Happens in "Hamlet"

Jim Blackie quotes me, in part, "Well then, you ought to read Bernard 
Grebanier's The Heart of Hamlet which covers Hamlet the play and the 
character like a warm and fuzzy bear rug. Along the way, Grebanier shows 
the strengths and weaknesses in Wilson's thesis. I believe when you are 
done, you will side more with Grebanier and less with Wilson on the play 
and character."

Then Jim Blackie writes, "Sounds fascinating, but it is both out of 
print and (where available)  way too expensive for me. I could not even 
find anything on the web about the author or book...You make it sound 
both repulsive yet intriguing at the same time."

Hey, Jim, look in Hardy's archives, as we have discussed this at length.

Also: go to:

http://www.abebooks.com

and

http://www.bookfinder.com

and you will get the book on the cheap.

As to my making Grebanier sound "repulsive yet intriguing at the same 
time" I do plead guilty, and hide behind the fact I am a writer, who 
sought to do that, precisely.  Bon voyage!

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

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