The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1413 Monday, 29 August 2005
From: Jim Blackie <
Date: Friday, 26 Aug 2005 10:30:58 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 16.1408 Comment (and Wilson)
Comment: RE: SHK 16.1408 Comment (and Wilson)
Kezia Vanmeter Sproat wrote:
>But this post is really about Hamlet, and Dover Wilson, and an idea
>someone on the list might be interested in "borrowing" and running with.
>Negatively inspired by Wilson's title & text, (What Happens in Hamlet)
>and in a serio-jocular educative mood, many years ago I proposed to
>write a newspaper column, "This Week in Hamlet." The idea was to share
>with public audiences, and allow them to enjoy, the huge diversity of
>interpretation, staged and written, re. our hero [or heroes, Hamlet and
>author], and to enlarge awareness of some of the fine points in the
>humanities that most of my colleagues take for granted but most of the
>public is innocent of. [And are still innocent of.] The column would
>also list current Hamlet and other Shakespeare productions, films, etc.,
>anything: the central play, both a taking-off point and a "coming back
>to" point for dialogue between literati and newspaper audience. A
>celebration of its depth & light.
I'm the biggest Wilson fanatic, currently on a binge Wilson-thon of all
his writings, so I guess that's me. Never "borrowing" but always
crediting and quoting his insight that opened new understanding for me.
As has been just voiced in an intelligent posting to this forum today, I
paraphrase again that as long as my views are respected, anyone is free
to refuse to accept them as their own. (Agree to disagree) -- But
without that book, I would never have been made aware of the importance
in the Gonzago play of the poisoner's identity as the nephew rather than
the brother of the victim. I would never have been forced to rethink my
interpretations of the plays in light of the thinking of the age in
which it was performed or the frame of mind of the intended audience.
There are many other "little" tips that are helping me as I continue on
my journey of the re-discovery of the bard upon which I so very recently
have embarked. If these thoughts are considered obvious or even
erroneous to those more formally schooled in the study, as ask your
pardon, but my opinions are my own and they work for me right now.
I have even been allowed to grow and build on my self schooling thanks
to Mr. Cook's forum. Also thanks to the information gleaned here by
contributions such as Steve Roth's, who most kindly shared his article
"Who Knows Who Knows Who's There? - An Epistemology of Hamlet" with us
and pointed out weaknesses in Wilson's Hamlet book, giving several
carefully considered alternative explanations that I will also
paraphrase and "run with."
I may not agree with everything I read here, but am appreciative of the
opportunity to learn something new and to focus on things with others' eyes.
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