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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: July ::
Less said the better, it seems
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1245  Monday, 25 July 2005

[1]     From:   D Bloom <
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        Date:   Friday, 22 Jul 2005 11:33:55 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.1239 Less said the better, it seems

[2]     From:   Jack Heller <
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        Date:   Friday, 22 Jul 2005 14:14:20 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1239 Less said the better, it seems


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <
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Date:           Friday, 22 Jul 2005 11:33:55 -0500
Subject: 16.1239 Less said the better, it seems
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.1239 Less said the better, it seems

Kathy Dent writes:

 >"I have no quarrel with the words 'sentimental' or 'simple-minded', as
 >used by Terence Hawkes.  My beef is with: (a) the sleight of hand with
 >which Don Bloom changed these two words into 'sentimentality' and
 >'simplisitic'; and (b) his subsequent defence of sentimentality and the
 >simplistic as if they were some new species of virtue."

KD's anger and bitterness continue to surprise me. I hope she will
believe me when I swear that I intended no sleight of hand or other
duplicity when I asked for a clarification of "simple-minded." The term
is, of course, insulting but I needed to be clear about which insult I
was responding to, as the response would be (and was) different in
either case.

I thought there were two likely senses of "simple-minded," so I offered
what I assumed to be a synonym of each ("simplistic" and "stupid"). I'm
not sure how I could be more open. If there was a sense that I missed,
then I would welcome a further clarification.

Obviously, the offering of these synonyms worked in my favor
rhetorically (at least I hoped they did), because a clarification would
make the limitations of TH's remark evident. In the case, I admitted
having been simplistic, and explained that I had been so deliberately
for a purpose that I will not repeat.

The insult didn't bother me. Heaven help you if you venture onto this
list with what baseball players used to call "rabbit ears." I neither
burst into tears at TH's response, nor decided like a whore to unpack my
heart with words, and fall a-cursing like a very drab. But I did want to
make clear what I meant, and I also wanted to get back at TH, at least a
little.

You have to be very careful in that quarter: there is no greater sleight
of hand artist on this list. But I don't think there is any dishonesty
in it, or no more than one chess player tempting another with an
apparent gain that will turn into a devastating loss. At least, that's
how I play the game. Hawkes may deny the whole thing. (But don't believe
him for a minute, if he does.)

Cheers,
don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Friday, 22 Jul 2005 14:14:20 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 16.1239 Less said the better, it seems
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1239 Less said the better, it seems

Marcus Dahl writes:

 >Surely it is the sense in which to read Shakespeare and then for
 >example, Greene, Peele, Lodge, Marlowe, Nashe etc is to find that not only
 >is the quantity of S's work but also the quality of his work superior?
 >i.e. There is more of it and it is better. And the bets are that for these
 >two reasons alone it will outlast his contemporaries in terms of being
 >read and performed.

I would not take this for granted. First, in the sense that we do have
and read Marlowe and other contemporaries, Shakespeare has not outlasted
them.  Nor do I think that every Shakespeare play is better or more
meritorious than plays of his contemporaries. Had Shakespeare written
anything better at the time that Marlowe wrote Edward II? Are
Bartholomew Fair or The Roaring Girl worse than Romeo and Juliet?

Jack Heller

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