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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: June ::
Anti-Semitism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1129  Wednesday, 22 June 2005

[1]     From:   Marcus Dahl <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 21 Jun 2005 15:04:32 +0100 (BST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1123 Anti-Semitism

[2]     From:   John Perry <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 21 Jun 2005 16:01:44 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1123 Anti-Semitism

[3]     From:   Elliott Stone <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 21 Jun 2005 17:00:52 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1123 Anti-Semitism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marcus Dahl <
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Date:           Tuesday, 21 Jun 2005 15:04:32 +0100 (BST)
Subject: 16.1123 Anti-Semitism
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1123 Anti-Semitism

Dear All,

With reference to Hardy's stipulation about technical issues not related
to the Shakespeare theme of this list - I am still intrigued to know
what people actually mean when they discuss 'anti-Semitism' etc in
Merchant of Venice.

I am particularly keen to read an explanation of the following technical
definition made by Joachim Martello as it might be related to
appropriate discourse about the Shakespeare play:

"most experts in the field use the term anti-Semitism, we mean the
modern biological determinist, social Darwinist form of Judeophobia,
which develops in the specific region of historic Poland in the context
of modernization and economic competition and which spreads to Central
Europe."

(1)In what way is Darwinism here taken to be "biological[ly] determinist"?
(2)Is this a commonly accepted definition of 'anti-Semitism'?
(3)What of previous behavioural types of 'racism' towards Jews (etc)?

Obviously this is a complex subject but I for one think it could do with
some elucidation and discussion of concepts so that perhaps it will be
brought up less by those with less knowledge of the subject (i.e. school
teachers and the like who regularly seem to pick 'anti-Semitism' as a
theme in MOV)

All the best,
Marcus Dahl

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Perry <
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Date:           Tuesday, 21 Jun 2005 16:01:44 -0400
Subject: 16.1123 Anti-Semitism
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1123 Anti-Semitism

Joachim Martillo <
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 >>I have some real qualms about the terminology of this discussion.
 >
 >I am not sure how much a technical discussion of anti-Semitism belongs
 >to a discussion of Shakespeare, but I have a real problem with the
 >attempt to incorporate Shakespeare into the Eastern European ethnic
 >Ashkenazi pogrom and persecution version of Jewish history or into the
 >ethnic Ashkenazi anti-Christian anti-Gentile and anti-Catholic polemic.

I, too, have serious problems with those who mindlessly label anything
that might be interpreted as critical of (whatever the interpreter's
sensitivity is) as "anti...", or "racist", or "...phobic".

Personally, I appreciated reading Dr. Martillo's revelation that there
is a possibility of a definition of a term that's commonly so sloppily
used that it can be applied to MoV, which strikes me (a semi-Evangelical
Christian) as sympathetic to, as much as critical of, Shylock, and even
more critical of the Christians in the play.

Thank you, Dr. Martillo, and Hardy, I hope you can leave some room for
other reasonable comments (whether pro or con) on this and similar subjects.

John Perry

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Elliott Stone <
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Date:           Tuesday, 21 Jun 2005 17:00:52 -0400
Subject: 16.1123 Anti-Semitism
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1123 Anti-Semitism

I believe that Mr. Martillo's comments went beyond the limits of decency
that one should expect from this site. It has nothing to do with
Shakespeare. The best solution would be to just drop the subject. It is
not necessary to get in the last word/blow.

Best,
Elliott H. Stone

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