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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: May ::
Baseball/Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0475  Monday, 22 May 2006

[1] 	From: 	Stuart Manger <
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 	Date: 	Wednesday, 17 May 2006 16:49:40 +0100
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0454 Baseball/Shakespeare

[2] 	From: 	Chris Stroffolino <
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 	Date: 	Wednesday, 17 May 2006 10:50:27 -0700
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0454 derogatory "Shakespeare"

[3] 	From: 	Margaret Litvin <
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 	Date: 	Wednesday, 17 May 2006 17:41:09 -0400
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0454 Baseball/Shakespeare

[4] 	From: 	John Crowley <
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 	Date: 	Saturday, 20 May 2006 13:57:24 -0400
 	Subj: 	Shakespeare as derogation


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Stuart Manger <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 17 May 2006 16:49:40 +0100
Subject: 17.0454 Baseball/Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0454 Baseball/Shakespeare

Pace Arthur Lindley, but is it derogation to use 'Shakespeare' as done in 
'Glass Menagerie'?
Is there not only very gently mockery and a deal of admiration / 
mateyness?

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Chris Stroffolino <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 17 May 2006 10:50:27 -0700
Subject: 17.0454 derogatory "Shakespeare"
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0454 derogatory "Shakespeare"

A year or so ago the prominent "LANGUAGE poet" Barrett Watten, who knew I 
had written my Ph.D. on Shakespeare (and also had published an essay, 
which favorably compares the writing of Carla Harryman, who happens to be 
his wife, to Shakespeare), instead of saying 'Hi" to me, just said 
"Shakespeare" and it definitely was meant as a put-down. This make not 
really make much sense without some context, but I just thought I'd bring 
it up here since people were asking. Chris

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Margaret Litvin <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 17 May 2006 17:41:09 -0400
Subject: 17.0454 Baseball/Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0454 Baseball/Shakespeare

I thought of The Glass Menagerie as well.  Shakespeare as emblem of high 
culture, and thus a put-down for someone who has the nerve to aspire to 
better things.

A comparable moment occurs in Emile Habiby's Saeed the Pessoptimist 
(1974), an Arabic satirical novel much like Voltaire's Candide.  The 
protagonist Saeed gets nicknamed Shakespeare, which leads into a brutal 
but comically narrated beating in an Israeli prison (chapters 36-37). 
There are references to R&J, JC, and Othello.  And then, as they begin to 
beat him:

"Quote some Shakespeare for us, you son of a bitch!"

"Here, take this, Caesar!"

"A thousand welcomes, our very own Shakespeare!"

Besides the general anti-intellectual connotations there is a subtext 
about cultural trespassing.

Best,
Margaret Litvin

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John Crowley <
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Date: 		Saturday, 20 May 2006 13:57:24 -0400
Subject: 	Shakespeare as derogation

>Unintentional derogation: 'Shakespeare' is what the Gentleman Caller in
>The Glass Menagerie calls the protagonist because that's the only name
>of a writer that he's aware of.

I'd say it's more widespread or common than that, since the name was 
applied to me in high school (1954 - 1960) and was the literary or 
humanities version of Einstein.  Whether it was derogation or not depended 
similarly on your opinion of the eponym; but in both cases represented the 
esoteric, the tough and the mental.

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