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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: May ::
The Big Question
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0513  Tuesday, 30 May 2006

[1] 	From: 	L. Swilley <
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	Date: 	Friday, 26 May 2006 14:35:14 -0500
	Subj: 	A modest answer

[2] 	From: 	Kent Cartwright <
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	Date: 	Friday, 26 May 2006 16:23:30 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0509 The Big Question

[3] 	From: 	Joseph Egert <
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	Date: 	Saturday, 27 May 2006 19:34:06 +0000
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0509 The Big Question

[4] 	From: 	Donald Bloom <
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	Date: 	Sunday, 28 May 2006 18:42:00 -0500
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0509 The Big Question


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		L. Swilley <
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Date: 		Friday, 26 May 2006 14:35:14 -0500
Subject: 	A modest answer

Every literary work (and every artwork whatever) creates its own world, 
its own philosophy, and its own moral philosophy - every work from the 
squibbles of Judith Krantz to the glories of Shakespeare.

L. Swilley

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Kent Cartwright <
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Date: 		Friday, 26 May 2006 16:23:30 -0400
Subject: 17.0509 The Big Question
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0509 The Big Question

Concerning the question of whether art should be analyzed in moral 
terms, my impression is that, among aesthetic philosophers, the 
relationship between aesthetics and morality is not at all a dead issue 
but rather one of great current interest.  (Perhaps others might care to 
extend, or correct, that impression).  The problem with arguing that art 
is divorced from morality is that can lead to a self- limiting 
formalism.  The problem with arguing that art is fundamentally 
moralistic is that it can lead to censorship and rant.   Perhaps one way 
out is to consider that art works can embody a number of values - 
political, moral (or immoral), cultural, aesthetic, to name some -; that 
art works often embody these values or interests to different degree; 
and that criticism, likewise, can investigate art according to a range 
of values and that some will produce more interesting or fruitful 
analysis for a given work than others.  (Acknowledging these different 
matrices also has the advantage of underscoring one obvious reason why 
we sometimes talk beyond each in  critical discourse.)  Rejecting the 
possibility of a moral view of art seems to me, at any rate, a rather 
fraught approach.  It might be more interesting to consider the 
relationship among different values, such as the moral and the 
aesthetic, that can pertain in a given work of art.

Kent Cartwright
University of Maryland

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Joseph Egert <
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Date: 		Saturday, 27 May 2006 19:34:06 +0000
Subject: 17.0509 The Big Question
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0509 The Big Question

John Kennedy condemns "The DaVinci Code" as a "deplorable piece of hack 
prose and junk scholarship..."

Junk scholarship? The book, perhaps, but not so much the film. See the 
distinctly minority review of distinguished scholar James Tabor (THE 
JESUS DYNASTY) below. His imaginative reconstruction of the Jesus story 
and its deformations casts Gentilizer Paul as the villain-in-chief of 
Christian history:

  http://jesusdynasty.com/The-Jesus-Dynasty-Author-and-The-DaVinci-Code.html

Enjoy,
Joe Egert

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Donald Bloom <
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Date: 		Sunday, 28 May 2006 18:42:00 -0500
Subject: 17.0509 The Big Question
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0509 The Big Question

To combine two puzzlements in a single post:

As it baffles me how we can distinguish autobiography from fiction, so 
it baffles me how an artist can avoid being a moralist.

Unless they're dead artists have to be moralists, and the dead don't 
write much. Or are they moralists only if we dislike the moral content 
of what they write?

Cheers,
don

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