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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: September ::
Borges Comment
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0783  Tuesday, 12 September 2006

[1] 	From: 	Sarah Cohen <
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	Date: 	Friday, 08 Sep 2006 08:35:48 -0700
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0775 Borges Comment

[2] 	From: 	Edmund Taft <
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	Date: 	Friday, 08 Sep 2006 11:42:23 -0400
	Subj: 	Borges Comment

[3] 	From: 	Larry Weiss <
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	Date: 	Friday, 08 Sep 2006 12:16:45 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0775 Borges Comment

[4] 	From: 	Geralyn Horton <
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	Date: 	Friday, 8 Sep 2006 12:42:37 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0775 Borges Comment

[5] 	From: 	John W. Kennedy <
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	Date: 	Friday, 08 Sep 2006 14:34:49 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0775 Borges Comment

[6] 	From: 	John V. Knapp <
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	Date: 	Friday, 8 Sep 2006 14:01:13 -0500 (CDT)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0775 Borges Comment

[7] 	From: 	Ruth Ross <
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	Date: 	Saturday, 9 Sep 2006 07:41:41 -0400
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 17.0775 Borges Comment


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Sarah Cohen <
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Date: 		Friday, 08 Sep 2006 08:35:48 -0700
Subject: 17.0775 Borges Comment
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0775 Borges Comment

"Well, in the case of Shakespeare, there are no understatements."

My father's spirit in arms? All is not well.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Edmund Taft <
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Date: 		Friday, 08 Sep 2006 11:42:23 -0400
Subject: 	Borges Comment

Borges' comments about Shakespeare, quoted by Michael Luskin, seem, with 
all due respect, to be a-historical and a bit uninformed. The Attic 
style of Bacon comes after Shakespeare, as does the emphasis on 
precision that characterizes the prose of Dryden and the poetry of Pope. 
In Shakespeare's time, the emphasis was on copiousness, and playwrights 
like Drayton surely outdid Shakespeare in that respect. Besides, certain 
characters of Shakespeare can be laconic and understated in certain 
circumstances: Bolingbroke in the deposition scene (4.1) in _R2_; 
Enobarbus about everything BUT Cleopatra; Don John; Silence in _2H4_; 
and so on.

Webster seems to be an early move away from floridness toward 
understatement - in, say, _The Duchess of Malfi_, and in the creation of 
Bosola.

Ed Taft

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Larry Weiss <
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Date: 		Friday, 08 Sep 2006 12:16:45 -0400
Subject: 17.0775 Borges Comment
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0775 Borges Comment

 > I don't know why, but I always feel something Italian, something 
Jewish, about Shakespeare.
 >
 >Shall we talk about this?

Please, no!  You know what will happen if we do.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Geralyn Horton <
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Date: 		Friday, 8 Sep 2006 12:42:37 -0400
Subject: 17.0775 Borges Comment
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0775 Borges Comment

The "feeling" of one admired writer about other admired writers is of 
some interest, even if it is merely a feeling about "something" and, 
being felt in 1979,  one that may well have changed over the course of a 
long life. But I fail to see why we should be interested in our 
differing feelings about Borges's feelings c. 1979.  This sounds to me 
like what is in other on line discussions called "trolling": an 
invitation for people to enter a discussion far more likely to produce 
heat than light.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John W. Kennedy <
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Date: 		Friday, 08 Sep 2006 14:34:49 -0400
Subject: 17.0775 Borges Comment
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0775 Borges Comment

Michael Luskin <
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 >

 >Jorge Luis Borges, in his "Writers at Work," fourth series, 1979,
 >said that Samuel Johnson was "a far more English writer than
 >Shakespeare. Because, if there is one thing typical of Englishmen,
 >it's their habit of understatement.  Well, in the case of Shakespeare,
 >there are no understatements.  On the contrary, he is piling on the
 >agonies."  He went on to say that "Johnson, Wordsworth and Kipling
 >also, I think, they're far more typically English than Shakespeare.
 >I don't know why, but I always feel something Italian, something
 >Jewish, about Shakespeare."

A quick examination of "Irene", compared to, say, the recognition scene 
in "Lear", might well lead one to the reverse conclusion. I do not 
recall that Kipling or Wordsworth ever courted either Melpomene or 
Thalia, which, it seems to me, renders comparisons odorous.

As for the Sonnets, perhaps it can be put down to "English 
understatement" that, after four centuries, we have yet to figure out 
what the Devil Shakespeare meant by 'em.

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		John V. Knapp <
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Date: 		Friday, 8 Sep 2006 14:01:13 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 17.0775 Borges Comment
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0775 Borges Comment

Michael --

I always KNEW it: Guglielmo Shakaspera!!  No wonder he knew alla bout 
dolcemente Venereo (or Verona? anyway, a pox on both houses), and acqueo 
Venezia where acqua cheta rovina i ponti.

Now, when multi-culturalism includes Polish-Italian literature (from the 
land of my forefathers), THEN we'll talk!!

John V. Knapp

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Ruth Ross <
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Date: 		Saturday, 9 Sep 2006 07:41:41 -0400
Subject: 17.0775 Borges Comment
Comment: 	RE: SHK 17.0775 Borges Comment

Please...let's not get into another interminable discussion of 
Shakespeare's Jewish influences...or whether or not he was a Jew. Hooey!

Ruth Ross

[Editor's Note: It would appear that we have consensus here, and I will 
not post any more on this thread. -HMC]

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