The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0081 Thursday, 1 February 2007
Date: Tuesday, 30 Jan 2007 13:04:04 -0000
Subject: 18.0067 A Question
Comment: RE: SHK 18.0067 A Question
It seems to me that the confusion lies primarily with Joe Egert. He
styles himself as a reactionary devotee of the Enlightenment, but I
wonder if this is the same Enlightenment that produced, among others,
Karl Marx? Or does he have another kind of Enlightenment in mind?
I'm also a little alarmed at his deployment of metaphor: he 'consumes' a
'Greenblatt concoction' and feels 'sated and fully nourished'. Now is
this the same Greenblatt who admitted that he was unable to talk with
the dead because what he heard was the sound of his own voice? And is
this the same Greenblatt who, in Marvailous Possessions charted the
degree to which early colonists of America projected their own meanings
onto the cultural practices and behaviour of those they sought to
colonise? And is this the same Greenblatt whose interest in Foucault
(among others)provides a political framework for the analysis of 'power'?
Egert seems to have constructed a caricature of the position that he
then proceeds to critique. It's a common practice among those who seem
to have very little patience with the task of real radical enquiry. The
'history' to which he seems to be referring is not (as the eminently
consumable Greenblatt will tell him, if he stops for a moment to think
about what he is chewing) is not some kind of inert 'factual' material,
but one half of a dialogue whose conditions of possibility (sorry about
the Derridean formulation here . . . not to theoretical, I hope!) a
radical enquiry seeks to uncover. Egert seems to have got his Heidegger
and his Marx tangled up, and as a consequence he misrepresents the very
position he seeks to challenge. Perhaps he can tell us why he thinks
'history' in the formulation that he chooses is so important, and what
(in passing) he thinks a 'fact' is, how it's constituted, and how it
might be separated from the process of valuation).
Then we'll see who's the ideologue!
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