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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: February ::
A Question
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0095  Tuesday, 6 February 2007

[1] 	From: 	Joseph Egert <
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	Date: 	Saturday, 03 Feb 2007 19:15:59 +0000
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 18.0081 A Question

[2] 	From: 	Nora Kreimer <
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	Date: 	Sun, 4 Feb 2007 13:22:21 -0300
	Subj: 	Fw: SHK 18.0080 Shakespeare Quotations


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Joseph Egert <
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Date: 		Saturday, 03 Feb 2007 19:15:59 +0000
Subject: 18.0081 A Question
Comment: 	RE: SHK 18.0081 A Question

The issue is joined. From the barricades, fiery John Drakakis goes on 
the attack:

  >It seems to me that the confusion lies primarily with Joe Egert. He
  >styles himself as a reactionary devotee of the Enlightenment...

JD's confusion may lie in his valuation. I take it JD has not 
"re-defined and transvalued" the label "reactionary" to mean 
"progressive." Is it still the epithet of choice inside the echo 
chambers of "radical enquiry"? Frankly, it is a wonder that long 
immersion in the acids of Theory has left JD any standards at all with 
which to distinguish the two. How indeed does he distinguish them 
(presently)? The same for "Modernity", "Renaissance", and 
"Enlightenment." What in his view are the Defining features of the 
Enlightenment, that categorically differentiate it (this week) from its 
pre- and post-Enlightenment brethren?

JD goes on:

  >I'm also a little alarmed at his deployment of metaphor: he
  >'consumes' a 'Greenblatt concoction' and feels 'sated and fully
  >nourished'.

I did not mean to alarm JD. Nonetheless he seems quite taken with the 
metaphor.  He is welcome to use it in good health with my blessing. In 
his defense, I might add, Drakakis, like Greenblatt, serves us meat 
along with theory in his superb essays.

JD is not finished:

  >Egert seems to have constructed a caricature of the position that he
  >then proceeds to critique... 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).

Facts and texts, of course, cannot be separated from their 
valuation---there's that truism again. Yet they emphatically do speak 
for themselves, only we hear them in translation (the equivalent of JD's 
valuation). Once again, for JD's benefit, the tales or histories told by 
scholars and historians are imperfect translations, while History Itself 
is a Fact, the true Other, the unvarnished Object, the perfect Text. 
I've acknowledged the hedges and qualifiers tossed by Hugh Grady and 
company, almost as a sop, to their critics. Yet their principles lend 
themselves too easily to caricature and appropriation for Orwellian 
corruption. Remember NT Wright's, "it should come as a relief not to 
have to aim at an impossible objectivity." I find this most pernicious. 
Does JD agree with Wright?

We already see some of the twisting and torturing of meaning in Hugh 
Grady's penchant for re-defining and transvaluing the terms of 
discourse. How can a non-teleological and non-hierarchical "Marxism" 
still be called  Marxism? The authentic mature Marxism has morphed into 
"vulgar" Marxism. Walter Cohen himself could not abide such a loss of 
hierarchical judgment at Theory's hands.  The "subject", formerly 
rendered a non-autonomous Ghost, apparently still stalks the dark halls 
of Theory. He is now to be slowly revived and granted a measure of 
agency, restricted of course to resistance only. Is this not 
agenda-driven chicanery? To inspire such resistance," materialists" are 
now in eager quest for" Messianic" visions. Has the wheel come full 
circle? back to the Noble Myths of Plato and Strauss with which to 
dismantle and reorganize society?  Historicist and non-historicist modes 
of interpretation, we are told, are in dialectic opposition, except when 
they are not. At other times, Hugh Grady has permitted historicism and 
presentism, in their wider sense, to encompass each other.

Let us end at the beginning and ask: why this need to rehabilitate a 
perfectly good pejorative like "presentism"? If the shoe doesn't fit, 
change the shoe, not the foot. Could they not have chosen instead 
"now-ism", or "extantism", or better yet "noncense"?

Regards from the bridge,
Joe Egert

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Nora Kreimer <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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Date: 		Sun, 4 Feb 2007 13:22:21 -0300
Subject: 18.0080 Shakespeare Quotations
Comment: 	Fw: SHK 18.0080 Shakespeare Quotations

Javier Marias, son of eminent Spanish philosopher Julian Marias, wrote 
two novels with A Shakespeare quotation as their titles: Ma

 

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