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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: January ::
A Question
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0053  Tuesday, 23 January 2007

[1] 	From: 	Christopher Baker <
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 	Date: 	Monday, 22 Jan 2007 20:02:52 -0500
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0047 A Question

[2] 	From: 	David Evett <
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 	Date: 	Monday, 22 Jan 2007 20:51:01 -0500
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0047 A Question


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Christopher Baker <
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Date: 		Monday, 22 Jan 2007 20:02:52 -0500
Subject: 18.0047 A Question
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0047 A Question

Two relevant quotes seem pertinent to this thread.  Presentism in its 
benevolent form reminds us that we can never acquire a critical vantage 
point where, in the words of Paul Tillich, we can "stand nowhere and see 
everything."  Presentism in its evil guise practices what E. P. Thompson 
called the "enormous condescension of posterity."

Christopher Baker

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		David Evett <
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Date: 		Monday, 22 Jan 2007 20:51:01 -0500
Subject: 18.0047 A Question
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0047 A Question

Graham Bradshaw's judicious comments on whig (note the lower case) 
historiography and the presentist-historicist debate nevertheless leave 
less than fully addressed the matter of self-awareness.

  All the historiographies we know about have manifested the distinctive 
assumptions and concerns of their own cultural matrices/patrices (?!!!?) 
"by a system of direct reference to the present." A distinctive feature of 
the current presentism is that, with Butterfield, Foucault, et al as part 
of its m/patrix, it seems to be more self-consciously aware of its own 
peculiarities than most of the earlier systems. As a binary, 
presentism/historicism ineluctably simplifies an immense and complex range 
of individual stances into two nominally polar centers.

Less simplistically, however, practitioners know about the range, know 
that many other practitioners blend the modes in their own practice, and 
especially that many of the more sophisticated practitioners make 
strenuous efforts (not necessarily successful) to become self-conscious 
about the elements in their own thinking that belong peculiarly to their 
own times and places.

To the point where, in a highly theorized context such as SHAKSPER, it is 
a live question whether Presentism, as a practice, need necessarily 
involve a high degree of self-consciousness about the dominant assumptions 
and concerns of its own m/patrix. It is my sense that such a consciousness 
certainly informs the practice of such avowed p/Presentists as Terence 
Hawkes and Hugh Grady.

Presentably,
David Evett

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