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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: August ::
Re: WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0524  Monday, 13 August 2007

[1] 	From: 		Tom Sellari <
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	Date: 		Friday, 10 Aug 2007 23:24:19 +0800
	Subj: 		Re: WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare

[2] 	From: 		Larry Weiss <
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	Date: 		Friday, 10 Aug 2007 12:14:10 -0400
	Subj: 		Re: WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare

[3] 	From: 		David Siar <
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	Date: 		Friday, 10 Aug 2007 12:28:17 -0400
	Subj: 		Re: WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare

[4] 	From: 		Bruce Young <
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	Date: 		Friday, 10 Aug 2007 11:57:29 -0600
	Subj: 		Re: WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare

[5] 	From: 		"Ed Kranz" <
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	Date: 		Saturday, 11 Aug 2007 08:05:04 -0400
	Subj: 		Re: WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare

[6] 	From: 		Joseph Egert <
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	Date: 		Saturday, 11 Aug 2007 11:21:24 -0700 (PDT)
	Subj: 		Re: WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Tom Sellari <
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Date: 		Friday, 10 Aug 2007 23:24:19 +0800
Subject: 	Re: WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare

 >Let's get it straight.  It's not what the plays say that counts, but
 >the uses to which they are put. We wonder about what they 'mean'. But
 >the truth is much starker. We mean. Worse, we mean it by the plays.
 >
 >T. Hawkes

At last, the straight truth.

But I wonder how we manage to mean, when the plays can't. Or do our 
readers mean by us? But again, how do they manage that? How do we decide 
to whom to deny the possibility of meaning something, and to whom to 
grant it?

Tom Sellari

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Larry Weiss <
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 >
Date: 		Friday, 10 Aug 2007 12:14:10 -0400
Subject: 	Re: WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare

R. Gross tells us that he is

 >suffering a bit of mind cramp, trying to reconcile the
 >thought that this beautifully sensitive and insightful
 >piece about Shakespeare came from the George W.
 >Bush speechwriter who invented "the Axis of Evil"
 >and "I'm not going to wait until we catch Sadam
 >with a smoking gun in hand."

Could someone please tell me what this gratuitous, irrelevant, and 
misguided remark has to do with this thread or, for that matter, any 
other legitimate subject for SHAKSPER?  Perhaps it is a fortuitous 
illustration of T. Hawkes's observation that

 >It's not what the plays say that counts, but the uses to which they 
are put.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		David Siar <
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Date: 		Friday, 10 Aug 2007 12:28:17 -0400
Subject: 	Re: WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare

Instead of congratulating Mr. Gerson for "his beautifully sensitive and 
insightful piece" on Shakespeare, as some on this list have done, I want 
to marvel at Gerson's ability to maintain a thoroughly cliche and 
outmoded essentialist-humanist view of authorship and audiences 150 
years after the death of Coleridge.  Never mind that there has *never* 
been a time when people weren't "deluged by ideology"; and never mind 
that there is no such thing as a "human soul" that functions outside 
ideology, as Gerson suggests.  And as to the wonder that such a person 
could be a speechwriter for Bush, the Decider, I'm not surprised at all, 
given that the latter, during his presidency, has been so busy trying to 
refashion misshapen (Iraqi and Afghan) souls into a human form -- and 
certainly not for political reasons.

Dave Siar

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Bruce Young <
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Date: 		Friday, 10 Aug 2007 11:57:29 -0600
Subject: 	Re: WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare

Terence Hawkes says (announcing "the truth"): "We mean. Worse, we mean 
it by the plays."

My question: Why "worse"?  Shouldn't it be "better" or at least 
"neutrally"? Or (at the worst) "more starkly yet"?

The choice of "worse" seems deeply significant, but of what I'm not 
sure. Do you mind explaining?

Bruce Young

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		"Ed Kranz" <
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Date: 		Saturday, 11 Aug 2007 08:05:04 -0400
Subject: 	Re: WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare

Roger Gross <
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 >I'm suffering a bit of mind cramp, trying to reconcile the thought that
 >this beautifully sensitive and insightful piece about Shakespeare came
 >from the George W. Bush speechwriter who invented "the Axis of Evil"
 >and "I'm not going to wait until we catch Sadam with a smoking gun in
 >hand."

Well perhaps not see 8/11 Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/10/AR2007081002403.html?wpisrc=newsletter

Scully recounts the story of the "axis of evil" phrase, which Bush used 
in his 2002 State of the Union to describe Iraq, Iran and North Korea. 
Scully notes that colleague David Frum originally came up with "axis of 
hatred," as reported before. Scully says he suggested changing it to 
"evil." He does not cite any examples of Gerson explicitly claiming the 
phrase as his own, pointing instead to news accounts attributing it to 
him that have gone uncorrected.

Ed Kranz

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Joseph Egert <
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Date: 		Saturday, 11 Aug 2007 11:21:24 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 	Re: WashPost: Ourselves in Shakespeare

 >From the Oracle at Cardiff:

 >"Let's get it straight. It's not what the plays say that counts, but the
 >uses to which they are put. We wonder about what they 'mean'. But the
 >truth is much starker. We mean. Worse, we mean it by the plays."

Perhaps, Terence Hawkes should consult Marcus Aurelius:

"Facts [like all plays and texts] stand wholly outside our gates; they 
are what they are..."

Exactly!

Plays speak for themselves. Only we hear them separately and differently 
in translation. Yet what they say cannot be divorced from the uses 
(innocent or otherwise) to which they are put.

Got it?

Joe Egert

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