2008

A Titus Tangent of Tone

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0064  Monday, 4 February 2008

[1] 	From:	Fiebig,Jeremy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Friday, 1 Feb 2008 12:46:34 -0600
	Subj:	RE: SHK 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone

[2] 	From:	Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Friday, 01 Feb 2008 14:23:44 -0500
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone

[3] 	From:	Dan Venning <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Friday, 1 Feb 2008 15:57:51 -0500
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone

[4] 	From:	John W. Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Friday, 01 Feb 2008 17:55:04 -0500
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone

[5] 	From:	Robert Projansky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Friday, 1 Feb 2008 16:33:31 -0800
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone

[6] 	From:	Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Saturday, 2 Feb 2008 11:13:56 -0800 (PST)
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone

[7] 	From:	Kathy Dent <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Monday, 4 Feb 2008 13:32:29 +0000
	Subj:	RE: SHK 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone

[8] 	From: 	Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date: 	Monday, February 04, 2008
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Fiebig,Jeremy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Friday, 1 Feb 2008 12:46:34 -0600
Subject: 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone
Comment:	RE: SHK 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone

I recall some graduate research by Jason Narvy at Mary Baldwin College's 
M.Litt program that indicated a high likelihood that Aaron (and other 
notable "Moors") in Shakespeare were not necessarily black or in black 
face. I seem to recall the implication that while not black, these 
characters were likely also not white.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Friday, 01 Feb 2008 14:23:44 -0500
Subject: 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone

Sure, Aaron can be played by a white man. And Titus can be played by a 
female dwarf. While we're at it, let's cast Richard Griffith as Lavinia. 
But please don't call it Shakespeare's play.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Dan Venning <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Friday, 1 Feb 2008 15:57:51 -0500
Subject: 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone

Dear Sam:

I would argue that nothing in production "has" to be anything. A (very 
amateur, it seems) production of Titus Andronicus by the Hudson 
Shakespeare Company in 2003 cast a thin Caucasian woman as Aaron (photos 
available at 
http://hudsonshakespeare.org/Past%20Productions/titus_andronicus.htm; I 
had nothing to do with and didn't see this production). A Japanese 
production in 2004 in Saitana used Kenichi Okamoto, who isn't black 
(didn't see this one either).

However, I wouldn't argue that directors who cast a black Aaron are 
being "slavish." After all, the text does *say* he's black; he himself 
comments on it (and his own sense of alienation-and this, I think, is at 
least part of why Aaron is black in the text; he is perceived by all the 
other characters as alien, exotic, foreign, and yes, dangerous, and this 
may be part of what leads him to desire to destroy them all). It's no 
more slavish than a director's making Don Armado a Spaniard, or Richard 
III a hunchback.

Moreover, while the blackness does mark Aaron as foreign, it doesn't 
necessarily mark him as a threat. A Moorish ambassador visited London in 
1600-01 (about ten years after the play was written), and wasn't seen as 
particularly threatening as much as an attractive spectacle. 
Schoolchildren who studied Latin and Roman history would have been 
taught of the great Roman hero Scipio Africanus, who was so called 
because of the color of his skin.

I'm also not confident that Aaron is an example of "Elizabethan racism." 
He's given some of the most moving lines and scenes in the play, and is 
one of the most three-dimensional characters, although still a villain. 
Clearly modeled after Barabas in Marlowe's Jew of Malta, perhaps he, 
like Shylock (or Barabas himself, in my opinion), can be seen not as an 
*example* of outdated stereotypes and racist ideas, but as a *comment 
upon* such views, and upon the violence that can be created by 
alienation and xenophobia.

Dan Venning

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		John W. Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Friday, 01 Feb 2008 17:55:04 -0500
Subject: 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone

Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

 >Did not the sight of a black face in Elizabethan
 >times mean foreign?

"It's not that they're wicked or naturally bad
It's knowing they're /foreign/ that makes them so mad!"

 >Apart from the few

"Few," forsooth?

 >lines (that could be altered/removed) that refer to Aaron's
 >skin tone why couldn't a white man play the part?

White men often have. (Indeed, the best Aaron I ever saw was the late 
Eric Tavares; his lapidary reading of "Zounds! ye whore, is black so 
base a hue?" still sounds in my ears after three decades.)

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Robert Projansky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Friday, 1 Feb 2008 16:33:31 -0800
Subject: 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone

 >Does Aaron have to be black? . . .  Is this not masked
 >racism? Did not the sight of a black face in Elizabethan
 >times mean foreign? other-continental? alien? plainly, a
 >threat? Far be it from me to be politically correct but didn't
 >Shakespeare use the contemporary  prejudice that the
 >audience would have been smitten and lay it on with a
 >trowel? Apart from the few lines (that could be altered/
 >removed) that refer to Aaron's skin tone why couldn't a
 >white man play the part? My point is - do we have to project
 >Elizabethan racism on a modern, unsuspecting audience?

A: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, see below, and yes.

Doesn't the way one is treated because of one's race and culture have 
some effect on one's character and personality and how one reacts to 
such treatment? Is Aaron really an ethnically fungible character except 
for the mentions of his race?

And take away one of Shakespeare's two big roles for black actors? Why 
not the other one too? Maybe cast Othello as a Florentine? And why not 
make Shylock a Genovese instead of a Jew?

In the 1984 John Barton TV series, Playing Shakespeare, David Suchet and 
Patrick Stewart each had a go at Shylock. Patrick Stewart said he saw 
him as essentially an "outsider" and tried to play that rather than his 
Jewishness. David Suchet played him as a Jew, i.e., as written, and his 
assay is exponentially better. Stewart's attempted de-Semitization of 
the character plainly brought him down. Maybe he was squeamish about 
giving full rein to an inevitably anti-Semitic portrayal, perhaps more 
so because Suchet, himself Jewish, was right there. Suchet, however, 
showed no such inhibitions, so he and WS carried the day.

As for projecting racism on a modern, unsuspecting audience, who doesn't 
expect Shakespeare to reflect an Elizabethan world-view that's 400 years 
old? Producers could perhaps post a warning, like, Please Take Notice: 
Black Person Portrayed Unfavorably Within, or, Contents May Offend; For 
Mature Audiences Only.

Where do you stop messing with the play? Even if you could protect 
today's tender-minded audience from the idea that black in humans means 
wickedness just by casting an Aryan Aaron, how would you protect your 
audience from the no longer universally held notion that a raped and 
mutilated young woman is herself a shameful thing? Instead of killing 
Lavinia should Titus give her a set of prosthetics? Maybe some of that 
conflict in those plays should be rewritten too in favor of trying to 
get those people to get along with each other instead of resorting to 
violence all the time.

Best,
Bob Projansky

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Saturday, 2 Feb 2008 11:13:56 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone

Sam Small asks:

 >Did not the sight of a black face in Elizabethan
 >times mean foreign? other-continental? alien?"

And Satanic as well. When Emilia begrimes, not Iago's, but Desdemona's 
union with Othello as a "most filthy bargain," I believe this is sermon 
code for devil's compact. Has any editor noted this?

Curious,
Joe Egert

[7]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Kathy Dent <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Monday, 4 Feb 2008 13:32:29 +0000
Subject: 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone
Comment:	RE: SHK 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone

Sam Small This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 >Apart from the few lines (that could be
 >altered/removed) that refer to Aaron's skin
 >tone why couldn't a white man play the part?
 >My point is - do we have to project Elizabethan
 >racism on a modern, unsuspecting audience?
 >A few lines? Casting decisions are often hung on
 >less than this.

It is clearly central to the characterisation of Aaron that he is black: 
it is as pertinent as Shylock's Jewishness. Of course, we might suppose 
that a white Aaron could play if the rest of the cast were black.... 
(it's been done with Othello), but if the argument is that a modern 
audience is unsuspecting about Elizabethan ideas of race and otherness, 
Titus is a good place for them to learn. Does Sam Small assume that 
(unsuspecting) modern audiences are innocent and not implicated in the 
discourses of racism?

Kathy Dent

[8]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, February 04, 2008
Subject: 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone
Comment: 	RE: SHK 19.0058 A Titus Tangent of Tone

 >Off on a tangent from the current discussion of Titus leads me to ask
 >this. Does Aaron have to be black? Of the versions I have seen the
 >director slavishly casts the ebullient Aaron as black as treacle. Is
 >this not masked racism? Did not the sight of a black face in Elizabethan
 >times mean foreign? other-continental? alien? plainly, a threat? Far be
 >it from me to be politically correct but didn't Shakespeare use the
 >contemporary prejudice that the audience would have been smitten and lay
 >it on with a trowel? Apart from the few lines (that could be
 >altered/removed) that refer to Aaron's skin tone why couldn't a white
 >man play the part? My point is - do we have to project Elizabethan
 >racism on a modern, unsuspecting audience?

This submission troubles me because I cannot figure out what Sam is 
asking or rather what his point is in posting this submission?

Is the issue one of color or gender -blind casting?

Or is the concern with displaying the skills of a particular white actor?

Or is this submission yet another post intended to throw darts at 
anything that vaguely promotes or suggests Postmodern thinking? Frankly, 
I am getting tired of the band of usual suspects who almost on cue chime 
up anytime someone utters anything politically or intellectually 
progressive on this list. The tenacity and predictability of this crew 
astonishes me.

However, back on track, let me make an offering that is related, I 
think, to this subject: I saw the so-called "photo negative" production 
of _Othello_ with Patrick Stewart as Othello at the Shakespeare Theatre 
in 1997. I found it to be tremendously illuminating. One of my favorite 
Washington, DC, area actors Craig Wallace played the Duke. Before I saw 
this particular production, I had convinced myself that the Duke was at 
least one more non-racist, other than Desdemona, white character in the 
world of the play. However, Craig Wallace, a black man, enriched my 
understanding of the play by problematizing* my previous view of it 
through the way he delivered the Duke's "I think this tale would win my 
daughter, too." Wallace spewed forth venomous hatred as he spoke in a 
manner and intensity that I had never heard associated with this 
particular line before. His reading changed my entire impression about 
the possibilities for performing this text, and I thank him (and I have 
thanked him personally.) for this fascinating reading. By the way, 
Patrick Stewart is the person who used the term (perhaps even coined the 
term) "photo negative" in a quotation included in an essay about the 
production by Ray Greene: "I call it a photo negative," Stewart says. 
"One of my hopes is that it will continue to say what a conventional 
production of Othello would say about racism and prejudice. It might 
even say it in a more intense and possibly provocative way by reversing 
the usual racial characteristics." 
(http://www.shakespearetheatre.org/plays/articles.aspx?&id=130)

*"Martha, there's one more of those confangled, LIBERAL words, again. I 
guess I should be getting to my reply to the dern commies."


_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
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Petruchio's Blasphemy

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0063  Monday, 4 February 2008

From:		Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Friday, 1 Feb 2008 16:09:00 -0500 (EST)
Subject:	Petruchio's Blasphemy

Along with Hardy and some others who have commented on a recent thread, 
I am not a fan of TAMING OF THE SHREW, but I decided to teach the play 
this semester because of some upcoming performances of the play in the 
Midwest.  And something occurred to me in my latest reading: some part 
of the early modern response to the play might be tempered by the 
audience's response to the report of Petruchio's behavior at his 
wedding. For those who might have viewed marriage as a sacrament, 
Petruchio's behavior crosses into blasphemy. I don't think identifying 
Petruchio's fault ameliorates our difficulties with this play, but I do 
wonder if there are any records of how early audiences responded 
particularly to his behavior at the church.

I have not yet read THE TAMER TAMED, so does that play give any insight 
to this question?

Jack Heller
Huntington University

[Editor's Note: A point of clarification, I would not say that my issues 
with _Shrew_ have to do per se with my being a fan of it or not. My 
concerns are more with how problematic the play is and how difficult it 
is, therefore, to teach. I do confess to being deeply troubled with 
parts of the realizations of the play that I have seen in performance on 
stage and on film.]

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Books to Buy

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0061  Friday, 1 February 2008

[1] 	From:	Ron Severdia <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Wednesday, 30 Jan 2008 12:42:26 -0600 (CST)
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0055 Books to Buy

[2] 	From:	Will Sharpe <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Wednesday, 30 Jan 2008 21:57:33 +0000
	Subj:	RE: SHK 19.0055 Books to Buy

[3] 	From:	Robert Projansky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Wednesday, 30 Jan 2008 21:11:24 -0800
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0055 Books to Buy

[4] 	From:	Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Date:	Thursday, 31 Jan 2008 13:35:11 -0800 (PST)
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0055 Books to Buy


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Ron Severdia <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Wednesday, 30 Jan 2008 12:42:26 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 19.0055 Books to Buy
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0055 Books to Buy

Gabriel Egan wrote:

 >Those doing the digitization of the papers will claim
 >that although the primary materials are not
 >their intellectual property, they are imbuing these
 >materials with fresh copyrightable value by
 >digitizing them. This absurd argument is the
 >reason that libraries feel entitled to put on their
 >microfilm images the words 'Not for reproduction'
 >even when the image is of a 400-year old book.

I've been over this point in great detail with a copyright attorney. His 
contention is that though the material contained in that book (and the 
book itself) is 400 years old, the images are not. Just like a 
photographer can copyright his/her images, the institution can do the 
same. It's the image that's copyrighted and illegal to reproduce, not 
the work itself.

Ron Severdia
PlayShakespeare.com

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Will Sharpe <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Wednesday, 30 Jan 2008 21:57:33 +0000
Subject: 19.0055 Books to Buy
Comment:	RE: SHK 19.0055 Books to Buy

This is an interesting debate indeed, but I do feel that ultimately it 
does come down to a question of black-and-white legality, and not a 
moral perception of the way knowledge should be freer to those who want 
to know. Gabriel says that:

(I might go beyond the permitted limited distribution for the purposes 
of teaching and research, and think we should all push those limits as 
hard as we can.)

To me, however enticing that sounds, it does sound like a belief rather 
than a justifiable expression of absolute right. I am not assuming a 
contrary position because of any moral outrage or differing opinion; 
rather, I think the Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act (1988) makes it 
fairly clear (this is the UK legislation, and I apologise for the 
length, but I have supplied the relevant sections - my emphasis):

16 The acts restricted by copyright in a work

(1) The owner of the copyright in a work has, in accordance with the 
following provisions of this Chapter, the exclusive right to do the 
following acts in the United Kingdom-
(a) to copy the work (see section 17);
(b) to issue copies of the work to the public (see section 18);
(c) to perform, show or play the work in public (see section 19);
(d) to broadcast the work or include it in a cable programme service 
(see section 20);
(e) to make an adaptation of the work or do any of the above in relation 
to an adaptation (see section 21); and those acts are referred to in 
this Part as the "acts restricted by the copyright".

(2) Copyright in a work is infringed by a person who without the licence 
of the copyright owner does, or authorises another to do, any of the 
acts restricted by the copyright.

(3) References in this Part to the doing of an act restricted by the 
copyright in a work are to the doing of it-
(a) in relation to the work as a whole or any substantial part of it, and
(b) either directly or indirectly; and it is immaterial whether any 
intervening acts themselves infringe copyright.

(4) This Chapter has effect subject to-
(a) the provisions of Chapter III (acts permitted in relation to 
copyright works), and
(b) the provisions of Chapter VII (provisions with respect to copyright 
licensing). 17 Infringement of copyright by copying

(1) The copying of the work is an act restricted by the copyright in 
every description of copyright work; and references in this Part to 
copying and copies shall be construed as follows.

(2) Copying in relation to a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic 
work means reproducing the work in any material form.This includes 
storing the work in any medium by electronic means.

(3) In relation to an artistic work copying includes the making of a 
copy in three dimensions of a two-dimensional work and the making of a 
copy in two dimensions of a three-dimensional work.

(4) Copying in relation to a film, television broadcast or cable 
programme includes making a photograph of the whole or any substantial 
part of any image forming part of the film, broadcast or cable programme.

(5) Copying in relation to the typographical arrangement of a published 
edition means making a facsimile copy of the arrangement.

(6) Copying in relation to any description of work includes the making 
of copies which are transient or are incidental to some other use of the 
work.

I know the counter-argument could be mounted on grounds of using the 
work for educational purposes, but the law seems to me pretty clear on 
that front too:
32 Things done for purposes of instruction or examination

(1) Copyright in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work is not 
infringed by its being copied in the course of instruction or of 
preparation for instruction, provided the copying-
(a) is done by a person giving or receiving instruction, and
(b) is not by means of a reprographic process.

Incidentally, OED defines 'reprographic' as: "The branch of technology 
concerned with the copying and reproduction of documentary and graphic 
material."

Isn't this an open-and-shut case, irrespective of how we may feel about 
the distribution of "knowledge" i.e. if the "knowledge" has a copyright 
logo on it, it can't be distributed in the same way as conveying 
spoken-word "knowledge" which you have written yourself in the form of 
an unpublished lecture to a room full of students? Incidentally, the Act 
can be read in full here (and I hope I haven't breached copyright by 
reproducing the above sections)!!!

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1988/ukpga_19880048_en_1

Best,
Will Sharpe

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Robert Projansky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Wednesday, 30 Jan 2008 21:11:24 -0800
Subject: 19.0055 Books to Buy
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0055 Books to Buy

A day or two ago I said on this thread that Larry Weiss should be 
ashamed of himself for stooping to red-baiting on SHAKSPER. Someone has 
very kindly and gently advised me offlist that I was perhaps ignorant of 
some personal and SHAKSPER history and that Larry's thrust was probably 
not the below-the-belt attack that I took it to be. I was indeed 
ignorant of those facts and I'm sorry I said that.

Bob Projansky

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Thursday, 31 Jan 2008 13:35:11 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 19.0055 Books to Buy
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0055 Books to Buy

David Bishop writes:

 >"I somehow doubt that Gabriel Egan begrudges
 >me my pittance, but if he wants to offer my book
 >for free, I wouldn't mind.

David, I was hoping for an outraged defense of an author's rights to his 
worker's wage--only to be frustrated by your commendable generosity. 
Please reconsider.

Gabriel Egan explains:

 >Just to be clear: no,
 >I wouldn't deliberately undermine someone else's monograph sales by
 >distributing large numbers of copies for free. (I might go beyond the
 >permitted limited distribution for the purposes of teaching and
 >research...

But Gabriel, doesn't going beyond the "permitted" limited distribution 
in fact undermine those sales and constitute yet another example of 
"outright law-breaking"?

Gabriel continues:

 >The ownership of ideas generated by people who work for educational
 >institutions is a vexed and unresolved question. Universities rightly
 >think it iniquitous that they pay academics to generate knowledge that
 >is then given (virtually for free) to publishers and thereafter sold
 >back at great cost to the university library. In the digital economy I
 >have been sketching in these posts, universities themselves would retain
 >in their Institutional Repositories the knowledge their staff generated.
 >It is no surprise that publishers are very worried indeed about
 >Institutional Repositories.

But Gabriel, won't universities be tempted to charge for access to and 
use of their Institutional Repositories to cover their overall expenses? 
Would you deny them this right?

Gabriel later cites Genesis: "One might see the story of Cain and Abel 
as the proto-typical conflict between the arable farmer, for whom land 
is property, and the pastoralist for whom that notion is absurd."

But doesn't the pastoralist Abel deem his sheep property?

Gabriel again: "For a simpler illustration of the same point, I ask 
students to imagine the privatization of the atmosphere and consider 
whether they could ever accept the idea that the air can be owned."

But can that air be rented? If I invest in air conditioning for my 
business, say a restaurant, may I charge for mere access to the premises 
in an otherwise polluted area of town?

Gabriel later backtracks: "For the sake of achieving agreement, I'd 
happily leave out of the argument that I'm making for Open Access all 
those writers for whom royalty payments are a substantial proportion of 
their income and confine myself to those writers who are primarily 
employed by the state as educators and researchers."

But Gabriel, who is to enforce if not define "substantial" and 
"primarily"? One more bloated bureaucracy or Commissariat? Will writers 
and independent scholars like David Bishop or Lynn Brenner be better 
served in the land of Gabe? Or will life become even more difficult for 
them?

Gabe concludes: "I'm afraid I don't understand Joe's point and cannot 
respond."

Sorry, Gabriel, for not being clearer. Hope this post helps.

Finally, let me affirm my complete sympathy with the Open Access 
movement for reasons so ably articulated by Gabriel Egan, as long as it 
remains voluntary and not compulsory. There is a larger issue at stake, 
however-namely Gabe's cheery defense of piracy, which will appeal to the 
Oedipal rebel in all of us. Such an antinomian thrust will, in a Burkean 
sense, further unmoor and destabilize society, until Vincentio is forced 
to find his Angelo. The ancient dilemma remains: should Socrates escape 
prison or drink the hemlock?

Regards,
Joe Egert

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Untouchable Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0062  Monday, 4 February 2008

From:		Carol Morley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Monday, 4 Feb 2008 15:34:33 +0000
Subject:	Untouchable Shakespeare

I'm preparing a lecture on Shakespeare's Greatest Hits, looking at the 
rise and fall in popularity of different plays at different times, and 
would appreciate any help in filling in my background information, 
especially with updates, for the current taboo, or at least highly 
controversial status of both Romeo and Juliet and Merchant of Venice in 
the USA. For the former, I'm happily already searching the SHAKSPER 
archive under 'teen suicide,' etc; for the latter, I'm trying to 
substantiate whether the pointed reaction I have encountered from older 
Americans, that to read, teach or perform the Merchant is an act of 
Anti-Semitism per se., is either widespread or influencing curricula Any 
news of other plays currently in extreme disrepute where you are would 
also be gratefully received.

Thanks,
Carol

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Littered Under Mercury

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0060  Friday, 1 February 2008

From:		David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:		Wednesday, 30 Jan 2008 15:21:38 -0500
Subject: 19.0054 Littered Under Mercury
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0054 Littered Under Mercury

Stephanie Kydd's argument concerning Autolycus that "The suggestive 
sexual context (Trafficke, sheetes, Kite, Linnen, snapper-vp, trifles) 
suggests that 'Mercurie' has nothing to do with the god or the 
astrological sign and everything to do with 'Mercurie' as a treatment 
for venereal disease" falls apart in the wash. The VD joke may operate 
in the moment; but the traditional characteristics of Mercury the 
god/planet and the related physical characteristics of the metal 
reappear far too often and far too aptly in the demeanor and behavior of 
the character to be summarily dismissed. Like Autolycus, Hermes/Mercury 
was often a trickster, often a thief, a master of disguise and sleight 
of hand. In an odd way, Autolycus, by preventing the clowns from 
revealing the secret of Perdita's birth to Polixenes in Bohemia and thus 
helping to draw the king to Sicily, has a hand in the restorations and 
reconciliations of the ending, and, like Mercury, heals. His speeches, 
for all their raffish wit, are full of sensible suggestions; like 
Mercury, he is in his way quite wise, and like Mercury he is extremely 
observant and hence knowledgeable.  Like mercury the metal he is 
slippery, hard to contain or control, and in his modest way dangerous. 
These qualities seem to me to run much deeper into the play than a mere 
topical jest.

Mercurially,
David Evett

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S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

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