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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: April ::
Solid Flesh Once More
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0218  Friday, 11 April 2008

[1] 	From:	David Bishop <
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	Date:	Saturday, 5 Apr 2008 17:14:07 -0400
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0208 Solid Flesh Once More

[2] 	From:	Steve Roth <
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	Date:	Thursday, 10 Apr 2008 10:00:45 -0700
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0208 Solid Flesh Once More


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		David Bishop <
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Date:		Saturday, 5 Apr 2008 17:14:07 -0400
Subject: 19.0208 Solid Flesh Once More
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0208 Solid Flesh Once More

Joe Egert asks if being off the mark about the play means 
misinterpreting Shakespeare's intent. I think that's generally the 
point, although things intended unconsciously by the author and also 
unintended may be happening too. In these and all matters of 
interpretation the absolute unknowability of intent (are our own 
intentions, even, absolutely knowable?) is unimportant. That we're only 
human is a platitude, though many find its endless repetition endlessly 
fascinating. What's important is to look as carefully as we can and say 
to the best of our ability what we see. Or to put it another way, to 
speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.

Best wishes,
David Bishop

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Steve Roth <
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Date:		Thursday, 10 Apr 2008 10:00:45 -0700
Subject: 19.0208 Solid Flesh Once More
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0208 Solid Flesh Once More

It seems that my spam filter is a more severe (and close-minded) critic 
than I, as it saw fit to delete one of David Bishop's replies. I've 
pulled it from the archives.

 >I still
 >wonder, in the midst of this delightful gathering of meanings, what you
 >think is going on in the play, as opposed to, however enjoyably, and
 >innocently, in your own head.

My point is that the play in fact only fully exists in my/your/our 
heads/minds. (And it keeps getting bigger!)

 >what I, or you, say is going on in the play could be significantly,
 >if not absolutely, off the mark.

Oh, ain't it so. Some readings should burn far brighter in the mental 
constellation that is "Hamlet." Some should arguably wink out, or accept 
their role as merely faint and amusing (and arguably distracting) glimmers.

But I would suggest that denying perfectly valid readings/meanings (i.e. 
"sallied") takes one farther off the mark. Too far westward of the pole.

And yes, Joseph Egert, that mark could for me be somewhat usefully 
described as "Shakespeare's "intent"--in its full gross and scope.

 >For example, the idea that Hamlet is young does not seem to agree with
 >my own view, that the play is, in part, the story of Hamlet's coming of
 >age. He ages rapidly, in the short course of the play, but age he does.
 >At least as I see it.

To deny that Hamlet is (among many other things) a coming-of-age play 
would be completely loony. But Holden Caufield doesn't age fifteen years 
in the course of his tale.

Someday I'm sure to completely nail Hamlet's textual/revision history, 
and explain how those two obtrusive thirty-year references got into the 
graveyard scene--contrary to every other suggestion in the play. Absent 
that epiphany, I can only surmise that some exigency led S and/or some 
other(s) to introduce them in some versions, without the necessary 
revisions throughout to make them coherent.

Steve

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