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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: June ::
SHAKSPER Roundtable: Shakespeare's Intentions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0371  Sunday, 29 June 2008

From:       Duncan Salkeld <
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Date:       Friday, 27 Jun 2008 11:11:06 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: 19.0364 SHAKSPER Roundtable: Shakespeare's Intentions
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0364 SHAKSPER Roundtable: Shakespeare's Intentions

Hugh Grady raises a fascinating point - - the relationship of the 'aesthetic' to 
intentionality. But it's not so easy to see how a distinction between 
'conventional' and 'aesthetic' language (if it can be drawn at all) ties in with 
an equivalent distinction between 'non-intended' and 'intended' language. As a 
side issue, I can see very good reasons for regarding genres as shared 
conventional literary modes with their own social purposes but also as exemplars 
of writerly intention.

David Schalkwyk seems content to hold that intention may be 'indispensable' or 
'inescapable' but ultimately doesn't matter. For him, you can drop talk of 
intention and just stick to the evidence. But since evidence must be evidence of 
something, and sometimes of intention or purpose, that is precisely what you 
have to address. I don't think the debate comes down to a loaded choice between 
Shakespeare the fixed intending genius in one corner and the changing world of 
performance in the other. Cary DiPietro gives a very honest assessment of the 
pedagogical issues intentionality raises, and sensibly recommends that 
consciousness merits a place in the discussion. In philosophy, as in literary 
criticism, intentionality raises tricky problems not easily resolved. I simply 
maintain that avoiding talk of authorial intention at all costs seems an odd and 
limiting way to go about Shakespeare studies.


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