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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: August ::
Ramblings on the Instability of Meaning and on the
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0432  Tuesday, 4 August 2009

From:       Nicholas Clary <
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Date:       Monday, 3 Aug 2009 16:45:19 -0400
Subject: 20.0428 Ramblings on the Instability of Meaning and 
Comment:    RE: SHK 20.0428 Ramblings on the Instability of Meaning and 
on the Nature of Thought

Pirandello should have written a play about Six Theorists/Commentators 
in Search of the Author's "Meaning." The Father in the play that 
Pirandello did write certainly has a handle on this issue. Then again, 
the Gentleman in 4.5 seems to be onto something when he says of 
Ophelia's speech: "Her speech is nothing,/Yet the unshaped use of it 
doth move/The hearers to collection; they yawn at it,/And botch the 
words up to fit their own thoughts . . ." Who is more mad: Ophelia or 
her interpreters?

The problem I have with interpretative certainty derives from the 
absence of a "default" Hamlet text. Without it, we lack the foundation 
for our wish to be correct. Kafka once said that a book should be an ax 
for the frozen sea within us. I wonder if Shakespeare thought this.

Nick Clary

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