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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: August ::
Updating Shakespeare's Plays
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0437  Thursday, 6 August 2009

From:       Joseph Egert <
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Date:       Thursday, 6 Aug 2009 13:36:36 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 20.0419 Updating Shakespeare's Plays
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0419 Updating Shakespeare's Plays

Terence Hawkes writes:

"What an enlightened literary criticism needs is an analysis which 
dissects these productions, rejects their preconceptions, and considers 
seriously the state of mind which they imply. This won't enable us to 
connect with Shakespeare's history, which in many aspects remains 
thankfully unavailable. But it will reveal a number of truths about our 
present."

Whether and to what degree Shakespeare's history remains unavailable is 
arguable as to fact, and whether we should be thankful for any such 
unavailability is arguable as to value. TH's reductive presentist focus, 
if allowed to hold exclusive sway, would impoverish true scholarship. 
Dazzling historical treatments, like those by Patricia Parker and 
Stephen Greenblatt, can only enrich it. How will TH know his revealed 
truths about the present are indeed true, and which preconceptions 
deserve rejection rather than acceptance?

Regards,
Joe Egert

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