The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0437 Thursday, 6 August 2009
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
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?
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