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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: July ::
Hamlet without Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0377  Wednesday, 15 July 2009

From:       Michael Luskin <
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Date:       Wednesday, 15 Jul 2009 12:40:40 -0400
Subject:    New Book on Hamlet by de Grazia

I welcome any book on anything that argues that we have overloaded a 
thousand times over what the author wrote,

One thing in the review, perhaps a central point, bothers me, though. As 
I understand it, in Denmark one did not inherit one's kingdom, one was 
elected. Hamlet even mentions that Claudius stands between him and his 
election. If her central theme is hat Hamlet is motivated by his loss of 
his patrimony, how does that square with the Danish law or custom of 
succession?

Also, the review's going to the Hebrew word, "adamah" seems more than a 
little far-fetched. I do not recall that Shakespeare had any knowledge 
of Hebrew. If you are going to say things like that, then you can also 
say that Shakespeare is alluding to Ophelia or to womanhood or whatever, 
by evoking the closely related Hebrew word, "almah," only one letter 
different in Hebrew, which means young woman. Nonsense!

I am always bothered by enormous superstructures of interpretation on a 
small foundation, and I wonder if de Grazia is not clearing the ground, 
but simply building a new structure, much like the old.

White I am at it:  I don't have access to a scholarly library, so can 
anyone point me to some basic work by or on Derrida, et al, on the web, 
so that I know what is being referred to?  I don't even have a clear 
understanding of what existentialism is. I stopped reading philosophy 
with Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Mach, so I am behind the times.

Michael B. Luskin


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