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Home :: Archive :: 2010 :: November ::
Allusion to Shakespeare in Poe's The Tell Tale Heart
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0450  Wednesday, 17 November 2010

[1]  From:      Donald Bloom <
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     Date:      November 12, 2010 1:00:31 PM EST
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0434 Allusion to Shakespeare in Poe's The Tell Tale Heart 

[2]  From:       Arnie Perlstein <
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     Date:       Monday, November 15, 2010 3:52:00 PM ET
     Subj:       Allusion to Shakespeare in Poe's The Tell Tale Heart


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Donald Bloom <
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Date:         November 12, 2010 1:00:31 PM EST
Subject: 21.0434 Allusion to Shakespeare in Poe's The Tell Tale Heart
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0434 Allusion to Shakespeare in Poe's The Tell Tale Heart

Arnie Perlstein writes: "I suggest to you, Don, that there is more in this greatest 
of plays than has been dreamt of in your philosophy of literary interpretation, and 
perhaps the last chuckle will not be yours."

As to the first phrase, I would sincerely hope so.

But this "last chuckle" business has a distinctly ominous cast to it, particularly 
in the context of Hamlet. It recalls a line from another poet: "I have seen the 
eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker." And also "[w]here be your gambols now?," 
as well as the pursuit of Tristram Shandy through France.

No, it's best to leave the "last chuckle" to the Prince, for, after all, the rest is 
silence. 

don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:          Arnie Perlstein <
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Date:          Monday, November 15, 2010 3:52:00 PM ET
Subject:       Allusion to Shakespeare in Poe's The Tell Tale Heart

I appreciate the opportunity I've been given here recently to present some of my 
ideas about what I call the "shadow story" of Hamlet. I was also thrilled to see 
that a large number of members of this group quickly followed the link I provided to 
my blog entry from last year about the shadow story of Hamlet. I now beg your 
indulgence for a few additional moments, to give you some brief personal background 
and context for how I got to this place.

In short, the person who led me to discover the shadow story of Hamlet in the first 
place was none other than Jane Austen, speaking to me, if you will, from beyond the 
grave through her novels and letters!

No, I am NOT suggesting an actual ghostly visitation, rather I mean that it was 
during the course of the first four years I spent sleuthing out the shadow stories 
of Jane Austen's novels that it gradually dawned on me that she had not invented 
this technique herself, but had instead emulated her greatest master, Shakespeare!

I read about 25 of Shakespeare's plays, carefully, in 2005, after I realized that 
Shakespeare had been a major influence on Jane Austen. And it became clear to me 
over time that Hamlet in particular was a special source of inspiration for Jane 
Austen. And so it was in the Fall of 2008 that I finally sat down and tried to 
figure out what that might mean for the book I've been working on forever about Jane 
Austen, and it was only then that it burst upon me that Hamlet itself had a shadow 
story, and that Jane Austen knew this very well! I took almost a year to then figure 
out the full scope of Hamlet's shadow story, and what it might mean.

Two weeks ago Saturday, I gave a presentation about Jane Austen's "slightest" novel, 
Northanger Abbey (actually I believe it is fully the equal of the other five 
completed novels), at the Annual General Meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North 
America (JASNA). Part of my argument was that Hamlet was a MAJOR, but covert, 
allusive source for that novel, where it is the metaphorical "ghost" (i.e., the 
memory) of Mrs. Tilney who "haunts" the Abbey, because she has been "murdered" by 
death in childbirth.

Anyway, I don't want to abuse the privilege of this forum further, other than to 
invite those in this group who might be interested to check out my blog for whatever 
part of the above interests you, and to make any comments there that you wish.

Cheers,
Arnie Perlstein
sharpelvessociety.blogspot.com


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