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Home :: Archive :: 2014 :: January ::
Terry Hawkes

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.057  Thursday, 30 January 2014

 

[1] From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         Thursday, January 30, 2014

     Subject:    Terry Hawkes: An Appreciation 

 

[2] From:        Larry Weiss < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         January 29, 2014 at 1:24:48 PM EST

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Terry Hawkes 

 

[3] From:        Arthur Lindley < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         January 29, 2014 at 3:29:33 PM EST

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Terry Hawkes 

 

[4] From:        Hugh Grady < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         January 29, 2014 at 4:34:04 PM EST

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Terry Hawkes 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         Thursday, January 30, 2014

Subject:    Terry Hawkes: An Appreciation

 

Terry Hawkes: An Appreciation

 

Terry Hawkes was one of my professional Shakespearean heroes, if not the foremost among the pantheon of them. 

 

As a baby boomer undergraduate, I was initially taught by New Critics, from whom I intuited that making one’s mark in criticism was to explain the universal of a poetic work better than anyone had done before.

 

As a graduate student in the early 1970s, I was first introduced to Structuralist theory and then to Post-Structuralist theory, Feminist Criticism, Deconstruction, and so on. My knowledge of theory at first was through teaching film. 

 

An opening at my university enabled me to teach Shakespeare. As a white male at an historically black university, I certainly did not want to put Shakespeare on a pedestal as the foremost of all dead European white male writers. Here my knowledge of theory intersected with Shakespeare and thanks to Alternative Shakespeares and That Shakespearian Rag: Essays on a Critical Process I was able to see that there was not one universal but ways of reading from theoretical perspectives. I can sincerely say that Alternative Shakespeares is the single most influential theoretical work I have ever read. That Shakespearian Rag and Alternative Shakespeares brought together the two sides of Terry Hawkes’ legacy to Shakespeareans—his own often-humorous musings and his mentoring and directing of theoretical thinking through collections of essays he edited and promoted. 

 

I was thrilled when Terry Hawkes joined SHAKSPER and participated in the debates. My response to his posting was almost always to laugh out loud when I first read them, before I distributed them to the conference. I have written in many places of the humor and stimulating gadfly ways he contributed to the discussion. For example, the following paragraph from this year’s first posting:

 

Thousands of topics have been discussed throughout SHAKSPER’s first-quarter century. Members surely will differ about the ones they consider most memorable, but I will never forget Terence Hawkes’s response to the announcement of the As You Like It Hike performed by Equity actors at various locations throughout a forest: “We may have to abandon our annual ‘King Lear’ Cakewalk. Persuading the audience to jump off the cliff was always difficult. However, guests will continue to be welcome at the Titus Andronicus Lunch (no substitutions).” I will also not soon forget the disagreements about the appropriateness of postings about Shakespeare-related pornography, the extended discussion of A Funeral Elegy, the first mentions of “Presentism,” or the question of whether Hamlet and Ophelia had sexual relations and the responses: Louis Scheeder’s “Only in the Chicago company” and Terry Hawkes’s “The theory shared by a number of MY colleagues is that Hamlet and Ophelia had textual relations.”

 

Through some nearly miraculous circumstance, I was invited to participate in the 1998 International Shakespeare Conference at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford. At the opening reception on Sunday evening, Terry was the host. In his opening remarks, he welcomed ME to the conference. I am sure that the majority of the more traditionally established scholars in presence were utterly confused about whom he was speaking.  

 

Somewhere, although I searched my computer and could not find it, I have a picture of Terry and me talking at the ISC Tea Party in garden at Halls Croft. I don’t remember which of the conferences this was, but the image is emblazoned in my mind. This was one of my proudest moments. When Terry’s health began to decline and he did not come to the ISC, I sorely missed him. But this is not the Terry Hawkes I will remember: I will remember the gracious man who would take time to speak with me in Halls Croft.

 

Thank you, Terry.

 

-Hardy

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Larry Weiss < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         January 29, 2014 at 1:24:48 PM EST

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Terry Hawkes

 

T. Hawkes’ caustic wit enlivened our discussions here for many years.  He and they will be much missed.

 

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Arthur Lindley < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         January 29, 2014 at 3:29:33 PM EST

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Terry Hawkes

 

So sorry to hear about Terry. I was at a one-day seminar at the Birthplace Trust a couple of months ago in his—and Stanley Wells’—honour. He was too ill to attend. He was a great and endlessly useful critic.

 

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Hugh Grady < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         January 29, 2014 at 4:34:04 PM EST

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Terry Hawkes

 

I just want to express my sadness at the passing of Terence Hawkes and repeat in this Forum some words which were read in a tribute to him and Stanley Wells last fall at the British Shakespeare Assn. It’s a great loss to us all.

 

I’d want to convey my congratulations to both well deserved recipients and give special thanks to Terry for the encouragement and mentorship he offered me over the years. Terry was a pioneer in so many ways and at different eras—one of the first to bring structuralism to English studies (“Structuralism was my machine gun,” he once said, echoing the American jazz great Artie Shaw), then a very early recognizer of key poststructuralist ideas in his milestone essay on Hamlet, “Telmah.” In more recent times, he pioneered the critical, self-aware, and artful approach to approach to Shakespeare studies he has called “Presentism,” taking a term I had used casually in 1996, and exemplifying it like no one else in a series of brilliant studies. There is no one like him, and there won’t be another.

 

Sincerely,

Hugh Grady

 
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.