The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0640  Friday, 16 March 2001

From:           Syd Kasten <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 16 Mar 2001 06:31:49 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Re: Bard Bade Goodbye
Comment:        SHK 12.0439 Re: Bard Bade Goodbye

Sam Small wrote,

>Not being particularly right-wing I am still not a big fan of the Blair
>government in the UK, but it is with interested glee that I read that
>the mandatory study of a brace of Bard plays may be dropped from the UK
>national curriculum.  As an ex-teacher.....

and later

> Poetic metaphor is the language of mature adults with a
>substantial emotional memory.  ......  Absorbing poetry is an
>act of reflection; of taking a deep breath to look at the world
>differently than yesterday; of rightly positioning ourselves in this
>terrifying universe.  Children, as with most teenagers, have neither the
>emotional ability nor the inclination to do any of this.  They live for
>the material moment; death is impossible; things and people are either
>right or wrong.

The second selection adequately explains why "an ex-teacher", and
"ex-teacher" implies to me that he means what he says, much as I would
like to believe he is putting us on in his controversial postings.

What sort of constricted, deprived childhood did Mr. Small endure?  No
peek-a-boo; no eensy weensy spider going up a virtual waterspout; no
twinkling star, like a diamond in the sky; no ugly duckling; no
Goldilocks or Cinderella; no Disney Alladin asking Princess Jasmine, "Do
you trust me?" No Androcles and the Lion. Only the material moment.  Or
was his childhood so traumatic that he has obliterated from his memory
the process of acquisition and assimilation of the elements of his
"substantial emotional memory"?  Did Sam learn to walk at the age of 21?

I have a strong feeling that children in established cultures (I only
know three intimately) grow up surrounded by metaphorical constructs of
"this terrifying universe", as well as with a sensual appreciation of

I should have counted up to ten, but - forget about Shakespeare, forget
about the Bible - I am concerned that the teachers of our young might be
tainted by Sam's rhetoric and his ersatz psychology. I think it matters.

Syd Kasten

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