The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0246 Tuesday, 11 February 2003
Date: Saturday, 8 Feb 2003 12:14:39 -0000
I wonder if SHAKSPERians could stand returning to an old canard*. On 3
January 1999, Graham Bradshaw referred to "Don Cameron Allen's
devastating 1945 review of THE ELIZABETHAN WORLD PICTURE".
I can't square Bradshaw's comment with the review that I have in front
of me (American Journal of Philology 66 (1945) pp. 464-6). Allen decided
that Tillyard had "done an immense service in reducing a certain point
of view to its minimum essentials" but cautioned that such a
condensation necessary leaves much out: "this is not the Elizabethan
world picture but only one corner of it". Aligning himself with
Tillyard's presentation of his Picture as an official ideology, Allen
called it one that "the English upper class admired because it kept them
in power" and thought that poetical articulations of it should be
filtered through a proper cynicism about the effects of patronage; but
"Tillyard is, I think, aware of this . . .".
In one detail Allen certainly misread Tillyard, for "Finally, it must be
confessed that to us the Elizabethan is a very queer age" (EWP p. 101)
was reported by Allen with "Finally, he points out that we should not
think of Elizabethan ideas as 'queer' . . .". This might be excused as a
printing error, were it not emphasized by Allen's insistence that
Tillyard thinks that ". . . 'scientifically minded intellectuals'
regarded Certain European ideas as 'queer'" and so caused the war,
whereas Tillyard's concluding point is that intellectuals have ignored
these ideas (the World Picture, and Nazism) who queerness we must
acknowledge and strive to understand in order to resist.
* Apropos ducks, I'd be interested how far the following joke 'travels':
DEREK I'd like to order Duck a L'Orange, but I don't know how to say it
RODNEY Canard, isn't it?
DEREK It is difficult, yes.
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