Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Bloom and Shakespeare

Date: 28 Feb 2009

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    Boy. Where to begin?

    Mr. T: Thanks for reintroducing the topic about the nature of reality.

    Mark Nevins: I agree with almost all of what you say, except the idea that there might be some objective reality in people starving in third world countries. I'm afraid culture determines that too. Would they be starving had it not been for the culture of colonialism, for instance. In a caste system, are the starving defined as people? If they were slaves or former slaves, would they be considered people? If governments with starving populations instituted cultures of mandatory one child per couple laws, perhaps the starving would not be people but only unrealized people without the opportunity to starve. Does someone starve to death if killed in a battle over food, or aerable land? What if in times of food shortages a culture encourages people to sacrifice themselves to leave more food for those deemed more worthy? Culture determines reality, or life, in any way that humans are able to perceive it.

    Gonzalo: Of course Shakespeare is Anglo-centric. He is the writer most credited with inspiring and influencing the English view of the world, which in no small part led them to create the biggest empire in the history of the world, spreading their cultural influence around the world thereby making Shakespeare the most influential writer in the world. That's not a knock against any non-Anglo writer. But the title of "best" is always arbitrary, and the powerful get to make the arbitrary decisions. If they make decisions that work for them they get to stay powerful and make more such determinations.

    Finally: Why isn't noir taught in the schools? Because determing curriculum is how the powerful ensure their power by passing their cultural ideas on to succeeding generations. The central myth in industrial capitalist societies has been that anyone, regardless of the circumstances of their birth, can rise to the top of society, to be among the most powerful. Okay, maybe anyone CAN, but hardly any DO. Noir fiction dwells more on the life of those who do not transcend the circumstances of their birth, or who find torment, not reward, in the effort. The concern is that if people do not believe in the myth they may rebel, so such things are not taught.

    Put it another way, do you really expect public education to teach from books in which authorities are corrupt, the pursuit of spiritual or material values meaningless and love deceptive, as in the definitive noir novel: The Maltese Falcon?

    I agree with you now Mr. T. There's really nothing more to be said on this topic.

    Best, Kerry

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Gonzalo Baeza
      Sent: Saturday, February 28, 2009 2:37 PM
      Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: Bloom and Shakespeare

      Bloom's assertion that Shakespeare defined the human person for
      European culture is true to a certain extent but at the same time it
      might be an example of the Anglo-centrism that was alluded to before.
      Shakespeare's European contemporaries Miguel de Cervantes and Lope de
      Vega also dwelt on similar themes and had a comparative impact on
      Spanish writers and the Spanish-speaking world, also an offshoot of
      European culture.

      --- In, Jack Bludis <buildsnburns@...> wrote:
    > Mr. T says:
    > >>Consider this: Shakespeare was literally an accident (as we all are).
    > The world would have the same colors without him. You would revere
    > some other writer. Life is not defined by writers... it's not defined
    > by anybody, it just is.<<
    > I'm not sure the world would be the same without Shakespeare. One of
      the few things I agree with Bloom about is that Shakespeare
      invented/defined the human person -- at least of the European variety
      -- he scooped Freud on that. I wonder if Freud commandeered
      Shakespeare or merely redefined the human faults and foibles, none of
      which Shakespeare seems to have missed.
    > Shakespeare's characters are for the most part extreme ... but isn't
      extreme what most go for on rara?
    > Oh, yeah. And Shakespeare didn't write Shakespeare ... some or many
      much more educated persons did.
    > Jack Bludis
    > Read, read, read. Write, write,write.
    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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