[lit-ideas] Re: American poetic scene at the beginning of 72

  • From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2006 17:26:10 -0700

And while you're at it, you Allemani folk, why did Wittgenstein think Shakespeare second rate?

Probably because he wasn't Tolstoy. He talks about this in the stuff collected as Culture and Value. Here are some snips from the web:

If Shakespeare is great, his greatness is displayed only in the whole
*corpus* of his plays, which create their *own* language and world.

(_Culture and Value_, p. 83e).

I am *deeply* suspicious of most of Shakespeare's admirers.  The
misfortune is, I believe, that he stands by himself, at least in the
culture of the west, so that one can only place him by placing him
wrongly.  (p. 84e)

[Shakespeare's] pieces give me the impression of enormous *sketches*
rather than paintings; as thouh they had been *dashed off* by someone
who can permit himself *anything*, so to speak.  And I can understand
how someone can admire that and call it *supreme* art, but I don't like
it.-So if anyone stands in fromt of these pieces speechless, I can
understand him; but anyone who admires them as one admires, say,
Beethoven, seems to me to misunderstand Shakespeare.  (p. 86e)
Robert Paul
Reed College

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