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August 11, 2006

The Marketplace or the Theater?

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Frederick Turner wants us to see Shakespeare as the poet of capitalism. Nice passage:

Shakespeare's reasoning endorses the tweaking and readaptation of natural processes for human purposes. Those natural processes, however, are but precursors and simpler versions of the much more deeply self-referential and multi-leveled processes we find in the human world. The market is just such a complex system. The market is the drama of concrete human interaction, the theater of the world. Only highly nonlinear, turbulent, and far-from equilibrium processes, as the market is, could produce such complex and individuated entities as human personalities and cultures.

As a huge fan of Turner's work both as a poet and a critic, I take him seriously.



posted by Michael at August 11, 2006


O blessed those who in the market strive
'Gainst others who would push them off the stage,
To shout their wares above the roaring din
And so be heard and so to win,
And then retire midst comrades hearty tired
To nearest tavern, there to quaff the ale
That makes a cap to each day's war,
And so to bed and so to rise and try again.

Posted by: ricpic on August 12, 2006 6:24 AM

One could equally well call Shakespeare the poet of the family, or the poet of the early modern state, or whatever. His protean quality is one of the major sources of his greatness.

Posted by: MQ on August 12, 2006 1:22 PM

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