I like Paul Cantor, but…

Paul Cantor has often said a number of things about Shakespeare which make me think, but I feel burned out on his stuff after half-reading this article in Claremont: I feel like he’s saying the same thing over and over again, and I wish he would say something about Shakespeare other than “he’s universal,” and then gleefully discuss how foreigners love Shakespeare even when they might be reducing him to something he isn’t (note the contrast between what has been written in this blog about Macbeth, versus the Czechs using Macbeth as a rallying cry for freedom overthrowing tyranny).

I do think his observations about the Japanese in the article might be a point of further discussion. I’ve loved watching anime at times because it is better at discussing the problems of adolescence and the first pangs of love (i.e. FLCL, Neon Genesis Evangelion), the trouble with love and duty that makes the best of us merely symbols (i.e. Cowboy Bebop), and the problem of technology and a world where what is human is the literal, not just metaphorical, question (i.e. Big O, Ghost in the Shell). I wonder if taking the feudal seriously is taking love seriously, and that consideration is what creates depth of theme.

I mean, what strikes me about most people my age and younger is how literal we are, and how efficient we are. We get depressed when we’re not in control. Does it take a whole other conception of society in order to imagine?

– I don’t know. I think I’m ranting more than asking, but I’m not in right-wing reactionary mode at all, or feeling hostile or anything. –

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