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Home :: Archive :: 1991 :: February ::
Authorial Revision
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 69. Monday, 25 Feb 1991.
 
(1)   Date:   Sun, 24 Feb 1991 22:17:56 -0500                (29 lines)
      From:   Steve Urkowitz <SURCC@CUNYVM>
      Subject:      Re: SHK 2.0066  Authorial Revision
 
(2)   Date:   Mon, 25 Feb 1991 10:11:36 -0500                (24 lines)
      From:   "JANIS _ LULL" <FFJL@ALASKA>
      Subject:  RE: SHK 2.0068  Authorial Revision
 
(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date:   Sun, 24 Feb 1991 22:17:56 -0500
From:   Steve Urkowitz <SURCC@CUNYVM>
Subject: 2.0066  Authorial Revision
Comment:      Re: SHK 2.0066  Authorial Revision
 
Dear Jean Brink:  EEK-mail reply to your call for more careful
definition of revision.  Why do we have to define a horse before we
ride it?  Must a specific line or poem be certified kosher before we
deign to read it or allow our students to read it?  What's to lose if
we discover that the Pirate Marcellus, on 3 February 1603 actually
memorially reconstructed Q1 Hamlet and, boyoboy wasn't Shakespeare
and those other player/sharers furious?  That's exactly why we SHOULD
read that naughty quarto so we may see what all the fuss is about.
As Skip Shand's paper demonstrates, and as I argued way back in 1986
("Well-sayd old mole" Burying Three Hamlets in Modern Editions," in
Georgianna Zeigler, ed., Shakespeare Studies Today [NY:AMS PRESS])
there's life in those texts.  Someone who  wrote them (and I think it
was WS, but who cares?) knew a lot about how those early plays were
constructed.  Even must've seen quite a few.  Even more than Gary
Taylor and Stanley Wells, more'n Kenneth Muir even.  Why wait til
they're certified "good" or "terrible"?  We don't know that chunks of
ANTONY & CLEOPATRA weren't suggested by the guy who delivered the
hazelnuts.  Does that make the whole project suspicious?  Sure it does,
but only if you demand texts virgo intacto.  Read 'em to learn how
they were manipulated or even (egods) penetrated.  Yuch, how violent
a term for the imagined pleasure of engaging a warmly imagined
theatrical experience.  Where is the dancer here? Where a dance?
 
Yrs, Urk.
 
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------36----
Date:   Mon, 25 Feb 1991 10:11:36 -0500
From:   "JANIS _ LULL" <FFJL@ALASKA>
Subject: 2.0068  Authorial Revision
Comment:  RE: SHK 2.0068  Authorial Revision
 
Hmm.  I thought Werstine's point was that we should
somehow incorporate compositors, censors, bookkeepers,
hired menders, and everybody else into the body of
Shakespeare, if not by penetration, then maybe by
some kind of protoplasmic merger.  He fails to say
how this might happen, however, but I begin to get
an idea with Urkowitz's picture of using Q1 R&J in the
classroom.  I THOUGHT he was going to say, just
try showing students several different entrances
from several different quartos of a Shakespeare
play and watch them fall into a stupor.  It would,
it seems to me, require a real quarto enthusiast to
pull it off.  And this may be part of the resistance
to "revising Shakespeare," penetrated Shakespeare,
layered Shakespeare, and all the rest.  Some
classicists--and I guess we're all classicists--are
afraid that the upshot might be that nobody, maybe
especially students, cares about Shakespeare any more
at all.
 

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