1992

Shakespeare on Disk Giveaway with Bevington Edition

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 188.  Thursday, 30 July 1992.
 
From: 		Roy Flannagan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, July 30, 1992, 14:03:48 EST
Subject: 	The Shakespeare on Disk Giveaway with Bevington's Edition
 
Harper Collins has been offering a full electronic Shakespeare with Bevington's
edition, *if* the instructor commits to having his or her students buy over 150
copies within a two-year period.  Our local sales rep did not know where the
texts came from, and she had not been told whether they were or they weren't
Bevington's texts, or whether or not they came with annotations.  When I wrote
to Marketing at Harper Collins, their Marketing Manager, Ann Stypuloski, did
write to tell me that these were not Bevington's texts but Shakespeare on Disk,
a series which I know is indeed complete but could not be used safely to
compare with Bevington line by line. The individual who wants to have the
complete plays from Shakespeare on Disk must sign a "letter of agreement" to
order those 150 copies for classes.  The "Letter of Agreement" turns out to be
a two-page legal document that absolves Harper Collins from "the entire risk of
using the licensed software," and it warns "This software offer may be
terminated by HarperCollins{College}Publishers for any reason and without cause
at any time."  Ann Stypuloski, wrote  me, "We did not commission this package.
We are giving it to people at no cost but in order to cover our costs we have
to guarantee an order quantity."
 
The Shakespeare on Disk texts are not meant to be definitive texts, but they
are useful, say, to assign parts and give out lines for an in-class production
of a scene or two, or to help with identification questions on quizzes or
tests.  The texts are in ASCII and are easily ported from one medium to
another, or used on a variety of disk-operating systems.  But they have nothing
to do with Bevington's texts.
 
I called Shakespeare on Disk.  I know this small company because I did a series
of Milton texts for them.   Sam Reifler, Shakespeare on Disk's founder, told me
that Harper Collins was at first planning to place a large order with them,
anticipating that everyone who wanted a Bevington text might want the
electronic texts as well.  Instead, Harper Collins ended up ordering ten
copies.  Apparently Harper Collins is waiting for the orders to come in,
together with the signed "letter of agreement" for those 150 copies of
Bevington's text, before commiting any money toward purchase of the Shakespeare
on Disk texts.
 
Roy Flannagan
English Ohio University
Athens, Ohio 45701

More on the Sonnets (Continued)

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 187.  Thursday, 30 July 199
 
From: 		Lars Engle <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Thursday, July 30, 1992, 11:30:35 CST
Subject: RE: More on the Sonnets
Comment: 	RE:SHK 3.0186  RE: More on the Sonnets
 
>I doubt the Bard had any notion at all about teasing us, because we're
>stealing a base to presume he intended the publication of the Sonnets at all.
>He didn't participate in the 1609 registering or imprinting, and they seem to
>have quickly disappeared as if suppressed.  It has been suggested that the
>nature of the relationships described was much more - peculiar, and the
>identities of the characters much better known, at the time of publication
>than later became the case, and so the Sonnets were of the nature perhaps more
>of the tabloid than the purely poetic...
 
As Edward Pechter did a few weeks ago, let me refer you to Don Foster's 1987
PMLA article which persuaded me that there was nothing all that anomalous
about the circumstances of publication of the 1609 quarto.  Of course, Foster
himself has offered the most impressive recent candidate for an identity for
the young man in his edition of *Elegy by W.S.*, and the further discussion of
Will Peters at the MLA session "Interrogating Shakespeare's Sonnets" in
1990.  I'm not trying to say we should ignore identities when they present
themselves, I'm simply suggesting that the sonnets seem to me to focus
persistently on issues of evaluation.
 
------------------------------------------------------------
| Lars Engle                     |                         |
| Department of English, ZH-319  | 1112 E. 17th St.        |
| University of Tulsa            | Tulsa, OK 74120-6881    |
| Tulsa, OK 74104-3189           |                         |
| This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.        |                         |
| (918) 631-2853                 | (918) 585-8089          |
------------------------------------------------------------

RE: More on the Sonnets

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 185.  Wednesday, 29 July 1992.
 
From: 		Lars Engle <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, July 29, 1992, 08:52:50 CST
Subject: More on the Sonnets
Comment: 	RE:SHK 3.0179  More on the Sonnets
 
 
In Message Thu, 23 Jul 1992 07:46:10 EDT,
  "Hardy M. Cook" <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> writes:
 
>I too found Foster's *PMLA* article convincing.  I would, however, like to
>look for a moment at an internal issue with the sonnets.  Someone recently, I
>believe that it was Joseph Pequigney although I cannot find it in my notes,
>suggested that there is NO internal evidence that the Young Friend is a
>nobleman.  On the other hand, Leonard Tennenhouse argues that the sonnets
>embody a political language, "a language for negotiating with a patron for the
>client's position."
>
>Fully aware of E. K. Chambers's pronouncement that "more folly has been
>written about the sonnets than about any other Shakespearean topic," I am
>wondering if in fact we can identify the Young Man as a noble or not based on
>the sonnets themselves?
>
>                                             Hardy M. Cook
>                                             This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
The issue seems typical of the sonnets in that they constantly supply us with
evaluations without supplying precise (or even imprecise) social circumstances
to anchor them: a potentially historical question about identity dissolves into
an economic question about value.  The evaluations, especially in 1-127, vary
markedly even though they seem to have the same object. Critics have wanted to
anchor or explain evaluations by supplying identities, but Shakespeare seems
likely to have wanted to tease us into recognizing how, generally speaking,
contingencies of value undermine certainties of identification.
 
I'm not an expert on the critical history of the sonnets, but the
"patron-client" hypothesis received strong expression in Empson's chapter on
"They that have power to hurt" in *Some Versions of Pastoral*, and
Tennenhouse's use of the term may very likely come from there.  Empson seems to
have thought they were addressed to Southampton.
 
------------------------------------------------------------
| Lars Engle                     |                         |
| Department of English, ZH-319  | 1112 E. 17th St.        |
| University of Tulsa            | Tulsa, OK 74120-6881    |
| Tulsa, OK 74104-3189           |                         |
| This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.        |                         |
| (918) 631-2853                 | (918) 585-8089          |
------------------------------------------------------------

RE: More on the Sonnets

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 186.  Thursday, 30 July 1992.
 
From: 		Tim Bowden <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Wednesday, July 29, 1992, 13:14:32 PDT
Subject: RE: More on the Sonnets
Comment: 	SHK 3.0185  RE: More on the Sonnets
 
HU>  Critics have wanted to anchor or explain evaluations by
HU> supplying identities, but Shakespeare seems likely to have
HU> wanted to tease us into recognizing how, generally speaking,
HU> contingencies of value undermine certainties of
HU> identification.
 
 
I doubt the Bard had any notion at all about teasing us, because we're stealing
a base to presume he intended the publication of the Sonnets at all.  He didn't
participate in the 1609 registering or imprinting, and they seem to have
quickly disappeared as if suppressed.  It has been suggested that the nature of
the relationships described was much more - peculiar, and the identities of the
characters much better known, at the time of publication than later became the
case, and so the Sonnets were of the nature perhaps more of the tabloid than
the purely poetic...
 
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OED on CD-ROM

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 3, No. 184.  Monday, 27 July 1992.
 
From: 		Roy Flannagan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Monday, July 27, 1992, 18:10:14 EST
Subject: 	OED on CD-ROM
 
 
Subject: the OED on CD-ROM as a scholarly tool
 
I have had the privilege of beta-testing different versions of the OED
CD-ROM, and I have become addicted to it, almost to the point of trading
my third edition of Johnson's {Dictionary} (of similar monetary value)
for a copy of the published version.  Shakespeare is the most-often
quoted author and Milton the third, after Sir Walter Scott!  One uses
the CD-ROM disk through Windows, which means that one can open windows
into a word-processing file, "minimize" that file, then enter the OED
through the "Windows Programs" icon.  Then one can make queries by word,
by author, by phrase, by date, using pull-down menus, or one can make a
more sophisticated query using the query language outlined in the
manual.  Once into an entry, one can select text and save it to a
clipboard, for pasting into one's word-processing document.  One has
access to the information in the newest version of the OED (even newer
than the paper text), but of course one cannot erase any of the contents
of the CD.  The process of finding a single definition is remarkably
fast.  If one wants a list of all uses of a word, the generation of the
list may take some time, but then one can see the instances of usage
laid out, if one chooses, by date, then find the one needed, click on
it, and see the entry in context.
 
Though the combined cost of the CD-ROM reader and the disk is high (the
readers are much less expensive than they were two years ago), I can say
confidently that the combination of the reader, the software, and the
OED is the best single scholarly tool I have ever used.  One could, for
instance, query the database for all words of French origin used by
Shakespeare.  Browsing in the dictionary is much easier to do than in
the micro-editions, and one can learn a great deal just by serendipity.
I have just scratched the surface of learning how to use the software
and the database after having used the CD constantly for three months,
but I would recommend that every member of this list put pressure on his
or her department or university library to get a copy.  I should
disclaim connection with Oxford University Press: I asked to review the
product because I had participated in conferences having to do with the
use of the OED at the University of Waterloo, where the original
database for the dictionary was maintained.
 
Roy Flannagan,
Department of English,
Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701

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