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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: November ::
Re: "Versions" of Shakespeare
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 718.  Friday, 5 November 1993.
 
From:           Cary M. Mazer <
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Date:           Thursday, 4 Nov 93 11:32:28 EST
Subject:        Versions
 
David Schalwyk has written:
 
>  Otherwise no-one would be able to
> discuss, advertise and ask for and about videos of the plays, stage
> performances, textual editions and so on.  This list would not exist,
> and we couldn't teach _Macbeth_.
 
Precisely.  We _don't_ teach _Macbeth_.  We teach (or should be teaching)
independent works of theatre that have been, or can be, created from the
script that we have inherited, which bears some imprecisely defined
relationship to a theatre event which was created, at one moment in
history, called  _Macbeth_, using (presumably) that script.
 
And, just to be perverse, let me revise my statement about what people have
been calling, in shorthand, "new independent versions."  Subsequent
performances are not "new indepedent _versions_"  They are new, independent
works of art.  Once you start thinking of them as "versions," you posit an
"original" that has some particular and exclusive status and validity.
 
Cary M. Mazer
The voice from the theatrical shadows
 

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