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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: March ::
Re: Transmission of the Quartos
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0199.  Wednesday, 9 March 1994.
 
(1)     From:   William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
        Date:   Sunday, 06 Mar 1994 21:38:37 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0182  Transmission of the Quartos (Was Q1 of *Ham.*)
 
(2)     From:   Melissa Aaron <
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 >
        Date:   Monday, 7 Mar 1994 16:26:33 +0200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0196 Re: Transmission of the Quartos
 
(3)     From:   William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
        Date:   Monday, 07 Mar 1994 23:04:17 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0196  Re: Transmission of the Quartos
 
(4)     From:   John Cox <COX@HOPE.BITNET>
        Date:   Tuesday, 08 Mar 1994 08:23:07 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0197  Re: Transmission of the Quartos
 
(5)     From:   Steve Urkowitz <SURCC@CUNYVM>
        Date:   Monday, 07 Mar 94 23:45:15 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0196  Re: Transmission of the Quartos
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
Date:           Sunday, 06 Mar 1994 21:38:37 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0182  Transmission of the Quartos (Was Q1 of *Ham.*)
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0182  Transmission of the Quartos (Was Q1 of *Ham.*)
 
I just want to cheer Steve Urkowitz on. Authorial revision is just as good a
story as any of the other stories that bibliographers make up in an attempt to
account for the very few facts that we have. And Steve's style is in itself a
pleasure to read.
 
Has anyone ever seen an annotated quarto?
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melissa Aaron <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 7 Mar 1994 16:26:33 +0200
Subject: 5.0196 Re: Transmission of the Quartos
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0196 Re: Transmission of the Quartos
 
>It seems to me that the problem is not whether plays are actual playtexts, but
>who wrote them.  In the art world, no one has a problem accepting that works
>from this and later eras often come from "the studio of," not just from a
>single artist's brush.  I am notnotnotnotnotnotnot opening the authorship
>question, which is just a shell game, but suggesting a smudgy idea that I'm
>sure is well developed elsewhere: maybe we should be thinking about "The Lord
>Chamberlain's Men's plays," rather than Shakespeare's.
>
>Deferentially,
>
>James McKenna
 
I love this idea--makes perfect sense to me.  Indeed, we really don't know
whether Hamlet's black costume (for example) was suggested by Shakespeare,
Burbage, or some other member of the Globe Company.
 
A parallel example of this cooperative effort at work is in the *Magic Flute,*
by  W.A. Mozart.  Schikaneder, the librettist and first Papageno, claimed
credit for the notorious "Pa-pa-pa" duet, and said that Mozart's original idea
was not so good.  Mozart, in fact, according to Schickaneder, pretty much
jumped up and down yelling "that's great!" Generations of music critics have
assumed that Schickaneder was lying or stretching the truth, because he was a
mere actor-manager and Mozart the great genius (despite Schickaneder's
sensitive portrayal of Hamlet).  Once we can come up with a theoretical model
or models that can comprehend collaborative multi- "authorship,"  it won't be
necessary to have such a reductive point of view.
 
Melissa Aaron
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Godshalk <GODSHAWL@UCBEH>
Date:           Monday, 07 Mar 1994 23:04:17 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0196  Re: Transmission of the Quartos
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0196  Re: Transmission of the Quartos
 
"Shakespeare becomes a locus about which great stuff circulates." Does this
stuff circulate like water or air? Hot air perhaps?
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Cox <COX@HOPE.BITNET>
Date:           Tuesday, 08 Mar 1994 08:23:07 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0197  Re: Transmission of the Quartos
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0197  Re: Transmission of the Quartos
 
Coincidental with the discussion about quartos on this network is a parallel
discussion in TLS.  Brian Vickers has been defending memorial reconstruction
as an explanation of the quartos (or some of them).  Graham Holderness and
Bryan Loughrey have a long response to him in TLS 2/4/94, p. 15.  The discus-
sion continues in TLS 2/11/94.  If I had to judge between the two discussions,
I would say I have learned more from the one on SHAKSPER than the one in TLS,
but then I have a lot to learn.
 
John Cox
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Urkowitz <SURCC@CUNYVM>
Date:           Monday, 07 Mar 94 23:45:15 EST
Subject: 5.0196  Re: Transmission of the Quartos
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0196  Re: Transmission of the Quartos
 
What's behind those funny-looking early printed versions?  I don't know for
sure.  But somewhere back there were theatrically imaginative creatures whose
products, those documents, repay close examination.  Whenever I've looked at a
particular passage that an editor has called "rubbish" or "nonsense" in as a
way of dismissing it from consideration, I've found that the editorial
judgment rather than the text at hand was at fault.  But, then again, I have
this perceptual problem.  I've worked with actors and singers, finding ways for
them to make sense out of initially opaque texts.  When I tried to explain how
a Q1 passage might work for an actor, David Bevington said (very gently),
"Well, Steve, you could produce an emotionally compelling performance of the
telephone directory." Ah, well.
 
Try reading the texts without knowing who wrote them.
 
                                      As ever,
                                              Steve Urkowitz
 

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