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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: July ::
Re: Textual Criticism
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0504.  Saturday, 6 July 1996.

(1)     From:   Nick Clary <
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        Date:   Friday, 05 Jul 1996 10:18:31 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Textual Criticism

(2)     From:   Corrie Zoll <
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        Date:   Friday, 5 Jul 1996 22:17:56 -0400
        Subj:   Textual Criticism

(3)     From:   Thomas L. Berger <
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        Date:   Saturday, 6 Jul 1996 10:21
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0497  Q: Textual Criticism


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nick Clary <
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Date:           Friday, 05 Jul 1996 10:18:31 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Textual Criticism

A few days ago I sent the response below to Tunis Romein.  This morning's
postings indicate that others may be interested in an assignment like the one
described in the original call for suggestions.

                *               *               *

Let me recommend two resource texts: *The Three-Text Hamlet* edited by Paul
Bertram and Bernice W. Kliman (AMS Press, 1991), and "Enfolded *Hamlet* edited
by Bernice W. Kliman (Hardin Aasand, Nick Clary, and Eric Rasmussen) Extra
Issue, *Shakespeare Newsletter* (Spring 1996).  In the first, you will find all
three texts in parallel columns, which will give you a field day of choices:
there are Q2-only passages and  F1-only passage, each of which have their own
correspondences with Q1 and some of which have no correspondences with Q1.  In
the second, you will be able to see where Q2 and F1 vary, according to a system
of brackets that identify not only Q2-only and F1-only passages, but also words
and phrases that differ between the two.  In the Introduction, Bernice
distinguishes the bracketing system employed in the "Enfolded" text, which
differs from a conflation, from the system of differentiation used in the
newest Folger Library paperback.  The "Enfolded *Hamlet* may be purchased for
classroom use from the *Shakespeare Newsletter* at a reasonable price (less
than the cost of the least expensive paperback). As this is a working
copy-text, your students might take special delight in participating in a "real
project."  As one of the co-editors I would welcome yours and their
observations---also your estimates of its usefulness to your teaching purposes.

If you are interested in specific recommendations, I can offer a few from some
pivotal scenes (from the play-within-the-play to Ophelia's mad scenes--the
section that I am spcifically collating. By return e-mail you can let me know
whether you want a few specific suggestions.  There are one or two recently
published books that you may wish to secure for your library, particularly if
*Hamlet* will be one of your target texts.

Good luck.  I believe this is an interesting exercise. Make sure that your
students trouble to examine some of the earliest 17th-century editions, as well
as the variorum editions (from Johnson's first "unofficial" ones in 1765 to the
first "official one," the Steevens/Johnson edition of 1773, and from the early
19th-century ones after Malone's in 1790 to the H.H. Furness New Variorum of
1877).  They will need to develop a historical perspective on the evolution of
Shakespeare's texts through its many transmutations in print.  This includes
the earliest reading and performance texts without named editors, as well as
edited texts without significant commentary (from Rowe's 1709 edition to
Theobald's published notes in 1726; from Theobald's (1733) and Capell's (1767)
voluminous editions to the array of extra-editorial publications of gathered
emendations and commentaries, which began to proliferate at the turn into the
19th century.

I am currently organizing a seminar in Variorum Editing.  Assignments like the
one you have in mind will certainly figure into the exercises that our students
will do for me.  Keep me posted on your developing plans.

Nick Clary

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Corrie Zoll <
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Date:           Friday, 5 Jul 1996 22:17:56 -0400
Subject:        Textual Criticism

To Tunis Romein: Try the last scene of King Lear, in which the Quarto and Folio
versions, which vary in only a few words, have significantly different
meanings.  I would be interested in hearing discussion of this topic on the
list.  Any takers?

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas L. Berger <
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Date:           Saturday, 6 Jul 1996 10:21:15 GMT
Subject: 7.0497  Q: Textual Criticism
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0497  Q: Textual Criticism

In reply to Tunis Romein's query about textual criticism, I would make one
remark, one suggestion.

Remark:  If you throw those students into HAMLET's vexed textual problems, you
may very well excite some, but others might drown and be put off by the whole
proposition.

Suggestion:  I've had some success with MND, 5.1 in the folio and the quarto
(1600), with Egeus replacing Philostrate in the Folio, with Lysander feeding
Theseus the descriptions of the possible merriments for the wedding feast and
letting Theseus respond.  By having Egeus simply appear in Act 5, the tone
changes.  Then too, who was Tawyer and where did he get that trumpet?

Good luck,
tom berger
 

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