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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: December ::
Re: New Romeo and Juliet Question
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1355  Thursday, 31 December 1998.

From:           Steve Urkowitz <
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Date:           Thursday, 31 Dec 1998 12:25:09 EST
Subject: 9.1340 New Romeo and Juliet Question
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1340 New Romeo and Juliet Question

Marilyn Bonomi asks about Brian Gibbons' jerking around of the "grey
eyed morn" duplication in R&J.  As with many of us condemned to
editorial servitude, Brian seems to have slipped into the giddy delights
of playwriting-without-a-license.  When one sits bleary in front of
textual variants for long enough, wonderful "patterns"  and
"explanations" and "new readings" appear in the mind.  They are related
more to the observer than the objects being observed.  And often no one
else can explain or follow the logic of the editor's invention.

One of the reasons it is so refreshing to work with the available
facsimile texts, especially with students and actors, is that these
readers often discover and invent practical and interesting new
readings, too.  "Let's try this one out loud."  " . . . on ourt feet."
The alternative possibilities are fun to test, and the testing process
refines our taste.  Scholars and editors most often bounce their
readings without all that much testing.  Ah, well. is one
location where you can get to electronic versions of the earliest texts
of the multiple-text plays. (This is one that I could copy out easily.
There are many others.)

As an exercise, roll your class through the two early versions of R&J
2.3, and then have them look at and talk about the ways modern editors
muck up a delicately drawn revision by inserting embraces called for in
(and appropriate to) only the earliest text.

Back to reading those final exams,

Steve Ur-quarto-witz

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