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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: February ::
Re: Bloom
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0199  Sunday, 7 February 1999.

[1]     From:   Simon Malloch <
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        Date:   Friday, 05 Feb 1999 22:22:37 +0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0191 Re: Bloom

[2]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
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        Date:   Friday, 05 Feb 1999
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0191 Re: Bloom


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Simon Malloch <
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Date:           Friday, 05 Feb 1999 22:22:37 +0800
Subject: 10.0191 Re: Bloom
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0191 Re: Bloom

Bob Haas writes,  inter alia:

> And I doubt very much that [Bloom's] point was to dismiss performance.

Spot on, Bob.  The topic of Bloom's lecture was reading.  His comments
in relation to Shakespeare in that lecture are thus made within that
context.

In *Shakespeare: the Invention of the Human*,  Bloom claims to write
both for the reader (there's Johnson again) and theatergoer.

Simon Malloch.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
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Date:           Friday, 05 Feb 1999
Subject: 10.0191 Re: Bloom
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0191 Re: Bloom

>Terence Hawkes dismisses Bloom's adherence to the printed word, and I
>understand the argument that Shakespeare did not write reading
>materials.  <SNIP>  Most of us came to these works first
>through the printed word and most still maintain the major part of our
>connection through the printed word.
>Dale Lyles

Not to mention that about half of the plays in the Folio came out in
cheap-and-nasty Quartos while Shakespeare was still alive-hardly an
expensive up-market imprint compared to the Folio.  So that would
suggest the plebs were reading the plays before the aristos.  Equally,
it shows there was at least enough of a market of people wanting to
+read+ Shakespeare (even a quarto would be priced above the
souvenir-equivalent of today's theatre program) for it to be worth the
booksellers' while to issue them.

And in 1600, five good Quartos (not even counting Lucrece) and three bad
Quartos of play texts by Shakespeare were printed-I haven't the figures
to hand, but I think this accounts for approximately a quarter of +all+
printed play texts of that year which have survived.  So when
Shakespeare comes to write Hamlet, he must be aware that there's a good
chance, whether he likes it or not, that it will be printed and read.

Then there's Ben Jonson's 1616 folio with Volpone and a few other plays
which still manage to get themselves staged.

The Dreadful Heresy that Terence Hawkes deplores may be that, but it
does seem to be one which was already in existence at least as early as
the turn of the seventeenth century.

Robin Hamilton
 

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