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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: November ::
Re: Burgundy and France
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2069  Wednesday, 24 November 1999.

[1]     From:   Ed Taft <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Nov 1999 10:57:29 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   France & Burgundy

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Nov 1999 08:56:50 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 10.2064 Re: Burgundy and France


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Taft <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Nov 1999 10:57:29 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        France & Burgundy

It seems to me to be a mistake to replace "France" with "Burgundy" in
Lr. 1.1.306.  From the exit of France and Cordelia to the end of the
scene, Regan and Goneril make two major points:
(1)     Though he has given up his kingdom, Lear is still acting like a
king; (2) as always, he is still showing poor judgement.

Thus, "We must do something, and i' the heat" (1.1.310).  The tone of
this discussion is angry [Regan = Anger] and ironic, and full of
examples of Lear acting badly. Ergo, his "leave-taking" may be another
example of acting badly; in fact, it probably is. This would make
perfect sense if Lear is shouting at France (and Cordelia) just off
stage. It would also fit with the sense of exasperation the two sisters
feel.

Duthie, Wilson, and Godshalk have a better case, I think, than Professor
Wells presently allows.

--Ed Taft

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Nov 1999 08:56:50 -0800
Subject: Re: Burgundy and France
Comment:        SHK 10.2064 Re: Burgundy and France

The France/Burgundy debate has been lively and interesting.
Contributions by Wells, Rizvi, Godshalk, and a couple of others have
been excellent.  Since this has become a debate about Professor Wells
emendation of a word in his forthcoming edition of Q1 Lear, and since
some of those who I have not named have urged Professor Wells not to do
anything rash, I want to recommend a book.

I have the impression that not everyone who has posted really grasps
Wells' editorial approach.  It is not a secret.  While preparing the
Oxford Collected Works, Wells wrote a book titled _Re-Editing
Shakespeare for the Modern Reader,_ published in 1984.  Therein he
discusses his approach to editing early modern texts.

I do not know if Professor Wells stands by everything he wrote 15 years
ago, I certainly would not want anyone to assume I haven't budged from a
position in that time, but it is an informative book that should help
list members understand what Wells is up to.

Personally, I probably would not make the change, nor would I have
emended Falstaff to Oldcastle in 1Henry4 as the Collected Works did.
Yet I am glad that they did it.  Wells, Gary Taylor, and their team have
given me fresh eyes when I view certain plays, or portions of certain
plays, and I find that very valuable indeed.

As a bit of a footnote, there is a companion volume, _Modernizing
Shakespeare's Spelling with Three Studies in the Text of Henry V_ by
Wells and Taylor, Wells handling the first part, 1979.  Some of Taylor's
arguments regarding Q Henry V are interestingly addressed in the current
Shakespeare Quarterly.

I believe that reference to these books will give those list members who
have not consulted them a more informed opinion on these issues.

Cheers,
Mike Jensen
 

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