The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1558 Saturday, 4 September 1999.
Date: Friday, 3 Sep 1999 10:10:27 +0100
Subject: 10.1545 Re: First Folios
Comment: RE: SHK 10.1545 Re: First Folios
The debate about "the" First Folio seems to be getting silly. Hawkes'
position seems to me to be quite incontrovertible: it is unlikely that a
copy of the specifications of the Hinman "facsimile" ever existed.
As for Jensen's comment on tools and Godshalk's primary-school
empiricism, we might get a lot further if contributors to the debate
spoke from knowledge rather than ignorance. I would have thought that it
is a commonplace by now that there is a dynamic relation between "tools"
and procedures, and that relationship isn't always a fully conscious
one. Secondly, Hinman's "fiction" (I use the scare quotes because the
the result IS a fiction, tjhough I think a very interesting one) is
based on a set of procedures laid out in two volumes of bibliographical
analysis: The Printing and Proofreading of the First Folio of
Shakespeare (1962). Some of Hinman's findings ahve been superseded (as
evidenced in the work of the late D.F.Mackenzie, and Peter Blayney's
excellent analysis of the workings of Nicholas Okes' printing House: The
Texts of King Lear and Their Origins (1982). If I have to read Lakoff,
Bill, then the very least you can do is suspend the consumption of
zinfandel and get stuck into these volumes. Then come back and we can
discuss First Folios. You'll be permitted a glass or two thereafter.
One final point for Mr. Jensen: his ingenious analysis of work avoidance
procedures (which I take to be a definition of navel-gazing),
demonstrates a process of work-avoidance all his own. A cursory glance
at some of the debates in the journal Studies in Bibliography over the
past 15 years or so will indicate that self-conscious examination of
tools, procedures, and protocols has done nothing to halt or divert the
actual practice of bibliographical study. A refusal to examine what it
is that you are doing, while you are doing it (in matters academic at
least!) is the most conspicuous WAP of all.
A word for Terry Hawkes. I think that the Yale Shakespeare outweighs the
Hinman for mugging purposes or for doing serious phyisical damage to
adversaries vid. the film of Tromeo and Juliet.