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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: September ::
Re: First Folios
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1563  Tuesday, 7 September 1999.

[1]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Sunday, 5 Sep 1999 20:21:47 +0100
        Subj:   Re: First Folios

[2]     From:   William Williams <
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        Date:   Sunday, 05 Sep 1999 17:54:53 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1545 Re: First Folios

[3]     From:   John Jowett <
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        Date:   Monday, 6 Sep 1999 14:08:34 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1558 Re: First Folios


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Sunday, 5 Sep 1999 20:21:47 +0100
Subject:        Re: First Folios

I had meant to stay out of this, but a late thought strikes me. John
Drakakis writes

>it is unlikely that a copy of the specifications of
>the Hinman "facsimile" ever existed.

Quite right. The paper, the ink, the binding, it's all hopelessly
modern. 'Facsimile' indeed!

Reproduction always entails intervention. The objection of Hawkes and
Drakakis is that Hinman chose more than one F to photograph. To wish
that he had settled on one copy of F while blithely accepting falsified
paper, ink, and thread in the resultant 'facsimile' is indeed to
privilege the words above their physical embodiment. And that is
idealism.

Gabriel Egan

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Williams <
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Date:           Sunday, 05 Sep 1999 17:54:53 -0400
Subject: 10.1545 Re: First Folios
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1545 Re: First Folios

I have not been following this thread as closely as I probably should
have been, but it seems that anyone who reads Peter Blayney's superb
introduction to the second edition of the Norton FFF will find it pretty
hard to believe he has got a First Folio or a facsimile of any First
Folio in her/his hands.  It is an edition.  It just happens to be an
edition produced by using reproductions of pages of various folios.
Hate to clutter the conversations with facts.  By the way, why has
Warren's "Complete 'King Lear'" not figured in this discussion, or have
I missed it?

William Proctor Williams

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Jowett <
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Date:           Monday, 6 Sep 1999 14:08:34 GMT
Subject: 10.1558 Re: First Folios
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1558 Re: First Folios

We should all be grateful to be reminded by Terry Hawkes and others that
the Hinman facsimile is not a facsimile of any one copy of the First
Folio.  Strictly speaking, it is indeed an edition made up of facsimile
pages.  The title page is therefore, let's say, economical in using the
word 'facsimile' without qualification.

So, to be conscious about the matter as John Drakakis recommends, just
what is the nature of the tool, and how might readers be differenced by
using it?   Here are a couple of considerations; there are many others
as well.

Because it is a product of modern editing, the Hinman facsimile can and
does inform its readers of its procedures.  Its ability to speak as it
were 'copiously' of the Folio as an early modern edition is something
that sets it apart ostentatiously from a copy of the Folio as such, or
from a facsimile that is less obviously mediated.

For instance, the Introduction records the substantive and
semi-substantive readings that are not reproduced in the facsimile
pages.  In this respect the user of Hinman is in a very different
situation from the user of any actual copy of F, in that the Folio
reading other than the reading in the text is also represented within
the Hinman book.

Hinman actually spells out that he prints pages in their corrected state
'to furnish a reliable photographic reproduction of what the printers of
the original edition would themselves have regarded as an ideal copy'.
Anticipating his critics, he declares that he gives 'concrete
representation to what has hitherto been a theoretical entity'.  At
least the fictionality doesn't lie in a mismatch between Hinman's stated
objective and his achievement.

I greatly admire the Perseus Project facsimile at
<http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/facs?lookup>, which provides
high-resolution colour images of a particular copy of F, complete with
smudges, stains, and show-through, much of which gets greyed out or
deselected as 'objectionable' in Hinman.  But it is slow to flick
through, and it too is edited: the 'Go To' box has a different numbering
system from F's pagination, and each page is tidied, sometimes slightly
trimmed, with a neat blue rectangle.  Moreover, readers of it, as of the
Brandeis copy on which it is based, will not be aware when they are
looking at errors that are corrected in other copies of F, or, to put it
more neutrally, readings for which there is a significant variant.  For
that they must turn to the work of Hinman, where they will be reminded
of what it means to speak of the First Folio as an early modern edition,
and how that differs conceptually and practically from any particular
copy.

Incidentally, the Perseus facsimile would be no-one's choice as a
physical weapon of self defence.

John Jowett
The Shakespeare Institute,
Church Street, Stratford upon Avon,
 

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