Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: May ::
Re: Collations
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1029  Friday, 12 May 2000.

[1]     From:   Tom Bishop <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 11 May 2000 14:32:45 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1019 Q: Collations

[2]     From:   John Drakakis <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 12 May 2000 00:16:03 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 11.1019 Q: Collations

[3]     From:   John Jowett <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 12 May 2000 12:13:06 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1019 Q: Collations


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Bishop <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 11 May 2000 14:32:45 -0500
Subject: 11.1019 Q: Collations
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1019 Q: Collations

David Lindley asks:

>Does anyone (apart from reviewers and other editors) ever consult the
>collations printed in Arden, Oxford and Cambridge and other one-volume
>editions?

Yes, I have done and do, David, though not very often.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 12 May 2000 00:16:03 +0100
Subject: 11.1019 Q: Collations
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.1019 Q: Collations

I actually think that readers should be encouraged to look at
collations.  I'm not sure whether David Lindley is saying that we ought
to be encouraging a rather lazy form of reading (of which, I am
embarrassed to say, we are all on occasion capable of undertaking), or
that the kind of textual history buried in collations is no longer worth
studying.

In some cases the pressure to reduce collations comes from publishers
and has mainly to do with commercial consideration.  Surely if we are
interested in "texts" and I use that term in the widest possible sense,
then we must also be interested in the history of textuality, and where
better to chart the empirical elements of that process but in
collations? Thesew details are not, of course, sufficient, but they are
necessary, whether you are an editor or not.

I suppose I'm arguing a case for dumbing UP rather than dumbing DOWN.

Cheers

John Drakakis

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Jowett <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 12 May 2000 12:13:06 GMT
Subject: 11.1019 Q: Collations
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1019 Q: Collations

David Lindley asks whether anyone actually reads the collation lines in
printed Shakespeare editions.  As I'm in the middle of checking proofs
of collation lines in my edition of Richard III, I must say I share his
sense of weariness, very strongly aware that few will read this stuff
and fewer will enjoy reading it.

And yet the collation line, or some equivalent to it, is clearly
needed.  David presumably would agree that a responsible edition has to
record substantive alterations it makes to the copy text.  In a case
such as Richard III (but not The Tempest) it records also the readings
of a second substantive text.  This is because most emendations of the
copy text will follow the secondary text, and the reader is entitled to
know which potentially valid readings from that text have been
rejected.  And even if the editor has chosen well, the other readings
are not necessarily dross.  They can include Shakespearian alternatives,
or potential alternatives for performance.

Of less value are the readings in other early texts, such as straight
quarto reprints, though if, for example, such readings feed into the
Folio text they are of undeniable significance.  In the case of The
Tempest I guess that the question is how far it's useful to record
readings from the 17th century Folio reprints, and from the editorial
tradition between then and now.

I certainly feel that many collation lines include redundant details.
Many are confusing because they include too many different kinds of
information.  And a thick, unbroken bank of collation notes is
distinctly unappealing.  It's important to realise that practice varies
quite considerably.  For instance, the Arden 3 edition of The Tempest
prints 112 collation notes for Act 3, whereas the Oxford edition prints
only 29, supplemented by a separate appendix of lineation notes.  I'd
recommend anyone to get some bearings on this issue by comparing the
actual content of two such collations.  I'd like to reframe David's
question by asking (a) what information do readers find essential or
valuable, and (b) do readers have new suggestions for displaying that
information in a way that is accessible without being too intrusive?

John Jowett
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.