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 11.1037  Monday, 15 May 2000.

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 12 May 2000 09:21:03 -0700
        Subj:   SHK 11.1029 Re: Collations

[2]     From:   A. Luzier <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 12 May 2000 14:49:31 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1029 Re: Collations

[3]     From:   Michael Best <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 12 May 2000 15:18:08 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1029 Re: Collations

[4]     From:   Judith Matthews Craig <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Saturday, 13 May 2000 13:43:52 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1029 Re: Collations

[5]     From:   Pervez Rizvi <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Sunday, 14 May 2000 20:53:25 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 11.1029 Re: Collations

[6]     From:   Steve Urkowitz <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Sunday, 14 May 2000 22:51:32 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1029 Re: Collations


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 12 May 2000 09:21:03 -0700
Subject: Re: Collations
Comment:        SHK 11.1029 Re: Collations

I really appreciate David Lindley's weary question about the value of
collated editions, and John Jowett's clinic on the challenges of
producing one.  Great questions, and great thoughts.

If this gives you any hope, I may give a short lecture on the infamous
variant at the end of Much Ado this July.  I'll know if it is to be on
Wednesday.  If I do, it will be to students reading (probably) the
collated Signet edition.  I shall ask them to read both versions.  It is
a starting point to discuss how the meaning of the scene changes, since
B&B are active in one and acted upon in the other - which resonates with
earlier scenes.  It also introduces the fascinating subject of textual
variants, and I hope someone will want to know more.

Perhaps this gives a bit of encouragement?

Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           A. Luzier <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 12 May 2000 14:49:31 EDT
Subject: 11.1029 Re: Collations
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1029 Re: Collations

As a current student, I find the collation line invaluable.  The
professor who teaches Bibliography where I study is quite good and has
been helpful to me in this area.  I used to be a professional actor and
was intimidated by the collation line, simply because I didn't know how
to read it.  It sounds silly but although I was a professional actor and
put a great deal of effort into researching my work, it seemed like an
arcane line of abbreviations and punctuation marks.  As I said, I now
find it a rich source of information but perhaps those without a willing
tutor to explain it could use a key of some kind (perhaps on the first
page of the text) that would explain things to the self-taught.  Just a
suggestion, (and don't give up - your work as an editor really does
matter.)

A. Luzier

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Best <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 12 May 2000 15:18:08 -0700
Subject: 11.1029 Re: Collations
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1029 Re: Collations

Some interesting comments from distinguished editor/scholars on the
weary business of recording collations and trying to avoid error in the
curiously truncated, rather runic language we have developed to compress
the information we feel we need to record.

John Jowett's invitation for suggestions for displaying the information
in collations stimulates me to advance again an argument for the
electronic medium. An electronic edition will still have collations, or
their equivalent, but they may well be consulted even more rarely than
in print, since the reader will have direct access to the originals, in
transcribed and graphic form. Where there is an important crux, or where
there have been editorial emendations and speculations over the
centuries-often the most interesting part of the editorial process-these
issues can be discussed much more discursively in the electronic space
than is available in the confines of the print edition.

Michael Best
Coordinating Editor, Internet Shakespeare Editions
<http://web.uvic.ca/shakespeare>
Department of English, University of Victoria

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Judith Matthews Craig <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Saturday, 13 May 2000 13:43:52 -0500
Subject: 11.1029 Re: Collations
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1029 Re: Collations

To reply to David Lindley's post asking if anyone (the general
readership) consult collations in one-volume editions, I should reply
that I use Bevington's edition from Longman quite frequently.  I also
use the Arden, Cambridge, Riverside and others.  However, I assume that
when I get down to actually writing about a text, I would use the
original which can be accessed online.  To get a "feel" for a passages
that is not simply MY first impression, I find these texts edited by
established scholars who have spent a lifetime reading Shakespeare VERY
valuable.  Most of the time, however, I find that most scholars agree.
If I have a question, which, to my surprise, has not happened overmuch
in my study of the "Sonnets," I usually can arrive of my own sense of
the meaning from my own perspective-which I find usually determines the
variant readings provided by others.

Judy Craig

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Pervez Rizvi <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Sunday, 14 May 2000 20:53:25 +0100
Subject: 11.1029 Re: Collations
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.1029 Re: Collations

>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.

John, I promise to buy your edition when it comes out and read every
word of the collation. If time permits I will also glance at the text.
Oh, and I hope you will find a place in the collation for the
amorous-looking lass.

More seriously. Collations are important because they invite and enable
readers to realise that what they are reading is a modern
(re)construction.  One of the welcome changes that has taken place in
the teaching of history in the last decade or two is that students are
taught to look critically at historical data and to understand that we
'know' a particular event happened only because some manuscript or book
says so. The writer could have been mistaken, or have deliberately
changed something, or there could have been censorship, sophistication,
bowdlerisation, loss of memory, or printing error - pretty much the same
phenomena that apply to Shakespeare texts.

I am not suggesting that all students of Shakespeare should necessarily
be exposed to collations or the original texts, but I am saying that in
society generally, people should be encouraged to understand more and
take less on trust. Just when the old history books, with their
overconfident narratives about distant events, are being displaced, it
would be a shame if editions of Shakespeare went the other way. I second
John Drakakis's call for dumbing up.

Perhaps the emerging new model of publishing will be a help. If, as some
analysts say, new technology, especially but not only the internet,
should make smaller print runs commercially viable, then scholars could
publish editions with varying levels of collation and commentary for
different groups of readers. In the meantime, it's helpful of the Oxford
editors to separate insignificant lineation notes and 'incidentals' from
the substantive textual notes.

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Urkowitz <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Sunday, 14 May 2000 22:51:32 EDT
Subject: 11.1029 Re: Collations
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1029 Re: Collations

I often work through collations of multiple text plays.  The repeated or
rather systematic problem with most collational schemes is that they
almost always encourage a view of the play texts as fragmentary variants
from an ideal (most closely approximated by the editor's choices). The
Riverside edition is most generous with the generosity of its
collational material.  In most collations, though, where they are
stripped from supporting contexts, single word variants or other small
variants always end up looking relatively unimportant.  Further, the
traditional collations were never much good when dealing with texts that
were rearranged and juggled in complex ways.

The most recent practice of offering complete texts of the alternative
versions will perhaps encourage readers to use the conventional
collations in those editions more imaginatively.  These editions, in
effect, say to all readers, "Here's my choice (in big type); here are
the important sources of the alternative possibilities (in that agate
font).  If you're interested, turn to the full text to see what the fuss
is about."  A sprightly introduction should give encouragement and
examples of the delights of comparing.  Alas, usually we get only dull
as dust citations of how stupid were the pirates or the compositors or
the previous editors.

Ah well.

Steve Urcollatorwitz
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.