2000

Re: Parallel Texts

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1314  Thursday, 29 June 2000.

[1]     From:   Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 16:34:50 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1307 Re: Parallel Texts

[2]     From:   Ian Munro <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 12:38:22 -0600 (MDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1307 Re: Parallel Texts

[3]     From:   Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 21:46:52 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1307 Re: Parallel Texts

[4]     From:   Stephen Miller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thu, 29 Jun 2000 14:18:55 +0100 ()
        Subj:   Parallel texts (reply to SHK 11.1231, et seq.)


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 16:34:50 +0100
Subject: 11.1307 Re: Parallel Texts
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1307 Re: Parallel Texts

To stand one (or several) steps back from the arguments advanced by
Marcus Dahl  et alia.

There is the genetic text and the historicised text.

Marcus Dahl seems to be (implicitly?) arguing for a genetic text, where
every stage of the growth of the text (manuscript revisions, multiple
editions, etc.) is part of the text.

Perhaps, but this is a position which needs to be argued in theoretical
terms in its own right.  I'm dubious about this as a view of the nature
of the text we receive.  Leave alone several hundreds or thousands of
years of reader response to the nature of the text, and the way in which
most readers encounter +any+ text  --  with regard to dramatic texts,
how do you stage a genetic text?

I doubt if anyone would argue against the relevance of the documents
which underlie a text -- it's more whether these should be presented
+as+ text or +in+ footnotes.

As a non-Shakespearean analogue, consider the ballad-texts presented in
F.J.Child's +English and Scottish Border Ballads+ -- is the "text" of
any particular ballad one or the other of the texts which Child
provides, or the sum of these texts?

With regard to the historicised text, Shakespeare is complex but the
work of Sir Thomas Wyatt is (relatively) simple.  With Wyatt, the text
read any time before the early part of the twentieth century (by
Shakespeare, Donne, Keats, Tennyson, Browning, among others) was that
presented in +Tottel's Miscellany+ (1557).  The text read by present-day
readers is (with qualifications) based on the Egerton Manuscript.

It's not a question of which is the better text, but what +kind+ of text
we are reading.  and a reproduction of (simply) the Egerton, Devonshire,
Blage and Arundel manuscripts, together with +Tottel's Miscellany+
brings us no closer to "Wyatt's" text than a modern edited text based on
these witnesses.

Horses for courses -- who will uncrumple this much-crumpled thing?

Robin Hamilton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ian Munro <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 12:38:22 -0600 (MDT)
Subject: 11.1307 Re: Parallel Texts
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1307 Re: Parallel Texts

Marcus Dahl writes:

>If there is more than one version of a work and this
>affects the meaning of the individual texts then I'm afraid you're
>rather bound to discuss the different variants as part of your study.

That sounds like a "yes" to my previous facetious question.  Given that
it takes Howard-Hill over 70 pages, plus notes and appendices, to
explore the relationships between the individual texts of _A Game at
Chess_, however, I'm not sure that this is a sensible possibility for
the 20 page article I just finished.  Perhaps we should stop writing 20
page articles.

>I am surprised that all you lovers of the
>so-called 'post-moden' do not relish the thought of multiple narrative
>and (apparent) equality of text.

I'm not sure who you have in mind here (did you mean "post-modem,"
perhaps?), but I imagine most of the people who are arguing with you do
relish doing some unediting of the Renaissance.  The problem is that in
pursuit of bibliographic purity you've put forward an absolute model
that a) seeks to stop people from doing perfectly reasonable things like
relying on the textual work of other scholars and b) has little to
recommend itself as an especially accurate picture of early modern print
culture.

Ian Munro

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 21:46:52 +0100
Subject: 11.1307 Re: Parallel Texts
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1307 Re: Parallel Texts

To Marcus Dahl

>The Oxford eds. assume that 1HVI is a 'bad quarto' of
>some kind and yet the quality of evidence for this
>assertion is debatable.

Would you care to date and describe this quarto of 1H6, hitherto unknown
to Shakespeare scholarship?

>The ethos of Malone society is to present the
>text as clearly and with as little change as possible
>from the texts which they attempt to reproduce.

Your notion of "as little change as possible" needs closer examination
and reflection on your part. Printing something on acid-free paper is an
enormous change if your copy text is a disintegrating piece of vellum,
as is representing in typeface a text which only exists in handwriting
(as is the case with _The Book of Sir Thomas More_). You are privileging
certain changes (and certain decisions not to change) above others.
That's fine. But you pretend that your preferences represent minimal
interventions and others are maulings. That's unfair. So long as editors
explain their interventions, and don't pretend to have found an ideal
kind of intervention which suits everybody, their work should be taken
for what it is.

>If I am studying the authors, players, printers etc of the
>years 1590-1623 (say) then I wish to read as close a
>text as is possible to the texts those authors, players,
>printers produced.

Again I think you need to examine more closely your notion of "the texts
those authors, players, printers produced". The players might well think
their text to be the performance, and that isn't available in any
tangible form. The script might still exist, but if one wants to recover
the "performance" (ie what the players did on the stage) one might well
have to do certain things to the printed script to make it better
represent the performance. That's what certain editors--particularly
ones you disparage--do with great diligence.

Gabriel Egan

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen Miller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thu, 29 Jun 2000 14:18:55 +0100 ()
Subject: (reply to SHK 11.1231, et seq.)
Comment:        Parallel texts (reply to SHK 11.1231, et seq.)

On the Parallel texts question:

Why not print on facing pages a photo-facsimile of an early text and a
modernised edition of the same lines?  Richard Proudfoot suggested this
to me some years ago (and to a publisher who rejected it as too
expensive).  It seems to me as good a solution as possible to questions
surrounding textual emendation.

The modern editor could emend or comment as she or he pleases knowning
the reader can quickly spot alterations.  (The facsimile might need
annotation for variants too.)

Presumably an Internet version of this could be produced, though plays
with more than one source text would require ingenuity in laying out.

Sincerely, Stephen Miller

Macbeth is Listening

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1313  Thursday, 29 June 2000.

From:           Bob Haas <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 11:16:54 -0400
Subject:        Macbeth is Listening

Did anyone see the recently defunct production of Macbeth in New York
that starred Kelsey Grammar?  I wonder if he overcompensated.  To be
fair, it's difficult to escape the kind of identification he's created
with his television alter-ego.

[Editor's Note: The current Time magazine characterizes the Grammar
*Macbeth* as one of the great flops of Broadway, closing after 13
performances. The list also includes the 1981 Frankenstein, which
reported lost millions and millions of dollars and closed after one
night. My wife and I saw this Frankenstein in previews; during the same
visit we saw Chorus Line. Guess which production we like best? Yes,
Broadway's biggest flop. -Hardy]

Re: SOS Yorick

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1311  Thursday, 29 June 2000.

From:           Tanya Gough <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 10:25:25 -0400
Subject: 11.1305 Re: SOS Yorick
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1305 Re: SOS Yorick

To try to make a very long story short:

The Festival approached me and the woman who owns the Juice Bar next
door (between Poor Yorick and the Avon Theatre) last September, telling
us they were planning a 12 million dollar renovation of the Avon in
2001.  Part of their plan included moving their theatre store from
across the street into the space we now occupy, so their store would be
part of the Avon lobby.  The Festival does not own this building, and
the landlords would not sell (I know - I tried to make a bid on it later
to save the store).  The Festival, in a "gesture of good will" offered
to pay our moving expenses.   This was all well and good, since I
already had my eye on the Ontario Street block.

Shortly after, I found a store on Ontario Street that would have worked
very well for the store (the current location of Angie Strauss Clothing,
for those who know the geography), and we went ahead with a proposal for
us to move immediately.  The Festival offered to cover only a fraction
of our moving costs, and ultimately, I turned them down, expecting a
second round of negotiations.  Two days later, the owner of Angie
Strauss decided to stay, and the entire process was stopped.

What came out of this experience was a strong understanding that the
Festival was not willing to pay a fair price for my removal in 2000,
since that would leave them with an empty spot with no purpose for the
next year.  It also became very apparent that the Festival was in no way
ready to actually negotiate or go forward with the part of the process
that affected me or the Juice Bar.  Typical of the way the Festival does
business, they had come to us before they had even completed a
feasibility study or finalized a budget for the project.  Meanwhile, we
were forced to stay put for a year, unable to move even on our own
dollar, since no one in Stratford will touch a spot that the Festival
has their thumb on.  In the meantime, every one of the locations we had
scouted and deemed appropriate for the store changed hands last winter,
as I watched helplessly.

So we struggled through the winter, not knowing now if we would be able
to move at all or be forced to close.  Meanwhile, the Festival began
negotiating with the Juice Bar for their location.  Ultimately, the
Juice Bar settled for $52,000, a generous offer considering they were
planning on moving out of town anyway, and the final dollar figure was
within a few thousand dollars of what they had asked for.   Part of the
deal included negotiating a deal with our landlords for a 35 year lease
on the space, at a rate which is currently more than 40% higher than
what I pay.  They have also written in a clause that says that they must
take my space whenever it becomes vacant.

Suddenly, the Festival turned to me and told me that I was welcome to
stay in my current location if I chose.  If I chose to leave now, they
were willing to pay a settlement, but the price they have offered me to
close down is less than they have given the Juice Bar to close.  And
while I do have an option to renew my lease for an additional 5 years
after February 2002, my lease is based on "prevailing market
conditions."  And since the space next door is now worth 40% more, there
is a very good chance I may end up with a 40% rent increase if I chose
to stay.  This of course is also contingent on my landlords and the
Festival not finding another way to force me out of my lease when it
comes due.

So, here I am, facing a 40% rent increase if I stay, no place to move to
even if I wanted, or a settlement to close that will barely pay of my
existing loans and force me to close a viable business at a considerable
loss.  The Festival refuses to negotiate further, and the General
Manager of the Festival, Antoni Cimolino didn't even show up at our last
meeting which was supposed to outline final terms.  Instead, they sent
Martine Becu of the Theatre Store, who has been acting as liaison and
has had, from the very beginning, no power to negotiate on behalf of the
Festival.  To add insult to injury, Mr. Cimolino was sitting in his
office and watched us go into the conference room and sat there watching
us go out without so much as acknowledging me.  He was also not too busy
to get a haircut that morning.  I know this because my store manager's
girlfriend works at the hair salon.

I will continue to do everything in my power to make the catalogue
survive, but I hope you can understand that if I am forced to close at a
considerable loss that I may not have enough resources to continue.  I
worked this store for 3 years without taking an income, and we are just
now at the point where I could sit back and relax a bit, knowing that my
expenses are finally being covered.  Closing now would mean not only the
immediate losses incurred by having to sell of stock at below cost, and
lost investments on unreturnable stock, but it also means I will never
be able to recoup the cost of surviving those first few years.

I hope that answers some of your questions.

Sorry I missed you last weekend, Joe.

Tanya Gough
Poor Yorick - Shakespeare Multimedia

Re: Shakespeare as Bible

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1312  Thursday, 29 June 2000.

[1]     From:   Ed Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 10:53:13 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Shakespeare and the Bible

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 08:19:07 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1304 Re: Shakespeare as Bible

[3]     From:   Mike Jensen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 08:38:44 -0700
        Subj:   SHK 11.1304 Re: Shakespeare as Bible

[4]     From:   Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 21:49:02 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1295 Re: Shakespeare as Bible

[5]     From:   Florence Amit <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 29 Jun 2000 08:32:32 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1304 Re: Shakespeare as Bible


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 10:53:13 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Shakespeare and the Bible

Abigail Quart needs to know that Ian Munro is innocent!  The guilty
party -- the one responsible for asking, "Why are we wallowing in
William's works -- is none other than Terence Hawkes. Own up to it,
Terry.

--Ed Taft

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 08:19:07 -0700
Subject: 11.1304 Re: Shakespeare as Bible
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1304 Re: Shakespeare as Bible

Philip Tomposki writes:

> I am often amused, and sometimes appalled, when I hear or read
> "Shakespeare said..." , since we do not really know if then words
> written for a character reflect his own beliefs and sentiments.
> Shakespeare as Bible is a dangerous concept.  Shakespeare as literature
> is quite sufficient.

Again, this depends not only on taking the canon as scripture, but also
assuming a fundamentalist/literalist hermeneutic.  It's not much more
dangerous than quoting "the Bible says" out of all historical and even
linguistic context.  Mike Jensen circulated to me (off list) a set of
questions for a Biblical literalist that nicely illustrate this point:
since the Scriptures allow one to sell daughters, what's a good asking
price?  since they allow one to make slaves of neighbouring peoples,
does this include Canadians (if you're American--I would have to reverse
the logic and ask whether we can enslave Americans)?  and so forth.

Cheers,
Se


Re: Antony Sher's Macbeth

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1310  Thursday, 29 June 2000.

[1]     From:   Jaysinh Birjepatil <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 11:27:17 +0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1306 Antony Sher's Macbeth

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 08:35:14 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1306 Antony Sher's Macbeth

[3]     From:   Jean Peterson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 12:11:50 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Anthony Sher's Macbeth

[4]     From:   Jeffrey Myers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 12:41:27 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 11.1306 Antony Sher's Macbeth

[5]     From:   Bill Gelber <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 18:24:14 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1306 Antony Sher's Macbeth


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jaysinh Birjepatil <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 11:27:17 +0400
Subject: 11.1306 Antony Sher's Macbeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1306 Antony Sher's Macbeth

I share Charles Weinstein's opinion of Sher's Macbeth. The man is also a
prowler and wheels about the stage like a caged animal even during his
first encounter with the Witches who look more like badly dressed
members of ya ya sisterhood rather than 'weird'.  This playing down of
the supernatural in this production and the rather inane gestures by
Macbeth and Seyton toward Ian Kott kind of Shakespearean contemporaneity
preceding the 'poor player who struts and frets upon the stage'
sequence  never quite achieve the sense of stoic absurdity of the Mock
Trial in King Lear directed by Peter Brook. Unless my memory is letting
me down here, at the Long Warf in New Haven, the actor playing Seyton
also doubled as the Porter and rendered him in a bizarre combination of
De Quinceyan comic relief and interactive menacing of front row
audience. His performance lacked the subterranean menace of the Theatre
of the Absurd. As Frank Kermode pointed out long ago, the seesaw rhythm
of Macbeth's language in particular mimes the pulsations and
oscillations of a mind being made before our very eyes and to my mind
requires no wild physical gestures to convey psychic turmoil. In Sher's
interpretation theatrical semiosis creaks under a hypertrophy of
information. I came away feeling that in this production  RSC had
fielded a B team.

J. Birjepatil

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 28 Jun 2000 08:35:14 -0700
Subject: 11.1306 Antony Sher's Macbeth
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1306 Antony Sher's Macbeth

Charles Weinstein writes:

>Actors who are short or gay can have a difficult time playing brutally
>effective warriors.

I can never tell if actors are gay, so it makes almost no difference to
me in watching them play a role.  On the other hand, I do know that some
short actors have been able to play warriors.  Hence the career of Mel
Gibson.

Cheers,
Se


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