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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: October ::
Take a Letter
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2377  Wednesday, 17 October 2001

From:           Graham Hall <
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Date:           Wednesday, 17 Oct 2001 08:35:39 +0000
Subject: 12.2354 Take a Letter
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2354 Take a Letter

Tony Burton writes:

In fact, Q1 does have textual authority, and from as early as Dover
Wilson's "The Ms of Sh's 'Hamlet'" it was conceded to be a useful
control to consult in dealing with difficulties in the two better texts.

Compositor E casts off as follows:

These matters will fuel the electronic inkhorn till the cows come home,
and more power to their elbow (or should that read udder).

However,

"[...]Although Wilson's speculation on the subject were generally so
overextended as to leave his fellow scholars skeptical of any
possibility of their validity, his practice of providing hypothesis
concerning the nature of printer's copy for the plays nevertheless
entered into editorial culture[..]"

Werstine in EMLS (1998)

He further quotes the mighty Greg who ruminated that the whole subject
was "[...] a misty mid region of Weir...where not even the most patent
inquiry and the most penetrating analysis can hope to arrive at any but
tentative and proximate conclusions[...]"(Folio)

The ambiguity of "useful" is therefore apposite.

Now, where did I leave my urine-soaked leather bag ? - the name for
which escapes me - for this type's all ink-clogged and they'll never
make head nor tail of it.

Best wishes, Graham Hall

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