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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: May ::
Re: Critique of the Arden Editions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0829  Thursday, 1 May 2003

[1]     From:   Claude Caspar <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Apr 2003 11:03:43 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0824 Critique of the Arden Editions?

[2]     From:   R. A. Cantrell <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Apr 2003 10:04:39 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0824 Critique of the Arden Editions?

[3]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Apr 2003 12:44:49 -0300
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.0824 Critique of the Arden Editions?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Claude Caspar <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Apr 2003 11:03:43 -0400
Subject: 14.0824 Critique of the Arden Editions?
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0824 Critique of the Arden Editions?

"The Truth is cruel, but it can be loved. And, it frees those who have
loved it."  Santayana

Truth is we must never feel complacent.  I have all these & the
Riverside & Yale (yes, even that doorstop!).  Only by comparatively
seeing the multiplicity of interpretation, even over what at first blush
seems simple, or the reverse, "A simple truth miscalled simplicity," can
anyone ever begin to grasp this universe, realize one can sail forever
on its seas.  I once taught philosophy, and though a magnificent &
perennial student, quickly admitted to myself before others caught on to
the lack of fire in my flame to being unfit for professorial longevity-
even so, as I was taught so I taught, and always provided reading lists
that challenged established views with miscreant ones. Never one view
that could be mistaken for Truth! I am still working on those lists I
was given, and conclude that nothing educates & trains the mind & senses
as much as exposure to everything, let the chips fall where they may.
(Even Socrates tells us that only those that know Evil can be Good.) I
would urge any student, as I do when asked, to find books that challenge
any preconceived idea so as to test its soundness.  "Explore the
Negative- Nothing given exists!"  Some will never hold another book in
their hands except the One you point them to, unless you point them to
many.  We see here, for example, how some hold on to their One book, one
idea, one interpretation, with a death grip, never having learned how to
learn, afraid to step outside their fortress prison.  A happy thought:
no one breaks free of ideology like WS always does, refusing to be
bottled & served cold, which is why he is more alive than ever.  (A poem
fully understood & mastered is uninteresting; Ws is more interesting
everyday, the more we know.)  Doesn't Kafka say:

'I think we ought to read only books that bite and sting us. If the book
we are reading doesn't shake us awake like a blow on the skull, why
bother reading it in the first place? So that it can make us happy, as
you put it?  Good God, we'd be just as happy if we had no books at all;
books that make us happy we could, at a pinch, also write ourselves.
What we need are books that hit us like a most painful misfortune, like
the death of someone we loved more than we love ourselves, that make us
feel as though we had been banished to the woods, far from any human
presence, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea
within us. That is what I believe.'

No one pleases us more than Shakespeare, but there is lurking something
disturbing that unsettles establishment, preconceived ideas, the social
conception of reality, challenges our egos, everything we take for
granted, the "normal madness." The centrality of the nominalistic
individual & not the collective & social, that is always precarious and
threatened is the champion & hero, though doomed to perish. Or laugh
themselves unto to death.

Give your students Shakespeare, not a book.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R. A. Cantrell <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Apr 2003 10:04:39 -0500
Subject: 14.0824 Critique of the Arden Editions?
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0824 Critique of the Arden Editions?

>In fact, if anyone knows of editions with more annotation than Arden (I
>know that the New Cambridge editions have nearly as much, but not of the
>same quality), I'd love to know about them (I'll look for the Contexts
>editions that someone mentioned).

Perhaps the New Variorum (if they are not among the above by another
name).

All the best,
R.A. Cantrell

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Apr 2003 12:44:49 -0300
Subject: 14.0824 Critique of the Arden Editions?
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.0824 Critique of the Arden Editions?

Hi all,

I'm not sure if it's exactly on topic, but I'm wondering whether there
are _any_ decent CD-ROM complete works any more.  I remember that the
Arden was offered on CD-ROM, for a king's ransom, and that the Riverside
was once available through a company called Electronic Text Corp (or
something like it) which no longer seems to exist.

Since I prefer to work from electronic texts, I think that a copy of
something like this might not be an unreasonable investment.  I can, of
course, gets transcriptions of early texts, but that's not really what
I'm looking for.

Yours,
Sean.

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