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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: December ::
Introduction to Matters of Editing
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2338  Thursday, 11 December 2003

[1]     From:   Kathy Dent <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 10 Dec 2003 17:55:01 +0000
        Subj:   RE: SHK 14.2325 Introduction to Matters of Editing

[2]     From:   David Kathman <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 10 Dec 2003 23:35:22 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.2325 Introduction to Matters of Editing


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kathy Dent <
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Date:           Wednesday, 10 Dec 2003 17:55:01 +0000
Subject: 14.2325 Introduction to Matters of Editing
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.2325 Introduction to Matters of Editing

>What is Greg bashing? What is their complaint about W.W. Greg?

As I understand Werstine's argument in _Shakespeare Quarterly_ articles
such as 'A Century of "Bad" Shakespeare Quartos' and 'Narratives about
Printed Shakespeare Texts: "Foul Papers" and "Bad" Quartos', he thinks
that Greg & McKerrow's theories about foul papers and the kinds of
evidence that have been used to make value judgements about 'good' and
'bad' texts have had a negative effect on editing because it has led to
the privileging of certain texts on grounds that Werstine regards as a
bit dodgy - or, at least, open to wider interpretation than New
Bibliography allowed.  It could be argued that Werstine is a bit hard on
Greg: if you read what Greg said in his books, his opinions were not as
simplistic and unified as all that, but later editors might have taken
rather a reductive line, overlooking some of the complexities of his
arguments in order to come up with a viable working method for editing.

Kathy Dent

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Kathman <
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Date:           Wednesday, 10 Dec 2003 23:35:22 -0600
Subject: 14.2325 Introduction to Matters of Editing
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.2325 Introduction to Matters of Editing

John V. Robinson wrote:

>Well, Paul Werstine and Michael Warren, anyway.
>There's some stuff on
>controversial subjects, including quite a bit of
>Greg-bashing, and
>several papers that get to the heart of some of the
>issues involved in
>editing Shakespearean texts.
>
>What is Greg bashing? What is their complaint
>about W.W. Greg?

Several of the contributors argue at length against specific assumptions
made by Greg in his discussions of "bad" quartos and related matters, or
against arguments made by Greg in those discussions.  They all recognize
the huge contributions that Greg made to bibliographic scholarship, but
they question (often with good reason, I think) many of his fundamental
assumptions regarding the nature of dramatic manuscripts and the
transmission of texts.  For example, Paul Werstine's chapter is devoted
to questioning (effectively) Greg's assumption that the "bad" quartos
originated as performance texts reconstructed for provincial tours.
Michael Warren's chapter is a fairly devastating examination of Greg's
book *Two Elizabethan Stage Abridgements*, which was used for many years
to support narratives about the origins of "bad" quartos.  Warren
concludes that "although [Greg's] narrative could conceivably be true,
many aspects of the argument and the use of the evidence are dubious."
Those are the main chapters I was thinking of, though other contributors
(such as A. R.  Braunmuller) take less extensive swipes at particular
claims or arguments made by Greg.

Dave Kathman

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