The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2386 Wednesday, 17 December 2003
From: Kathy Dent <
Date: Tuesday, 16 Dec 2003 15:23:49 +0000
Subject: 14.2376 Bad, bad quarto!
Comment: RE: SHK 14.2376 Bad, bad quarto!
Why don't we just call them cowboys and injuns? In British vernacular
the word 'cowboy' means bad workmanship and I'm sure we all associate
the word injun with that phrase 'honest injun'. So the quartos formerly
known as 'bad' could be called cowboys and the quartos formerly known as
'good' could be called injuns... That way, we would be aware that this
kind of binary opposition was a cultural construct of the first half of
the twentieth century that obscured the historical facts to which it
seemed to refer. How, for example, does the mythology of the cowboys
and injuns of the Wild West inform us about Jacksonian politics, the
doctrine of Manifest Destiny, or the genocide of native Americans? And
how does dividing quartos up into good and bad, short and long, savage
and civilized help us to understand anything about the material
production of Shakespeare's plays?
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